Mr. Robert Higgins
by Robert Higgins
In 2001 I wrote the technical portion of the WFCA White Paper. Its purpose was to improve the conditions for the flooring installer, retailer, manufacturer, and involve the professional inspector.
However, instead of conditions improving our "advancements" have been more regression than progression.
Much of this was a misinterpretation of what the subject matter was concerned.
The new goal was remove the responsibility, or blame, for issues concerning concrete and flooring from the flooring installers to those educated and trained to examine, measure and evaluate issues with concrete.
Unfortunately, many professionals, who became involved, were either employed or aligned with specific companies and manufacturers.
This special interest goal was to influence how moisture tests should be conducted, with in-fighting on what type of testing is the "most accurate" or most meaningful.
Their goal was economic rather than a science based approach with truth as the guiding factor.
Lost in the arguments are the important and unanswered questions, "What exactly are we testing, and why?"
The questions when SHOULD we be testing and what are the confounding factors we should know in the evaluations that are important to the contractor and installer were not answered or being answered.
My class at the seminar will bring this into focus as well as being an introductory course on developing meaningful procedures that, if applied correctly, can virtually eliminate the moisture claims that were supposedly going to be reduced with more "scientific testing", but have not because of special interest.
Testing today has added an additional layer of work and companies depended upon the concrete testing result. The result is moisture mitigation is being used unnecessarily, adding unneeded expense to many projects.
Here is the problem with that: most of the mitigation is repairing NOTHING.
Here is a chance to learn from a professional that has been not only in the lab, but in the trenches, involved in solving complex moisture issues (not only floors, but tunnels, bridges, roadways, underground structures, etc.) used as a construction defects experts in many other projects, as well as writing and authoring standards and curriculum for many private and professional organizations.
Qualifications and Experience
Mr. Higgins has expertise in moisture-related concrete issues, having been involved with waterproofing, technical committees, professional groups, lecturing, teaching; and construction defect litigation.
Mr. Higgins is equally involved in product and process development, having developed most of the products manufactured and marketed by his former company SINAK Corporation, as well as owning or co-owning patents for moisture testing.
Expert opinion and testimony
Before Installation: How to properly test, analyze and determine what, if any steps are needed prior to floor installation.
When Problems Arise: Determine what went wrong, why and how to test and analyze correctly and accurately; determining root-cause.
Available for in-house training for those involved with inspection of concrete, moisture testing of concrete prior to installation of moisture sensitive products.
Assisting Manufacturers, Architects, Engineers, Designers to develop sound concrete and moisture specifications for the ever-changing environmental restrictions and product changes.
Mr. Higgins has been involved with waterproofing since 1976 and has acted as an expert in construction litigation since 1985. Bob was Vice President and Chemist/Product Development for SINAK Corporation for nearly 30 years (1979-2009). He has written articles in local and national publications, lectured in regional and national conventions.
Mr. Higgins has contributed to, used as an expert resource or written over 100 papers involving moisture-related concrete issues including deterioration mechanisms, testing protocols, diagnosis, inspection and repair.
Lectures, Seminars given Internationally, Nationally and Regionally
- ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute)
- WLI (Water Loss Institute)
- IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)
- IFMA (International Facilities Managers Association)
- DuPont Flooring Systems
- CREIA (California Real Estate Inspectors Association)
- Stone Expo/Marble Institute of America
- CSI (Construction Specifications Institute-regionally and nationally)
- Mott McDonald
- SSPC (Society for Protective Coatings)
- ACIA (The American Construction Inspectors Association)
- AIA (American Institute of Architects)
- British Rail
- ACI (American Concrete Institute)
- BIS (Building Industry Show)
- The London Underground
- WFCA (World Floor Covering Association)
- SWRI (Sealant, Waterproofing & Restoration Institute)
- CEFPI (The Council of Educational Facility Planners International)
- CSBC (Customer Service Builder Council)
- National Park Service - U.S. Dept. of the Interior
- FSU (Florida State University)
- CFI (Certified Flooring Installers)
- ATF (Academy of Textiles & Flooring)
- FEI Group (Floor Expo Inc.)
- XL Brands (hosting for various carpet and resilient manufacturers)
- Schools, Certification and Industry Continuing Education
- Moisture Related Flooring Failures on Concrete Foundations, Academy of Textiles & Flooring, Teacher/Instructor, WFCA Education Center, 1994 - 1997.
- Certification of Completion: Moisture Related Flooring Failures on Concrete Foundations, Academy of Textiles & Flooring, July 17, 1996.
- Certificate of Completion – Solving Moisture-Related Problems with on-grade concrete – World of Concrete, January 24, 1997.
- CSI – Represented San Diego as a Delegate for the national convention, wrote a follow-up article review on the keynote speaker, June 1985.
- SSPC – Review, correction and commentary for SSPC Inspection Handbook (Section 4.3, Inspection of Surface Preparation of Concrete, and the Appendix, Concrete Surfaces) 1996
- SSPC C.1.6.B – Task Group on Coatings for Concrete Floors, 1997-98.
- ICRI - Moisture-Related Issues with Concrete Floor Finishes Subcommittee Chair: Robert Higgins, from 2005-2009.
- WFCA (World Floor Covering Association) Chair (Technical committee), Authored Industry Position on Moisture-related Flooring Issues “White Paper”, endorsed by virtually every industry organization, October 25, 2001.
- ASTM, E Committee, one of three primary authors for ASTM E1907 Test standard, later merged in with F1869, 1997-2001.
- IICRC, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Contractors, Past Chair Concrete Substrates and Subfloors, (drafted initial test protocol), 1998-2000.
- Construction Specifier Magazine, Concrete Carbonation: It’s Prevention and Cure, December 1985.
- Roads & Bridges Magazine (2 articles), “Hydraulic ‘footprints,’ vapor pressure may degrade concrete friction surface”, Bob Higgins and Walter Lum, March 1986
- Construction Specifier Magazine, Repairing and Restoring Steel Reinforced Concrete, December 1986.
- ACI Materials Journal, Discussion on Committee Guidelines for ACI 330, July-August 1988.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Some Concrete Basics, September 1989.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Some Concrete Corrosion Basics, March 1990.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Commentary on prior article, Review of Concrete Sealers for Large Horizontal Concrete Surfaces, March 1990.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Taking a Closer Look at Warranties, September-October 1992.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Who Tests the Testers? May/June 1993.
- Parking Magazine, Taking a Closer Look at Warranties, July/August 1993.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Aesthetics: What’s in a Name? July/August 1995.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, More Confidence in Moisture Measuring Method, May-June 1996. NOTE: The steps pointed out in this article was the blue print used for the revamping of ASTM E1907.
- Flooring, Moisture: It’s a Concrete, Not Flooring Problem, Christopher Capobianco (credited as primary information source), March 1997.
- Western Floors Magazine, Clarification on Moisture-Related Concerns, Ray Thompson Jr. (credited as primary information source) July 1997.
- Flooring, New Studies Indicate Many Concrete Problems Linked To pH, Christopher Capobianco (credited as primary information source) August 1997.
- Western Floors Magazine, Industry Perspectives (Nov 1997 issue) Discussion, January 1998.
- Concrete Construction Magazine, Vapor retarders can’t stop moisture problems (Reader Response Section), April 1999.
- Concrete Construction Magazine, Controlled testing eliminates dew-point effects (reader response), Bob Higgins, July 1999.
- Concrete Repair Bulletin, Understanding Floor Covering Failure Mechanisms, Shondeep Sarkar (cited as reference source), March/April 1999.
- Construction Specifier Magazine, Moisture-Related Flooring Failures: Dispelling the Myths (ran concurrently online - throughout 2001), March 2000.
- Concrete Construction, Observation on adhesive-moisture absorption (reader response), November 2000.
- Construction Specifier Magazine, Dew point and Condensation – The two most commonly misdiagnosed floor moisture failures”, December 2002.
- Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center - Special Publication SP-2085-SHR. Referenced resource for: Overview of Industry Guidance on concrete condition assessment and concrete repair for use prior to coating.
- ITW Resin Technologies Technical Bulletin #311 - "Water, Water Everywhere - The problem with moisture in concrete. Referenced technical resource.
- University Study - Characterization of silicate sealers on concrete -J. LaRosa Thompsona, M. R. Silsbeeb, P. M. Gilla and B. E. Scheetzb a. The PQ Corporation, Valley Forge, PA 19428, USA, b Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA (referenced Waterproofing Reference and Guide, authored by me).
2 Palmetto Drive
Ormond By-The-Sea, Fl. 32176