Bloomingdale, IL

ACCESS Martin T. Russo Family Health Center


The below-grade space at 245 South Gary Avenue was renovated when the Martin T. Russo Family Health Center was relocated to that level. Shortly after occupying the space, facility personnel observed the adhered rubber floor tile bubbling, peeling, and wrinkling. SGH investigated the causes of the flooring failure.

SGH visited the site to observe the flooring condition. We measured the relative humidity, vapor emission rate, and pH of the concrete slab. SGH collected cores and samples of the crushed stone layer below the slab. We performed the following testing in our laboratory:

  • Determined the moisture content of the crushed stone
  • Conducted Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to identify the constituents of the adhesives
  • Performed petrographic analysis to examine the characteristics of the concrete slab and the cementitious underlayment applied to the slab surface

SGH observed adhesive from a previous carpet installation remaining between the new underlayment and the concrete slab. The underlayment did not bond to this adhesive, leading to bubbles and wrinkles in the flooring. We also concluded the floor tiles lack a continuous application of adhesive and are poorly bonded.

We recommended removing the flooring assembly down to the concrete slab, preparing the concrete substrate, applying a new cementitious underlayment, and installing new adhered floor tile.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation
Applied Science & Research
Health Care & Life Sciences
Access Community Health Network
Specialized Capabilities
Materials Science | Microscopy

Key team members

Peter Babaian
Peter Babaian
Building Technology Division Head, Chicago
Emily OKeefe
Emily OKeefe
Senior Project Manger