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Level A Concrete Floor

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Last Updated: 10 October 2020

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If CONCRETE is too old and breaks up, then CONCRETE LEVELING is probably not going to be a viable option. You may think that covering CONCRETE with skim coating of new cement, or some kind of epoxy would be an option, but without a good, stable foundation, these types of fixes would quickly deteriorate, putting you back at square one. With CONCRETE like this, your only real option is to tear it out and replace it. If your CONCRETE is mostly in one piece, with maybe a few cracks, and unevenness between slabs, then congratulations, you probably have a good candidate for CONCRETE LEVELING.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Steps:

To resurface uneven concrete slab, begin by laying long, straight, 2x4 wooden rail across the concrete - slab floor, with one end position on high point in the room. Slip shims under the low end of the 2x4 rail until it's perfectly level, then use a scribing tool to transfer unevenness of floor onto the rail. Match scribe bottom to surface of floor; this will allow you to trace uneven contour of slab. Next, cut rail along scribed line with a circular saw. Set the 2x4 rail back into position on the floor and check to see if it is level. If necessary, scribe and cut it again. Press scribe rail into slab and secure it with construction adhesive. Bore pilot holes through rail and into concrete using a hammer drill fitted with carbide - tip masonry. It is important to pre - bore these holes to avoid splitting rail. Fasten the rail to slab with masonry nails, then lay second 2x4 rail across the floor, setting one end on top of the first rail. Shim second rail level with the first, then adjust the scribing tool to the height of the second rail. Draw a short reference line onto second rail, then widen the legs of the scribing tool to span from the floor up to the reference mark. Guide scribing tool along the floor to transfer its unevenness onto the second rail. Repeat trimming and installation steps you perform with first rail on second, then cut the third 2x4 rail to span across two previously instal rails. Adjust scribing tool to the height of the rail underneath one end of the third rail. Draw short reference line onto third rail, then adjust the scribing tool to span from the floor up to the reference mark. Follow the floor with a scribing tool to mark cut line along the third rail, then cut and install it just as you do previous two rails. Use - inch drill fit with mixing paddle to stir together bucket of Leveling compound. The mixture should be consistency of thick batter. Slowly pour leveling compound inside the perimeter of rails. Slightly overfill them, then strike off excess compound using screed made from 6 - inch - wide straight - edge board. This will create a smooth, even surface. Allow the leveling compound to cure overnight and repeat this process to level floor in other parts of the room as necessary. Before you install flooring over resurfaced slab, check installation instructions to be sure the compound is dry enough.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

About This Article

Last week homeowner asked me about self - levelling cement. They were thinking about pulling up old tile in their home and installing new tile, but their floor has some dips and slopes, so they wanted to use self - levelling cement to even those out. Self - levelling cement can be a good alternative for levelling these issues without having to fix the entire structure of the floor. I love it because you can pour it one day and walk over it the next. But make no mistake: it is not a one - solution - fit - all. Self - levelling cement might seem like an easy job but it is very easy to screw up if you dont know what youre doing and, believe me, this is one job you do not want to screw up. Not only is the product expensive, fixing it if you run into problems can also be very labour intensive, which means more money. Is it DIY? If it small patch, maybe, but I would always recommend hiring a pro. It will cost you but, as always, you get what you pay for.


Where Self-Leveling Concrete Is Used

Read and follow manufacturers ' instructions to letter. Dont skip or skimp on any step. And if any of these tips conflict with instructions, go with the manufacturers ' process instead. Buy more products than you need. A difference of fraction of inch thickness can mean several bags of product. You have to finish the job in one pour so you ca go back to the store for more. Have all your tools and supplies ready. Once you start to pour, you may only have about 10 - 20 minutes to work. Keep your leveler product dry - store bags indoors and up off the ground. Do not mix products in extremes of heat or cold. Do not add water to product as youre spreading it. Mix ratio is critical. Clean all tools and buckets immediately when youre do. If you allow product to set it will never come off. Be careful not to pour more product than you need. If you do, quickly and carefully scoop it up into a bucket and remove it.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

use of a concrete leveler

This is the best method to use when the concrete floor is excessively uneven. All you need to do is to get a bag of concrete leveler and mix it using drill and paddle in a bucket with a capacity of 5 gallons. Mix the concrete leveler thoroughly using a drill mounted paddle until you achieve an even leveling compound. Dont mix more than one bag as it may dry midway before you finish the application process. Mixture may dry and hard within 15 to 30 minutes. Always have a helper to assist you in mixing concrete leveler as you apply already made compound to fix uneven cracked concrete floors. Using a long - handle squeegee, spread mix evenly onto floor surface. Squeegee will help you to spread out mixture evenly and avoid pooling. Ensure you have access to corners and edges of the room to ensure uniform floor surface. Let your concrete leveling compound dry according to manufacturers ' prescriptions. Many concrete leveling brands always dry within 4 hours to the extent that you can walk on it and dry thoroughly after 24 hours. When concrete is dry, you can install your new flooring material on even concrete surface. Method is also essential in initial steps leveling the uneven garage concrete floor. Moreover, process may also help to level uneven concrete floor for laminate installation.


Where Self-Leveling Concrete Is Used

Before you install your new floor, there is an essential consideration you need to address, and that is moisture in the existing concrete floor. All concrete contains moisture, and if the moisture level is too high, it may cause the leveling compound to degrade over time. So you need to test the slab to be sure the moisture level is not too high. This isnt something you can do just by looking at slab. No matter how slab looks, moisture deep in the slab can migrate to the surface over time and cause serious problems. If the moisture level deep in the slab is too high, you need to take steps to remediate it before you can pour your new floor. This is a well known problem with a well - known and scientifically proven solution. The way moisture moves in concrete slabs has been studied since the 1960s, and researchers have developed a scientifically proven test for measuring moisture levels deep inside the slab. That test is called relative humidity test using in situ probes. This is the basis for the ASTM F2170 standard. This standard governs processes that involve obtaining results using in situ probes on concrete slabs. Despite its complex terminology, this test method is actually very easy and much faster than you would think. Wagner Meters provide in - situ concrete testing system that conforms precisely to ASTM F2170 in probably the most simple and time - saving way possible. The Rapid RH L6 system uses single - use sensors for speed, economy, and ease of use. Once L6 sensors are instal in slab and equilibrate after the F2170 requirement of 24 hours, there is no need to move them from location to location and wait for them to equilibrate again. Repeat readings can be taken without additional equilibration time. And unlike reusable probes, L6 sensors never need calibration. Rapid RH Total Reader reads, displays, and transmits temperature and RH data via Bluetooth to DataMaster L6 app. The Datamaster L6 app stores, displays, and reports data on your iOS or Android mobile device. From your mobile device, you can email PDF format reports to your client and all interested parties. Backup copies of your readings are stored in cloud and in sensors that are permanently instal in slab. This unbroken digital path from sensor to final report, plus automatic data backup ensure the highest data integrity, accuracy, and peace of mind. If you find that moisture is a problem in slab, you need to get a professional to handle moisture remediation. You can also visit the International Concrete Repair Institute for more information on next steps or to find an expert to help.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Floor Leveling Options

If you want to install vinyl tile or ceramic tile, things get a bit trickier. For successful installation, concrete floor beneath tile needs to be more or less perfectly level and smooth. That is true for compact tiles and even more critical for larger ones, including the popular 1 - by - 2foot size. With small tiles, maximum differential between the lowest and highest point on the floor is 1 / 4 inch per 10 feet; with larger tiles, acceptable differential is a mere 1 / 8 inch per 10 feet. To achieve such flatness, use a Self - Leveling compound, such as Quikrete Self - Leveling Floor Resurfacer. These come in powdered form and are mixed with water and fortifying agent. You end up with thin liquid that when poured from bucket flows across existing uneven concrete. Gravity will bring liquid to level, but you can help process along with a broom or trowel.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Applying the Concrete Leveling Compound

One of the challenges of using a leveling compound is not just getting it level. It also works fast enough to get it in place. From the moment you start to mix until the compound is set up, you typically have about 20 - 30 minutes to get it in place and smooth out before it starts to set and lose its self - leveling characteristics. Acrylic - base compounds will extend that time slightly, but will also require longer drying time before the next step of the project can proceed. It means that you need to be positive that concrete slab is properly prepped and ready for the compound to go down in ideal conditions: removing all dust and dirt from the floor by vacuuming, using appropriate cleaner for stains or spills, having all tools ready, and then damp mopping slab lightly, letting it dry completely before applying compound. Obviously, different manufacturers may have different installation / preparation requirements for their products, so consult manufacturer directly for specific guidance. It also means testing to be sure slab does not have elevated relative humidity levels prior to doing any leveling. More times than not, if there are elevated moisture levels present in slab, say excess moisture levels will need to be addrest prior to proceeding with the leveling portion of the project. Side note: Although not directly related to moisture in slab, amount of water that you add to leveling powder is critical. Manufacturers have taken great pain in determining the proper amount of water to be used when mixing their products. If you want products to perform as advertised, follow their instructions. Regardless of what conditions are on the surface of slab or subfloor, it is just as real that moisture hidden within slab will rise to the surface and cause the cure and dry compound to react by losing adherence, flaking, or breaking up.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Advantages Of Self-Leveling Concrete

Self - leveling cement overlays, introduced in the US in the late 1980s, were initially used mainly for purposes outlined above: to create new, flat and level wear surfaces, quickly, and with the appearance of gray concrete, in office buildings, residential high - rise construction, retail stores and warehouses. This new alternative to traditional flooring in old buildings, when combined with its inherent advantages over traditional concrete, though, soon lead to experimentation with various finish treatments, in particular, clear waxes and sealers, and shortly thereafter, with color options, such as integral pigment, topical dyes and concrete stains. Eventually, saw - cutting, and transition strips, such as those used for terrazzo flooring, also began to be used with Self - leveling overlays, as a way of incorporating geometric shapes and patterns, like arcs, borders, pathways and tiles, and creating designer floors. Now, some thirty years later, self - leveling overlays play a prominent and ever - growing role in decorative concrete flooring. Overall, there are currently four main areas where self - leveling overlays are used in decorative concrete - three of these are in flooring. In each of these areas, Self - leveling overlays often provides a unique and indispensable advantage over use of existing concrete for the same decorative option.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Disadvantages Of Self-Leveling Concrete

While there are a huge number of advantages to self - leveling concrete, every product has its drawbacks and things to be wary of when working with it: Self - leveling concrete dries very fast, which means that you need to work with it quickly. Depending on product and conditions, you can have as little as 20 minutes to mix, pour, and finish your surface. Self - leveling concrete does nothing to reinforce the underlayer on which it is laid. If anything goes wrong with the subfloor, self - leveling concrete can loosen, which will also result in damage to anything that is laid on top of it. Self - leveling concrete can stick firmly to tools and any other surface that it is splashed against. All these items need to be cleaned immediately in order to ensure they are not permanently stain.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Product Precautions

Table

Depth Inches (mm)Ft. (m 2 ) per 50 lb. (22.7 Kg) Unit
1/8 (3.17) 1/4 (6.35) 3/8 (9.52) 1/2 (12.7) 1 (25.4)50 (4.65) 25 (2.32) 18.75 (1.74) 12.5 (1.16) 6.25 (0.58)

Description FLOOR - TOP STG is a standard traffic - grade, single - component, shrinkage - compensate, self - leveling FLOOR Topping and underlayment that may be pump or pour. Floor - TOP STG is specially designed to smooth out uneven, rough or minor deteriorate interior concrete floors. Using FLOOR - TOP STG is ideal for smoothing out and leveling concrete and rigid - base interior substrates prior to APPLICATION of the flooring system or coating. Floor - TOP STG cures HARD, traffic - wearing SURFACE suitable for foot and light rubber - wheel traffic. Floor - TOP STG may be color enhanced with integral colors, dyes, coatings, sealers, or acid stains. The Product are designed for residential, commercial, retail, and office applications. It is not suitable for steel - wheeled traffic or forklift applications. May be apply up to 1 thick in single APPLICATION. Single - component; only requires addition of water. Maybe be pour or pump. Specifically, design for fast leveling of floors. May be acid stain or dye. Suitable For engineered wood Flooring Systems. Accepts early foot traffic. Floor Covering may be installed in as little as 18 hours. May be used with radiant heating FLOOR systems. Compatible with LIQUI - HARD Concrete densifier and Chemical hardener from W. R. Meadows. Packaging 50 lb. Bags. Floor - TOP STG PRIMER is available in one - gallon units or five - gallon plastic pails with pour spout. Coverage / YIELD YIELD per 50 lb. Bag is 0. 50 ft. Yields listed above will vary based on substrate profile, variations in mixed water amounts, and waste. Field trials should be performed to determine yields based on actual jobsite conditions. Note: FLOOR - TOP STG is a self - leveling product and will level to the slope of FLOOR; therefore, it is not practical to apply uniform depth on sloped FLOOR. Meaning, if desire minimum APPLICATION depth is 1 / 4 and slope of FLOOR is 1 / 2 from end to end, then actual APPLICATION will be 1 / 4 to 1 / 2 for an average depth of 3 / 8. Floor - TOP STG PRIMER yields 400 ft. / Gal. Undiluted, depending on porosity of substrate. Shelf LIFE Store on pallets in cool, dry location. Do not store products outdoors. Shelf LIFE of properly Store products is one year from the date of manufacture when stored in unopened, original PACKAGING. Finish APPEARANCE Light Gray. This is a natural mineral - base material and therefore, color variations and imperfections are normal, which enhance the overall APPEARANCE of natural appearance. If FLOOR - TOP STG is to be left exposed, test - board should be made prior to APPLICATION to ensure that all appropriate parties are satisfied with final APPEARANCE. This procedure is very common practice in the flooring industry. Technical DATA following physical properties were determined using a water - to - powder ratio of 5. 75 quarts per 50 lb. Bag at 72 F. Application For Best Performance FLOOR - TOP STG shall not be used as Repair mortar. Do not apply when ambient, substrate product temperature is below 65F. Protect from freezing. Products are designed for interior applications; are not used in exterior applications. Do not allow excessive water loss due to heat, sun, or wind. Do not add any admixtures.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

FAQs

Driveways, walkways and sidewalks are exposed to a lot of wear and tear. When soil supporting it becomes weak or void form, concrete slabs can crack and sink. There are many things that can create void beneath concrete slab, such as erosion from rainwater or gutter runoff, or tree roots that have rotted over time. Clogged gutters, downspouts that are not instal correctly, and poor yard drainage can make erosion worse. Dirt fill underneath slab that has not been well compact can also create voids beneath concrete. Tearing out and replacing concrete driveway, sidewalk or patio is a huge undertaking. Old concrete must be jackhammered into manageable pieces and hauled away. Then, new concrete must be poured and left to harden and cure, process that can take several weeks, during which you have to park on the street and avoid the area.S Its noisy, messy and incredibly disruptive. On the other hand, concrete repair and resurfacing is a quick, easy process that requires minimal disruption, yet offers the same look and functionality of total concrete replacement. Unlike brand new concrete, it can be ready for use very next day. Learn more about lifting and leveling concrete with PolyLevel here, or concrete resurfacing with our ResurfacePro system here. Your concrete most likely didnt settle, but instead adjacent concrete slabs heave upwards, due to frozen dirt below. There is nothing that can be done but wait for the ground to thaw and the concrete to return to its original position. If concrete does return to its normal position in spring, you may want to have one of our experts take a look to determine if a permanent solution is necessary. Concrete leveling with PolyLevel followed by concrete caulking with NexusPro is not only less expensive than full concrete replacement, it is also a much quicker repair process and far less disruptive to surrounding grass and landscaping. There is almost no wait time for concrete to cure before you can walk on it, and unlike concrete replacement, PolyLevel actually fills voids and compacts underlying soil, which stabilizes your concrete for years to come. Nexuspro concrete caulking seals cracks and joints to protect them from future soil erosion, and it resists UV rays, which means it wo crack, bubble or dry out. You can buy polyurethane caulk at your local big - box DIY store, so you might be tempted to caulk your concrete expansion joint yourself. But polyurethane caulks can bubble, dry out and crack when exposed to sun and elements over time. At Thrasher, we use silicone - base crack and joint sealer developed by our sister company, Supportworks. It is called NexusPro, and it offers a long - lasting and durable solution that will keep moisture from seeping beneath your concrete, where it can cause further problems. When we install NexusPro, we prepare and clean concrete joints, insert product and then finish it off with native sand to give the whole surface a clean, finished look.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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