There are many different types of floor screed. If you are altering or renovating a property in Devon or elsewhere in the Southwest, and have removed old floor coverings to discover a screeded floor you need to assess its strength, condition and suitability for the purpose you intend.
Check for cracks
Before fitting a new floor on top it’s a good idea to check the floor screed thoroughly for any cracks or curling and look for any separation from the substrate. If your floor is going to be subjected to a lot of wear and tear and heavy traffic a detailed inspection should be carried out before continuing with the installation of a new floor covering.
Is it level?
Don’t assume the floor is level. An uneven surface can be a hazard, with increased danger from tripping, wear and tear, installing fixed equipment that needs a level base and causing wheeled traffic to sway. British Standards have specified the following specifications that should be adhered to when installing a new floor screed.
- For a High quality floor where flatness is imperative (SR1) the maximum permitted deviation is 3mm measured with a 2m straight edge resting in contact with the floor.
- For a Normal/Standard floor (SR2) the maximum permitted deviation is 5mm
- For a Utility floor (SR3) for general use the maximum permitted deviation is 10mm
The floor should always be checked for flatness once the installation has been completed so any corrections can be implemented.
Has it been Contaminated
Contaminants can affect the viability of your floor. If the property had been used for industrial purposes or as a laboratory previously, there is a chance that there may be chemical contaminants and dangerous materials ingrained in the floor screed and base. Even in a domestic situation, oils, sealers and damp proofers could have been applied in the past which can affect the existing floor and any new flooring applied on top. Your specialist installer, Screedmaster of Exeter, will be able to advise you.
Beware of Damp
If the floor is on the ground floor the Floor Screed will normally have been laid over moisture barrier to protect the floor and property from any groundwater. It is essential to check that the existing floor and any new floors have a suitable and effective water proofing system. Flaws in the barrier can go unnoticed if the final floor finish is ceramic tile, terrazzo or stone, but coverings such as wood, vinyl or linoleum which are sensitive to moisture can lead to the floor covering being damaged. Your specialist installer, Screedmaster Devon, will be able to check for any damp and advise you the best action to take.
It takes time
When installing floor screed it is important to allow enough time for it to dry thoroughly. A traditional screed can take up to 110 days before the final floor finish can be undertaken. If the final finish is applied to soon it can lead to moisture being trapped within the screed which may result in considerable problems with the final finish such as warping of wooden floors, damp and mould caused to carpets and vinyl’s, adhesives softening and breaking down. Choosing a flowing floor screed which has been developed for faster drying times will reduce the time required and often the labour costs. Your specialist installer, Screedmaster, will be able to advise on the best floor screed for your situation, call Screeding in Devon on 0800 9807260 for an onsite visit and professional advice.