What is Self-Leveling Concrete?
Unlike traditional concrete, self-leveling concrete is composed of cementitious mixtures that behave a lot like concrete itself. As opposed to concrete, however, the material flows much more easily and sets up much faster. Pumped or poured, self-leveling concrete gets evenly spread with a gauge rake after being mixed with water. In the process of spreading out evenly, the mixture continues to level itself out until it has reached its maximum thickness.
A self-leveling concrete product can be set up within 1 to 2 hours, depending on the product. The flooring can be ready for use after around 6 hours, depending on what it is covered with. The most common use of self-leveling concrete is as an underlayment for carpet, tile, or other floor coverings.
Polymers, which are essentially glue-like molecules, are used in self-leveling concrete to bind it together, which makes it different from traditional concrete. Traditionally, concrete must also be mixed with a lot of water to become fluid enough to pour. In addition to maintaining its fluidity, self-leveling concrete requires little to no maintenance in terms of water.
Despite its higher gallon cost, self-leveling concrete can help homeowners avoid demolition or replacement of existing damaged concrete. By using self-leveling concrete, you can rejuvenate the appearance of your concrete surface without tearing up the old one.
When should it be used?
Self-leveling concrete may be useful when traditional concrete patching compounds cannot repair cracks, pits, and splitting. Concrete can also be resurfaced using this technique to fix uneven or flat spots that don’t require total replacement.
Meanwhile, self-leveling concrete can be used as a finished flooring material alone. Despite everyday wear and tear, it is durable enough to last a long time. With its raw, industrial style, it goes well with a wide range of design styles. In addition to enhancing paint, décor, or accessory features like accent tiles or backsplashes, coloring additives can also help create aesthetically pleasing floor finishes.
Budget-conscious homeowners can benefit from self-leveling concrete in many ways. Particularly with projects that would otherwise require total demolition of a subfloor, a floor, or a foundation. Floors can be revitalized and saved with self-leveling concrete applied by a reputable contractor or tradesman. It is critical to keep in mind, however, that this method may not always be appropriate.
What it shouldn’t be used for
A self-leveling concrete surface is generally used for interior flooring, either directly on the floor or as a subsurface. This product can be used indoors and outdoors (for instance, as a covered but exposed floor in a garage or carport). In most cases, though, self-leveling concrete is not suitable for outdoor use.
Self-leveling concrete used on flooring is not very effective on vertical surfaces because it cannot cure properly on non-horizontal surfaces. This may be achieved, however, if the product is applied on a surface prior to being installed such as wall art, decorative tiles, concrete steps, or table/bar tops. In areas where heavy machinery will operate or harsh chemicals will be used, self-leveling concrete should not be used. Self-leveling concrete is durable, but it’s not as resilient as traditional concrete and won’t withstand particularly harsh conditions.
How to Hire the Right Professional
In order to ensure safe and durable flooring and underlying structures, concrete repairs require years of training and experience. It is easy to make a minor problem worse without in-depth knowledge. As well as creating a great deal of mess, an amateur concrete repair can also conceal structural problems and worsen an already unsafe surface. When inexperienced individuals attempt to repair concrete themselves, they often make problems worse. This causes them to spend hundreds of dollars on a brand-new surface when only a few targeted repairs would have resolved the problem.
For more than 30 years, Xtreme Polishing Systems has been helping South Florida homes and businesses look their best. Our expertise and high-quality materials enable us to restore the look of existing concrete without replacing the entire slab. Fast and efficient work is ensured with our innovative product line and high-performance equipment. Learn more about our products and services by contacting our professional team of product experts and contractors!