Self-leveling cement is used to create a flat and smooth surface, typically on floors. It is generally used prior to installing new flooring over existing concrete that has slopes or dips within it. The cement is used to enable a smooth install of carpets, tiles and wood flooring. It is also used under stone flooring. By having a level sub-floor, the new flooring will install easier, be more durable and be more aesthetically pleasing. No one wants to install a floor that shows a sloping surface or will break easily due to not being level. There could also be other problems with a non-level floor after application such as mildew, staining and bond failure. Self-leveling cement is easy to use and can be found at hardware stores or home improvement stores. Most self-leveling cements will come in 50 pound bags and must be mixed by hand.
Advantages of Self Leveling Cement
The consistency of the compound is similar to that of pancake batter. This ensures that it is able to move and flow into the needed areas of the surface. Once poured, the compound will start moving into the needed areas within minutes. This cement can be poured up to one inch thick. It cures quickly and is a very strong compound. It is common to pour an entire new floor in smaller spaces, however in larger spaces some people opt to only pour where the uneven areas are. In a basement, for example, there may be an area where the floor tilts near a corner or near a door. It is common practice to just pour in those areas since top flooring will be going over it. Besides flooring, self-leveling cement is becoming popular for concrete countertops and is used to ensure a level surface.
How To Pour Self Leveling Cement
Before pouring the new cement make certain to clean the area thoroughly. You will want to purchase a cleaner that is specifically for flooring to be concreted with self-leveling cement. After thoroughly cleaning the area, use a level to find and mark all the low spots. This ensures that the floor is leveled properly. The easiest way to ensure that all the areas that need to be leveled are taken care of is to mix the cement in five gallon buckets and then start by pouring into the lowest part of the flooring. Work quickly on mixing and pouring since it does cure quickly. To mix within a five gallon bucket, you will need a drill with a mixing tool attachment.
Once you have completed the cementing be certain to clean your tools quickly as the cement will dry quickly. When working with wet cement wear sturdy work boots, long pants and gloves along with safety glasses to keep you safe from injury. Avoid getting the cement on your skin as it can cause skin irritation.