Screeds come in different varieties, depending on your needs, but they all contain a considerable amount of water in order to hydrate the cement and ensure its workable when applying it. This water all has to be removed after the creed is laid out and before the final floor finish has been applied in order to prevent it failing. This excess moisture usually moves up from the bottom layer to the top, and provided the atmosphere is warm and not humid, it will evaporate into the air. Whilst it may look even coloured and dry quite soon after being laid down, screed can often still hold a significant amount of moisture. Visual judgements are very risky, so we carry out other, more scientific tests to ensure that your floor screed is completely dry. There are a number of both environmental and internal factors that can affect how long it takes for your screed to completely dry, and at Fast Flowing Screeds, our screed installation and customer service will see you with the flooring that you want.
Ratio of water to cement
Floor screeding that has a higher ration of water to cement will naturally take longer to dry, so lowering the ratio is one way to shorten the time needed. However, reducing the water ratio too much can make it difficult to work with. One way to shorten the drying time of the screed is to add an admixture or water-reducing additive. This will help you to keep the water to cement ratio as low as possible and ensure that the screed remains highly workable.
The thickness of the screed also makes a difference to how long it will take to thoroughly dry out. It may seem like common sense, but the thicker the screed, the longer the drying process takes. If you need a thick floor screed but don’t have that much time, a fast drying screed can be used. Fast drying screeds also aren’t as reliant on environmental factors such as humidity and temperature to dry efficiently.
The temperature of the air is a massive influence on the drying time of your screed as a warm temperature will help the moisture to evaporate far more quickly, as long as the humidity is low. This means that floor screed dries far more quickly in the summer months than it does over winter.
A low humidity atmosphere is far better if you want your floor screed to dry relatively quickly. This is because if the atmosphere around your floor screeding has a lower humidity, it can hold a higher amount of water vapour. If the atmosphere around your new floor screeding has a high humidity, it will take longer for the drying process to be complete.
The rate of air flow is essential in aiding a quick drying time for floor screed. As the moisture from your floor screed evaporates, it needs to a good rate of air flow to stop it stagnating and creating a humid environment which prevents the drying process. At the same time, you can’t leave your new floor screed exposed to other forms of moisture or rain as this will ruin it.
With so many factors affecting your floor screed drying time, you’ll get the results you need in your desired timeframe by talking to a professional floor screeding company who can ensure your screed is perfectly mixed. They will be able to ensure the screed is properly dry before applying the final finish.
For more information about floor screeding that is designed to meet your needs and installed strictly to all industry regulations, call the friendly team at Fast Flowing Screeds today on 01635 298 315 or 07779 317 161.