Liquid screed is an increasingly popular alternative to the usual cement and sand mixture for floorings. It’s quicker to lay and dry compared to the latter, and it’s also safer for the environment. If you have water underfloor heating, it’s also recommended to pair it with liquid screed to make heat transfer more efficient.
After installing the water underfloor heating system, it’s time to lay the liquid screed. It can work with any floor finishing, including tiles, vinyl, and wood. However, it’s essential to do a moisture test before you install the chosen floor finishing.
Liquid screed may be quicker to dry than regular cement, but it does not instantly dry. It will still take some days for it to cure fully. The average time for it to dry is 60 to 110 days depending on its thickness and product used. However, some are quick-drying and will be ready for floor finishing in 2 to 3 weeks only.
Installing floor finishing when the screed is still wet or has high moisture level will cause the former not to adhere properly. The screed may look or even feel dry, but it is hard to tell without doing a proper moisture test. There are various moisture testing methods available and here are some of them.
Do It Yourself
It is a test that you can do by yourself, but it’s not recommended since it is not that accurate and it may take several tries, which can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort on your part. Lay a polythene sheet on the area that you want to moisture test. Secure the edges with duct tape then put plywood or plyboard over it. Leave it for 12 to 15 hours before removing the sheet. If you see wet patches, then it means that it has not dried yet. Repeat until there are no more wet patches. However, as mentioned, it is not accurate since the screed may still be moist even when you no longer see wet spots on the sheet.
A Tramex meter is a device used to determine the moisture level of a screed floor accurately. It will show the moisture percentage, and it does it quickly. The screed must have a moisture level of 0.5 per cent or less for it to be ready for final floor finishing.
Calcium Carbide Test
A sample from the screed is combined with calcium carbide. It will create gas, and the amount of gas produced will determine its moisture level. There is also a device used to do a reading for it.
Air Hygrometer Test
An air hygrometer is used to determine the moisture of the screed floor. It is time-consuming because the area to be tested must be sealed for 72 hours to determine the outcome. Moreover, it will only read the moisture level of the area sealed. You will need to repeat the process in other areas.
It’s best to hire a professional moisture testing provider to ensure an accurate result and prevent problems with your floor finishing.