Repair of self-leveling floors

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Repair of self-leveling floors
Repair of self-leveling floors

Reasons for the destruction of self-leveling floors and repair options, tools for surface renovation, conditions for restoration work. Repair of self-leveling floors is the elimination of abrasions and defects that appear on the surface, which may appear due to prolonged use or negligence of builders. We will talk about the prerequisites for the destruction of floors and their restoration in this article.

Self-leveling floor repair tools

Notched trowel

When repairing self-leveling floors of an apartment, adhere to safety precautions. The preparation of the solution is accompanied by a chemical reaction between the components, so be sure to cover your eyes and hands. Wear a respirator to protect against unpleasant odors. If substance gets in your eyes, rinse them. After work, wash your hands with soap and water, then lubricate with moisturizer.

To perform a quality repair, you need the following tools and accessories:

  • Powerful electric drill for mixing. Very often the cause of damage to the coating is a poorly prepared mixture, therefore, use only electrical devices to mix the composition.
  • A sander is needed to level surfaces or remove a damaged layer.
  • A notched trowel will be needed when completely refilling floors or applying an additional topcoat. The tool is designed to distribute the substance over concrete, because the product begins to self-align after rolling over the entire surface in an even layer. The height of the teeth should be equal to half the thickness of the poured layer. Tool width - 60-100 cm.
  • A rackle is a device that looks like a notched trowel. Differs in the possibility of adjusting the width and length of the teeth, which allows high-quality coverage of the floor with a finishing layer of 3 mm. With its help, the substance is distributed more evenly. The tool must be rigid and not vibrate during operation.
  • A vacuum cleaner is necessary to remove dust from the repaired area.
  • A needle roller will be needed to repair areas of any size. Designed to evenly distribute the mixture over the plane and remove air bubbles. They pass over the surface until the mortar begins to set. For small areas, a tool with a width of 20 cm is suitable, large areas are processed with a roller 60 cm wide. The length of the spikes can be from 1 to 3.5 cm. The choice depends on the thickness of the layer and the composition of the mixture. Rollers with long needles remove air from cement mixtures. For plastic floors with a thickness of no more than 15 mm, tools with short spikes are required.
  • The rule is used in case of restoration of large areas by lighthouses. The width of the tool depends on the distance between the bases and can be up to 100 cm.
  • The building level is used to control the levelness of the subfloor and the surface of the topcoat. The longer the tool, the better. Usually they use a product with a size of 1.5-2 m.
  • Roller with a long pile for applying the primer to the areas exposed after removing the damaged material. Dimensions must be at least 12-14 mm.

In addition, you will need special spiked shoes to navigate the repaired areas.

Before work, new tools must be soaked in solvent for 4-6 hours to remove the preservative grease. If oil gets on the floor, it may contribute to the defect.

Requirements for concrete screed

Pouring the bulk mixture onto the floor

Polymer coatings have a large margin of safety and can be used for 15-20 years. They are quite reliable and rarely require repair.However, their arrangement requires strict adherence to technology, and various violations can cause numerous defects.

Requirements for new floors are spelled out in SNiP 2.03.13-88 "Floors" and 3.04.01-87 "Insulation and finishing works". The results of unfair attitude to work can be seen already after 28 days - immediately after the final hardening of the material.

A coating is considered to be of good quality if:

  1. There are no potholes, cracks, bulges and depressions, bulges on the surface. The number of foreign inclusions is minimal.
  2. The color of floors with decorative value does not differ from the declared one.

The condition of the sites some time after operation is assessed by the degree of wear, pollution, material shrinkage, partial flaking, roughness, etc.

Observe the following requirements during repairs:

  • After removing the damaged floor, make sure that the compressive strength of the exposed base is at least 25 MPa and its thickness is more than 60 mm.
  • The device of the concrete screed must comply with construction SNiPs.
  • The concrete surface must be thoroughly cleaned before pouring the polymer.
  • The slope of the base does not exceed 2 mm over a length of 2 m.
  • The moisture content of concrete at a depth of 20 mm does not exceed 6%.

If, after removing the damaged area, concrete with clear signs of cement laitance is exposed, grind it off. This layer is weakly adhered and easily falls off along with the top ball.

Features of the repair of self-leveling floors

The repair option for the damaged area is selected depending on its area and the nature of the destruction. Below are examples of restoring floors with common defects.

Cracks in self-leveling floors

Cracks in the self-leveling floor

Cracks are a typical defect of self-leveling floors. They can be small or, conversely, reach the concrete base.

The cracks appear for the following reasons:

  1. The base is fragile, without reinforcement, prone to movement.
  2. Failure to comply with the proportions when mixing the solution. A large amount of water in the mixture is especially conducive to the appearance of cracks.
  3. Laying the coating on damp concrete.
  4. Use of material with an expired shelf life.
  5. Violation of the filling technology.

The choice of a method for repairing cracks in a self-leveling floor depends on the size of the damaged area. If the slots on the surface are rare and their length does not exceed 1 cm, do not re-fill the entire floor.

We carry out the work in this way:

  • Using a grinder or by hand, expand the crack to 2 cm along its entire length.
  • Clean the opening from dirt, remove dust with a vacuum cleaner, rinse.
  • Primer the walls and let dry.
  • Fill the gap with resin or cement filler and level it flush with the floor.

If there is a network of cracks on the surface, there is no point in dealing with each one. Remove the entire layer and examine the base to find the cause of the defect. If cracks are found in the concrete, seal them up with cement filler. After rework, check the flatness of the coating with a level. The permissible differences in the heights of the concrete base are 2-3 mm. Fill the prepared area with new solution.

Delamination of the self-leveling floor

Destruction of the self-leveling floor

Signs of delamination are numerous bubbles on the surface and cracking, which leads to the destruction of the coating.

Separation of material from the base can occur for the following reasons:

  1. Poor cleaning of concrete from dirt.
  2. A dilapidated layer of material remains on the base or cement laitance is present.
  3. Using a poor quality primer.
  4. The solution was poured onto a damp screed. Water and the resulting condensation form an intermediate layer that repels the solution. Bubbles prevent the polymer from sticking to the substrate.
  5. For the preparation of the concrete, very poor quality cement was used.
  6. Ignoring the time intervals between coating layers. After priming, the next ball of solution was applied only after 48 hours, the surface had time to get dusty.The opposite option is that the surface has not dried properly.

Repair of self-leveling floors with such damage is performed as follows:

  • Dismantle the destroyed area and thoroughly clean the concrete from dust, fats of organic and mineral origin and other contaminants.
  • Vacuum the surface, rinse and cover with two coats of primer.
  • If reworking of small areas is required, fill them with self-leveling mixture, polymer mortar or cement screed. The first option is considered universal and suitable for any formulation. The second is used if the product is made only on the basis of cement mixtures.
  • Self-leveling floor, used as a topcoat, requires masking of the traces of restoration work. Therefore, the entire area is filled with a thin layer in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

This is one of the most difficult defects because large areas can be damaged and often the entire floor has to be remodeled. Such work is usually performed during a major overhaul.

Bulging of the self-leveling floor

Peeling off the self-leveling floor

Buckling occurs in some cases when the material flakes off. Part of the surface is covered with cracks and falls behind. The piece can move independently and creak underfoot.

Possible causes of the defect:

  1. Poor quality of the base and lack of waterproofing. Moisture rises through the cracks in the concrete to the self-leveling floor and breaks the bond between the materials.
  2. Poorly cleaned concrete surface.
  3. Wet base.

The technology for repairing self-leveling floors upon detection of coagulation is as follows:

  • Remove the damaged area.
  • Remove dust from concrete and edges of the opening and apply a primer.
  • Cover the concrete with 2-3 coats of waterproofing agent.
  • Fill the area with self-leveling mixture and smooth it flush with the floor.

Bumps and depressions in the self-leveling floor

Hollows in the self-leveling floor

Defects appear after the floor dries and reduce its attractiveness.

The cause of problem areas can be:

  1. Poor preparation of the base. If the concrete has depressions and ridges, they are more likely to show up on the surface.
  2. Preparation of a solution of bases observing the proportions of the components, especially if more water is added than the instructions require, leads to the appearance of depressions.
  3. A small amount of water provokes the formation of bumps.

It is not difficult to eliminate such defects. The protrusions are removed by grinding. The depressions are filled with a self-leveling mixture. If necessary, the entire floor is poured with a thin layer of a finishing self-leveling coating.

Foreign inclusions in the polymer mass

Poor quality floor with foreign inclusions

If foreign inclusions frozen in concrete are visible on the floor, we can conclude that they appeared for the following reasons:

  • The work was done with dirty tools.
  • The base is poorly cleaned of dirt, and when smoothing, the elements have risen to the surface.
  • The room was dusty during the solidification of the material. Small particles settled on the wet solution, resulting in roughness.

To repair the self-leveling floor with your own hands, grind it and fill it with an additional finishing layer.

Delamination and clouding of the self-leveling floor

Changing the color of the self-leveling floor

The appearance of a whitish shade does not indicate a deterioration in the strength of the structure, but it makes the floor look expressionless. Especially the epoxy or polyurethane-based surfaces lose their attractiveness.

The defect can be caused by:

  1. Contact with fats, aggressive compounds;
  2. Using too liquid solution;
  3. The components are poorly mixed;
  4. Mixing proportions incorrectly calculated.

If appearance matters to the interior of the room, fill the damaged area with a topcoat. Cement compositions are usually left unchanged.

Deterioration of the self-leveling floor

Self-leveling floor grinding

If, after a short service life, the surface begins to crumble, whiten from scratches, then this indicates premature wear.

The reasons for early damage to the flooring can be different:

  • Use of mixtures with an expired shelf life.
  • There is a large mechanical load on the site.
  • Chips and dents on the surface appear from the fall of heavy objects.

Thoroughly clean small worn areas, prime and cover with a self-leveling compound. To eliminate irregularities over a large area, fill them with mortar.

Repair of polymer self-leveling floors with similar defects is carried out as follows:

  1. Remove dirt and dust from the area.
  2. Remove the gloss from the floor using a special machine or sandpaper.
  3. Degrease the surface with xylene or petroleum solvent.
  4. Primer the floor.
  5. Fill the base with the mixture.

Bubbles and craters in the self-leveling floor

Rolling the bulk mixture with a roller

The reasons for the appearance of defects can be as follows:

  • The solution is poorly mixed. The bubbles remaining in the liquid mixture move upward during drying. After drying, they form craters on the surface or swollen bubbles inside. Therefore, stirring the solution should be carried out for a long time and only with an electric tool.
  • The floors were poured when the temperature was below +5 degrees, and the humidity was above 60%.
  • The solution layer is thinner than the manufacturer's recommendation.
  • Oil droplets got on the uncured solution.
  • Poor quality of the components of the mixture.

In order for the air to freely escape from the still uncured solution, a needle roller is repeatedly passed over it. If there are few craters, they can be "buried" with a solution. In case of a large number of formations, the floor should be re-poured.

Pouring a new polymer floor

Pouring polymer mixture

When working with self-leveling floors, it is necessary to take into account that the composition of such a mixture differs from traditional solutions, therefore, the pouring technology is also special:

  1. These surfaces dry quickly, so get the job done quickly.
  2. The pouring process (with a complete replacement of the coating) must be continuous. Polymer floors are not poured in several stages.
  3. After work, go over the surface with a needle roller to prevent air bubbles from forming.
  4. While mixing the solution, the nozzle of the power tool should rotate at a speed of no more than 300 rpm. At high speeds, a lot of air bubbles will appear in the mixture, which are difficult to remove.
  5. Repair large areas with two people: one prepares the composition, the other applies it.

In order for the coating to be of high quality, it is necessary to dry it properly:

  • In the room where the renovation is being carried out, ensure the temperature is above +15 degrees, and the humidity is less than 75%.
  • The optimum temperature for drying is 5 to 25 degrees above zero.
  • Maintain a constant temperature during priming, grouting and drying indoors. Otherwise, condensation will form on the surface. It is also important to keep the floor temperature above +4 degrees, but it is not recommended to heat it.
  • Drying should be carried out according to the manufacturer's requirements. The repaired area should not be exposed to sunlight. Eliminate drafts indoors. Make sure that liquid does not come into contact with the solution. It will disrupt the curing process, craters will form or the coating will turn white.
  • Fence off the recovered areas to avoid accidentally stepping on them.
  • In most cases, it is allowed to walk on the floor one day after applying the mixture, but if a high-quality surface is required, wait 5 days.
  • A long solidification process indicates a violation of the technology for performing work: there is poor ventilation in the room, the temperature is less than +5 degrees.

Watch a video about damage to the self-leveling floor:

[media = v = Z6UY68Afzbs] The restoration of floors requires a preliminary study of the properties of the material and the technology for creating such coatings. The recommendations given in the article will allow you to extend the life of the surface for many years.

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