Many modern screeds boast being able to take foot traffic very quickly after just a few days or even hours. However, this is not the time that the screed will be completely dry and ready for a floor finish to be laid. For the majority of quick dry screeds, natural drying time can take up to 60 days (depending on depth of screed and environment). ForceDry can help.
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ForceDry has a number of solutions to decrease the time you will need to wait for the screed to dry.
Force Dry Programme
If your project has underfloor heating and you are using an anhydrite calcium sulphate screed you have the opportunity to force dry your screed and save a huge amount of time compared to natural drying. A 50mm screed can be force dried in as little as 21 days using our specialist equipment.
Manufacturers recommend force drying not only because it reduces drying times, but it also commissions and conditions screed which thermally prepares the screed ready for the floor finish. This reduces the risk of cracking, warping and de-bonding of the floor finishes.
ForceDry offer specialist equipment so you can force dry your screed even if your central heating system is not live.
Condition and Commission Dry Screed
If your project has underfloor heating, you need to thermally prepare your floors before you lay your floor finish. This process is called commissioning and conditioning. This programme will use your underfloor heating to gradually heat up the screed each day until it reaches a target temperature. This temperature is then held for a number of days, the process is then reversed until it returns to the start temperature again.
This process allows the screed to heat up and expand and contract in a safe and controlled manner, reducing the risk of thermal shocking. This reduces the risk of cracking, curling and de-bonding of the floor finishes.
ForceDry offer specialist equipment so you can commission and condition your screed ready for your final floor finish.
Every floor finish type has a minimum moisture tolerance, so you need to be sure your screed is dry enough before the lay the floor. If screed is not dry enough it can cause floor finishes to de-bond, lift and warp. Underfloor heating increases this risk even more. When underfloor heating is switched on it forces trapped moisture to come up through the screed and the floor finish. This can cause lifting, warping and cracking of the screed and the flooring.
No matter what the screed type or age you should be sure your product is at the right RH level before you lay your floor finish.
Keeping a Constant Temperature
All screed brands and products have one thing in common, they must experience the right environment to be able to dry naturally. Most need a consistent temperature of 20°c, 65% relative humidity, 24 hours per day. Other wet trades also need these kinds of conditions in order to dry or acclimatise sensitive materials.
The UK does not experience these conditions which is why projects often fall behind waiting for their screed and other wet materials to dry.
Construction projects also need protection from freezing and damp conditions throughout the colder, wetter months.
Force Dry Programme