Finishing a concrete floor requires a number of steps to be followed, certain equipment to be used, and materials. The first step when finishing concrete is to screed it. By definition, screeding means using a straight edge tool to level wet concrete to promote a smooth surface. There are lots of tools that can be used for every step and each one results in a different outcome. This guide will teach you the basics on how to screed concrete.
What’s A Concrete Screed?
A concrete screed is a straight edge tool used for leveling and smoothing the top or surface of a freshly poured concrete. Different types of screed exist such as aluminum, wood, steel, and magnesium. On small jobs such as driveways and patios, a 2×4 screed board (often made of wood) is most commonly used because of its availability. Even though that’s the case, it doesn’t mean it produces the best results.
One better tool to screed concrete is the vibra screed or vibrating concrete screed. It basically works the same except that it vibrates. The vibration does a better job in pushing down the rocks under the surface and bringing the “cream” to the top. You don’t have to repeatedly screed every section of wet concrete. In the end, it makes the concrete finishing job easier, giving you a great surface for a professional finish.
Tips On Screeding Concrete
It is quite an easy task to screed concrete. It’s one of the reasons why people, specifically DIY warriors, can pour concrete by themselves!
Concrete forms are usually installed when working on a concrete project. It is put around outside the perimeter where you’re going to pour the concrete. The forms help in screeding concrete as it can act as a guide for leveling. Check that its been sprayed with solutions as concrete can stick on it. Now that this is installed, pour your concrete and you’re now ready to start screeding.
1. Grab your concrete screed and put it on the freshly poured concrete. If you’re going to use a 2×4, always check the edges if they’re straight. Issues from leveling will pop up if you’re not using a good one. Also, consider the length of the screed board. You’ll want something that’s easy to hold on to. But if you’re using a vibra screed, your life’s gonna be way easier.
2. Pull the concrete screed. You don’t want to put too much pressure on it and disrupt the level of the concrete. Follow the concrete forms for an easier time. Rinse and repeat until the surface is leveled and smooth.
3. When you’re done screeding a section, don’t just move on instantly. Instead, put the concrete screed unto the last part of that section and start pulling from there. This is a neat trick so you won’t accidentally put back concrete on the finished section. Do this until all the concrete has been leveled nicely.
While you’re pouring concrete, always make sure that the concrete is spread generously. It needs to have enough concrete in order to be leveled properly. You can use a concrete placer or a shovel to fill in the spots or gaps that need more concrete.
As you’re pulling the screed over the wet concrete, the aggregate gets pushed down under the surface and a slurry of cement and sand called “cream” will be brought to the top. It can take more than one try of screeding before the surface gets smooth and flat. Although, if you’re using a vibra screed, the cream will rise to the top much faster.
Concrete Screed and Equipment Rental
Remember, screeding or to screed concrete is just one step among many for a great concrete finish. A lot goes into doing a job right and getting the best concrete results. Both tools and skills are needed to make pouring concrete a smooth process. Finishing a concrete is a meticulous step by step process to ensure a professional job that’ll last for a long time.
Working on a concrete project? Classic Ready-Mix offers concrete delivery, equipment rental, and building materials that you will need to help you with your work. Rent our vibra screed for an easy time screeding concrete. Be sure to contact us! For any concrete work in Nampa, Idaho, and the Treasure Valley, trust Classic Ready-Mix.