Hand out the brollies to your screed

February 2014

It was one of the wettest winters on record and it looks like we may not have seen the last of it. While we brace ourselves to battle the elements and get on with our work, let’s not forget to arm our screeds with their brollies and rain jackets.

Rain splashing on to freshly laid screed can not only leave unsightly depressions on the surface, but also severely weaken the screed and affect its quality. Though at times the damage might not be visible immediately, it can do lasting damage to the strength and durability of the screed.
And the best way to keep the screed protected from the rains? Cover the surface with water repellant material such as plastic sheets or curing blankets.
But remember to keep the sheeting from coming in direct contact with the surface of the screed. This is because condensed water can pool in areas where the sheeting touches the screed, and there would be areas where the sheet lies suspended over the screed due to air-pockets, leading to differential curing. And the end result – mottling and blotches on the surface and uneven drying.
So, our expert tip is to construct a wooden framework or tenting around the screeded area and drape the plastic over the frame. Make sure the plastic does not come in direct contact with the screed.
When the rain stops, remove the plastic and examine to see if any water has washed in despite the precautions.  Gently brush away any pools of water on the screed using a broom, and allow all residual water to evaporate completely from the surface before resuming further work.