Project Delays? Could your Choice of Screed Put you Back on Track?

November 2015
In the real world we might see this as our "ready" to screed floor area

In the real world we might see this as our “ready” to screed floor area

Project completion on time and within budget is a common goal, irrespective of the industry sector. That is mainly because when project delays occur, they often lead to disputes, budget overruns and a reputation for poor service. .

Project delays. No one wants them, but they do happen. Could a delay mean that you will have to cover a client’s accommodation costs? Will you have to manage disgruntled trades who need to adjust their schedules? How can you get a project back on track without compromising quality?

You could make up for lost time by getting more man power or by working faster. But the problem is that finding qualified, skilled workers may take a lot of time, whilst speeding up the construction process almost always has a negative effect on quality. Considering this, our specialists advise builders to focus on a different aspect: material selection. By replacing traditional cement-sand floor screed with a specialist fast-drying formulation, you can reduce project timescales by more than two-thirds.

Compared to a 75mm thick standard screed that takes about 110 days to dry optimally, a proprietary fast-drying screed dries at a much faster rate, taking between 3 and 21 days to dry completely. Enhanced with special additives and aggregates, this type of screed also allows light foot traffic to commence as early as 12 hours from the installation. Besides fast setting, hardening and drying times, fast-drying screeds do not require curing. They also have exceptional compressive and flexural strength, which is critical for a sound, solid and durable construction.

Free-flowing anhydrite screeds can also be used to reduce project timescales. In addition to a rapid application, setting, hardening and drying rate, these screeds have high compressive and flexural strength along with a low shrinkage rate, meaning that they can be installed safely in thinner layers than traditional screeds.

Since fast-drying and anhydrite screeds are proprietary products, manufacturers’ instructions and technical data sheets should be consulted and followed strictly to achieve the results expected. In addition, the screeding contractor must ensure that the water-to-cement ratio and thickness of the screed layer allow the screed to dry completely within the time frame required. Conversely, it is the responsibility of the builder to pay attention to the external factors that affect screed drying, such as temperature, relative humidity and rate of air flow.

Considering that these screeds are more expensive than standard cement-sand products, thus cost-prohibitive in certain applications, they should be used only when absolutely necessary.

At BuilderScreed, our main goal is to turn floor screeding into a pleasant experience. For this reason, we focus not only on delivering what our clients want, within budget and ahead of time, but also on working collaboratively with all those involved, including local communities. To find out more about our screeding solutions or to require a free consultation, we invite you to contact our friendly advisors.