Is your Screed Up to Scratch? Diagnosing Common Problems

As floor screeding experts, we often work with clients who have already had screed laid down in their warehouse or other industrial location, but for whatever reason the job just hasn’t been completed properly – whether it’s thanks to a lack of knowledge or a lack of care, they’ve been left with inferior flooring. We’re always happy to swoop in and fix up some superior screed, however if you’re not a flooring expert then how are you supposed to know if your screed is in crisis? We’re here to diagnose some of the most common problems:


The Symptom: Crumbling Screed

Watch out for screed that crumbles – a sign of this might be small sections of broken up screed underneath the vinyl covering, and general discolouring.

The Diagnosis: Screed isn’t Hard Enough

The Cure: Upgrade

Although sometimes screeding which is too weak can be reinforced, however the most appropriate and effective option is simply to replace any sections that are either too damaged or too weak.  A simple soundness test can be carried out to reveal the extent of any issue. This is an issue which can easily be avoided at the beginning of a job simply by ensuring that the screed is up to the job before it’s been laid.

The Symptom: Bubbling Vinyl + Damp Smell

If the vinyl on your flooring begins to show small bubbles then see if you can smell damp, or look under the top layer to see if there is any build up of moisture.

The Diagnosis: Moisture Content is Too High

The Cure: Case-Specific

There are a lot of different issues that can cause a high moisture level, so ideally you’ll want to find a solution based on your specific case – a problem such as condensation needs a wildly different remedy to flooring that was laid down before the screed had completely dried. If caught early, solutions such as better ventilation can be implemented before the floor has even been finished.



The Symptom: Screed Collapses Under Heavy Pressure

Your screed should be able to cope with constant footfall or heavy loads, so if it begins to buckle under the pressure then you’re dealing with a definite warning sign.

The Diagnosis: Screed hasn’t been Prepared Properly

The Cure: Replacement or Repair

Generally, collapsing screed will mean that the mixture wasn’t prepared correctly – it may have been badly mixed, badly compacted or badly protected, but regardless of the root cause the result is that it simply can’t handle the job. In minor cases you’ll be able to repair and strengthen your screed; in more extreme cases, it might be time to get a replacement – either way, the BRE Drop Hammer Test should help you to establish the full extent of your needs.


The Symptom: Bumps in the Screed, Otherwise Unlevel Surfaces

Perhaps one of the most obvious issues to diagnose: look out for jumps, lumps and bumps in your floor screed.

The Diagnosis: Surface was not Prepared or Assessed Effectively

The Cure: Grinding/Smoothing

Prevention is definitely the best cure for unlevel screed, as simply ensuring that the surface has been surveyed properly before starting and following any recommendations can save you from any future hassle. However if you’ve been the victim of bad floor screeding then it might already be too late, so if that’s the case then your best option is either to use an underlayment to smooth the screed, or grind down areas to bring them level.




If you don’t want the worries that come with all of the common problems listed above, then turn to PSR Industrial Flooring for screeding that gets it right first time. You can get in touch any time, online or at 01226 382864; our team of professionals will always be help you out.



All Testimonials

"Just to let you know how delighted we are with the work you completed last week on our warehouse floor, especially given the difficult circumstances the team were working in. They were all very hard working and courteous, and worked with our in-house team and over the weekend to make...

Colour Master

"Thank you for all your help and communication with bringing our flooring project to a satisfactory conclusion. The team you sent were friendly and professional and have done a very good job so please pass on our thanks to them also"


"We have been working with PSR Industrial Flooring for the last 10 years. During this time, we have worked in collaboration in repairing both our internal and external floors. PSR have understood the demands of our operation and have always been looking at new materials to speed up the repair to be...

David Hopkin, Coca Cola
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