How To Use a Concrete Screed

A screed is a custom- made board, which is flat and even, used for smoothening out concrete once it has already been set on an area. It is also used to help when leveling out plaster. Two or more people are required to work with the screed when leveling off a concrete surface. Once the concrete is poured and has been spread over the entire area, the screed can begin to do its job. Here are steps to follow when using a screed.

  • Choosing the screed board to use. The screed board you will need to use should be one that is longer by a few feet than the pour’s width. More often than not, dimensional lumber measuring 2X4 or 4X6 are used to make screed boards but be sure you get your measurement right.
  • Using the screed board. Get two people to stand at both end of the screed board. Make them hold the board in such a manner that the board’s narrow edge is set on top of the wet concrete and all the other forms around it. Give the ends of the boards a bit of allowance on each side extending beyond the forms. Now begin to slide one end of the screed to the opposite end. Both of the people on each side of the board will begin to work in a sawing movement with the board going to and fro from one end to the other to be able to smoothen and level the wet concrete. While the screed is in motion wet concrete must be scattered onto areas that are lower. Whenever a low area is detected, the space must be filled before allowing the screed to pass over it again. Go through the process again along the whole area to allow smaller particles of gravel to settle deeper into the concrete surface. At the same time air bubbles are able to escape upwards through the surface. This will keep the concrete surface much sturdier.
  • Using a power screed vibrator. The power screed vibrator is a device you can use to make things much easier for the screed workers. Set it at the center of the screed board and switch on the power. What it does is shake the entire board with its powerful vibrator and eliminates the need to do sawing movements and simply pull on the screed board.

When screeding, it is always important to remember your safety by wearing the appropriate protective gear while doing the job. Safety goggles will keep your eyes safe from accidental splatters or any form of debris. It is also important that your skin is well-protected as well as concrete can be harmful to the skin. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants, with a good pair of rubber boots will help cover your skin and protect it from the concrete. You might also want to consider wearing a cap so your hair stays safe as well. Remember to that screeding must be done while the concrete is still wet, and therefore pliable. Once it has hardened screeding the concrete surface will only damage it and ruin its smooth finish.


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