Self leveling compound sounds like it would do an entire job for you, making just about everyone assume that it is easy to use. What often happens is that people start to tackle projects that they aren’t ready for. These tips will help you to get out of a self-destructive job.
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*Note that not all the materials may be used for your particular job.
Step 1 – Assess the Problem
You need to figure out what kind of issue you’re dealing with. If the compound is too soft for you to make a fingernail marks in it, you’ll need to remove it and start over. A non-level surface will make it difficult to work with. You may be able sand the floor if it is not level. Worse, it can be removed and re-started.
Step 2 – Prepare Yourself and the Floor
When you sand or remove the self leveling compound, you’ll find a lot of fine dust flying around. Protect yourself against inhalation by wearing a face mask, gloves, or goggles. Spray some water on the floor to make the dust heavier and less likely to float in air.
Step 3 – Remove the Bad Compound
If you are looking to just get rid of some not-so-level parts of the compound, try lightly chiseling them to be almost level with the ground. Use an orbital sander, or another similar tool to remove the compound. You can also make a small valley in the old compound, which you can then fill with new compound.
If you need to remove all the compound, you can break it up with a hammer. Then, use a paint scraper to pick up the remaining material. If you need to use more powerful tools, please respond accordingly. You should get rid of as much compound as possible.
To prevent dust, make sure to spray everything with water from time-to-time. To keep dust out of your body, wear safety goggles and a mask while you sand.
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Step 4 – Mix the New Compound
Follow the instructions on the self leveling compound very strictly. Mixing the compound incorrectly is what causes most people to have problems. The end result should look like thin milk. You will need to move quickly once you have this.
Step 5 – Use the Compound
Again, follow the instructions for your mixture to fill in either the valleys you made in the old compound or the spot where the compound was. Allow the product to dry completely for at least one day. Next, check to see if there is another job that went wrong or if your problem has been solved.
Step 6 – Your Last Option
If the job just seems like too much to actually do yourself, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. Understanding your limitations is often the most important part of a job.