Are you looking to renovate your flooring but have a few concerns about what lies beneath? If you have worries about your flooring being uneven, a floor leveller is a great solution for this. Having a concrete floor professionally laid is achievable when the right equipment is used. That said, having concrete laid over a particularly large or wide area can be tricky, so it’s especially important that you take due care and attention to prepare your flooring properly. The specific machine we recommend using is a ‘scabbler’ or ‘planer’ machine.
How does concrete flooring become uneven?
Before we get started, it’s useful to understand why floors become uneven. Quite often, it can be due to moisture or cracks developing in the flooring. If you are planning to replace your flooring or you need to have it changed to coincide with a refurbishment, the chances are you are going to have to level the concrete flooring. As previously mentioned, this is especially important if your floor has become uneven over time.
Which tasks require a scabbler or planer?
Scabbler machines (sometimes known as planer machines) are highly versatile. Here are a few of the most common jobs that they are used for:
- Surface texturing
- Descaling and removal of road markings
- Preparing flooring for applications such as concrete and grout without harming the substrate
- Lowering concrete levels of over 6mm
- Getting rid of extremely thick coatings
- Exposing aggregates
- Remove adhesives, coatings, markings, laitance or surface contamination
- Rectifying slabs that may have been overpoured.
What is the purpose of using a floor leveller?
‘Scabbler’ is by far the more common term for the tool used to level flooring but its other name is a ‘planer’ machine. Scabblers wear away at the surface layers of hard materials like concrete, stone and asphalt. There are many reasons why it is desirable or necessary to remove thin layers of cured concrete using this technique.
For example, it might be necessary to resurface a walkway or stairs to make them non-slip. Or, if you need to apply a sealant, it might be necessary to roughen the concrete surface to expose the aggregate material underneath. Scabblers may also be used to level out uneven concrete slabs or create inclined planes. Another common use for scabblers is to get rid of road markings, roughen surfaces for a better sense of grip or even to create decorative effects.
Scabblers are also routinely used to adjust the level of poured concrete and ideal for the preparation of a concrete surface where a rough textured key is required, typically suitable for the application of a screed or repair mortar. Doing so is going to improve the adhesion of the new material to the concrete substrate.
If a pour was not level, you can just apply the scabbler to the concrete that needs to be leveled. You are also able to use a scabbler to add a grade to a level pour. Often a slight grading is desirable for concrete slab patios or any concrete closeby to houses to drain rainwater away from the house.
These machines are incredibly versatile and as you can see, this is evident in the range of jobs they can be used for.
Why do we recommend using this type of machinery?
Scabbling used to solely refer to the use of hammers or axes in stonemasonry. Nowadays, it commonly refers to the process of getting rid of a layer from a surface of concrete as well as being used to amend the level of poured concrete. All you need to do is apply the scabbler to the concrete that needs to be levelled away. You can also use a scabbler to add a grade to a level pour (grades of concrete are determined by the strength of the concrete).
A slight change of grading may be required on concrete slab patios and more extreme grading may be used for wheelchair accessible ramps. We particularly recommend using a scabbler if you are looking to reduce the floor height slightly.
The scabbling process is carried out using walk behind or ride on equipment. This process is going to allow you to remove concrete or other kinds of floor system by using steel picts on a rotating drum, mounted with a series of flails created to strike the hard surface in a quick and continuous motion.
The steel picts are going to break down the substrate in turn, leaving a textured surface. This type of equipment can often be set to prepare the surface or remove floor systems at various depths, ranging from as little as 1mm all the way up to 20mm.
How do I prepare my flooring for the scabbling process?
There are lots of sizes and types of scabblers and planers but they are all built around the same simple theory. As previously mentioned, they work by pounding tipped cutters onto a concrete surface. The reason is to break down and get rid of the material. You can use this machinery on either clean or contaminated flooring, however, the floor must be free of any dirt or oily layers as this could negatively affect the bonding process.
Correct preparation is crucial for achieving a high-quality finish for your flooring. As a first step, you need to prepare the room you will be working in. Begin preparing your floor by removing any furniture in the room as well as any appliances. You need to make sure that everything has been removed from the space so that the room is totally clear and the job can be carried out thoroughly. Once this has been done, all you need to do is give the floor a good sweep and a vacuum to make sure that it is clear of any remaining dust or debris. Although this is a minor step, attention to detail is absolutely crucial for this task.
As you can see, the advantages of using a machine to level concrete flooring are plentiful and as long as you ensure you’ve taken the time to properly prepare your surfaces, the process should run smoothly. So, if you want to improve the structural integrity of your floor and get rid of any unevenness, Concept Flooring Technology is here to help.
Concept Flooring Technology – Commercial Flooring Equipment For Hire Including High-Quality Scabblers and Planers
Hiring the right flooring equipment is something that should not be taken lightly and having the right equipment is crucial for getting the job done well. With that in mind, Concept Flooring Technology is here to help. We take all manners of surface preparation very seriously and are proud to support our customers every step of the way. We’re always on hand for each part of the process to ensure you are getting the best possible result.
Concept Flooring Technology are experts in flooring machine hire. We offer on-site consultancy and advice, together with demonstration and equipment set-up service for all methods including floor planing and scabbling, floor stripping, alongside diamond grinding and polishing. We can also offer guidance on the removal of existing coatings, latex and adhesives, and procedures for re-levelling of concrete floors and remedial works, including dust proofing and surface hardening. If you have any queries relating to a current or future project, need advice about machinery or tooling, or would like to organise an on-site demo, please feel free to contact us today. We’d be delighted to help with any enquiries you may have.