Bubbles/Craters in Cement Based Leveling Compound/SBR mix

Ok - I'm doing something wrong but what? This is really frustrating and beginning to tick me off.
I recently damp proofed an "old" section of the garage that worked out really well - see....
www.gillandroy.com/diy/StoreroomFinished
However the floor was a bit of a problem. All worked out well in the end but only after some backbreaking hours.
I used a Cement Based Leveling Compound/SBR mixture. Evidently the SBR makes the mixture waterproof, more workable, flexible and stronger. The problem I had was bubbles in the mixture when laid. These popped and left craters in the finished surface. I'm not talking about the odd one here and there... It was literally covered! see...
www.gillandroy.com/diy/craters
This was put down to over entheusiastic mixing with one of these...
www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?idR400&ts505
I spent hours down on my knees filling each hole by hand.
So when I came to next section I decided to mix by hand. Small shovel in a builders tug...
Guess what - exacly the same - bubbles and craters. More hours kneeling/filling... Hmmm...
More discussion with the vendor of the stuff..
Ok - do the mixing then let it settle in the tug for a while... also buy a spiked roller from a builders merchant and use that--- then you'll be ok...
Well none of the builders merchants had a clue about a spiked roller... But I managed to buy one from here...
www.industrial-flooring.co.uk
See picture here...
www.gillandroy.com/diy/spiker
I have just done one further bag on the next section... mixture left to settle, then pour, spread with trowel. As bubbles start to appear splat them with the roller... Great - but hang on.. they re-appear... In fact the roller seem to have just about zero effect...
Is there an expert out there that can tell me what I'm doing wrong!!!!!! Please!!!
Roy
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You're pulling our leg? thats a good shot of the moons surface. ;-) http://www.gillandroy.com/diy/craters
-- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
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Yes - I thought that myself....:-) but...
Honest it's the floor... not only that but it's not the worst part either.... Some parts are more craters than non-craters !!!
Help!! Roy
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GzB wrote:

Have you thought for one moment it might be the product is a load of erm! dog muck? considering they ask you to buy a needle roller if this occurs.
I've laid a floor in similair stuff and havn't had experienced craters or bubbles in the mix. -- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
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wrote:

You paid HOW MUCH????!!!!
I use a bit of old bent coathanger in a cordless drill.
sponix
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sponix wrote:

Oh! do be realistic.
I paid 2.99 for my mixing paddle from the local diy shop not shed, I thought he was going to ask a silly price like 8 or more.
-- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
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The3rd Earl Of Derby wrote:

But this is no ordinary mixing paddle, this is a hand crafted, toledo steel, designer label mixing paddle. I bet Andy Hall has one.............
:-)
Dave
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On Wed, 28 Dec 2005 00:43:12 GMT, "david lang"

Good heavens no. Mine's stainless.....
--

.andy


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Ok, ok - that was just the first picture I could find as an example of what I used......
Of course I would never spend that much on a tool that could so obviously be fashion from a coat hanger... :-)
The question is... why the bubbles and what am I doing wrong... ?
Roy
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RzB wrote:

I've given you my argument, what are you mixing it in? and did you degrease the floor before laying or it might be the fact the tempreture ie very cold floor? -- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
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Mixing in a builders trug... large plastic "bucket" like this , but yellow...
http://tinyurl.com/arbf4
Hmm - No didn't degrease the floor. There was no grease on the floor to degrease.. So I and vendor of "stuff" decided that was not necessary.
Now interesting that you bring up temperature.... Yes it was quite cold today in the garage...about 6degC... However, the stuff I did earlier was at a much higher temp - probably about 15+deg C... so not sure that temp is a contributing factor...
Thanks for your thoughts... Roy
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RzB wrote:

You used too much Fairy Liquid.
Steer clear of fairies next time. (Personally I'd bury them good and deep.)
If you had allowed the air to vent by standing it for a shrt while you would have been better off. But I think if you had worked the floor as you laid it, concentrating on something like 18" wide strips perhaps?
How stiff was your mix?
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Of course, of course.. :-)

Yes - did that... left it to stand for 10+mins

Yes - that's how it was done.. a 25kg bag mixed at a time. Then a strip poured and worked into place with a trowel.. then another pour and working with trowel.
Within 10secs of the mixture laying on the surface untouched, bubbles start popping up and forming craters. Further trowling - goes nice and flat then another 10secs and bubbles/craters.

Have tried all sorts from stiffish to runny. All pourable.
Roy
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wrote:

Could it be air being released from pores in the concrete?
Often garage floors are not poured with the most TLC or the best concrete....
I wonder whether some dilute PVA put on first would help....
--

.andy


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Andy,
That's a good thought, but on the first section I did make a mistake. I did indeed put down a dilute PVA solution. My mistake was that I let it dry hard. This is evidently a no no because it stops a good bond forming between the concrete and the levelling compound.
This should not be a problem in the first section as it is going to be a store room, with little traffic.
But that would have most certainly have stopped any bubbles coming up from pores in the concrete. But I still got bubbles...
Thanks, Roy
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wrote:

Hmm.... It is starting to look like a product issue.
Is this stuff normally intended for going on as a surface on which to tile etc? If so, presumably small craters wouldn't matter.
Maybe it's time to call it a day and consider something else.
I think that I may have mentioned that I used epoxy floor paint for mine. I was mainly interested in a surface that was easy to clean and wouldn't need to redone for a very long time. It has stood up pretty well to machines (e.g. the one-tonne Felder) being rolled across it.
I used the two stage product from Decorating Direct
http://www.decoratingdirect.co.uk/viewprod/t/TOREPXFP /
preceded by their sealer
http://www.decoratingdirect.co.uk/viewprod/t/TOREPXFPS /
This is something of a performance because of the minimum (16) and maximum (48) hours recoating period. I had to plan out the whole thing quite carefully, because I already had things in the workshop that I couldn't rehome and obviously I couldn't leave them outside at night, but I could fit everything into one half. This meant knocking up some temporary dollies to move stuff easily and doing one half at a time. Basically, what I did was:
Side 1 - sealer wait 24hrs, move stuff across Side 2 - sealer wait 24hrs. move stuff across
repeat for first top coat then on the final day, take everything out, very early in the morning, and do second top coat all over. Wait until very late and move everything back in. Worked a treat.
--

.andy


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Andy
Yes - the Epoxy paint will go on after the Floor Leveling compound...
The storeroom
www.gillandroy.com/diy/StoreroomFinished
has leveling compound then two coats of epoxy paint..
Roy
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On Tue, 27 Dec 2005 18:30:43 -0000, RzB wrote:

Try damping the floor well before laying the levelling compound. When I put some down on a rather porous concrete floor, if the concrete wasn't damp almost to the point of standing water, the water from the mix soaked into the concrete, to be replaced by air bubbles from below.
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John,
Yes, yes - floor was well damped prior to pouring compound...
Roy
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Hmm - but it's an interesting thought of how the bubbles might be forming...
Hmmm - mind buzzing on this one...
I didn't actually have "standing" water... but it was well soaked...
I wonder if it would be worth trying with a bit more damping... Hmmm...
Might give this a try...
Thanks, Roy
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