Patching is an operation that consists of smoothing the floor with a view to flattening it perfectly and erasing imperfections before laying a covering. It eliminates all defects and can be used in new construction as well as renovation, indoors and outdoors. It is a very useful technique to avoid weakening its flooring and to limit the risk of cracks and unsightly irregularities. Discover the usefulness of this practice and our advice to achieve it.
What is patching and what is it useful for?
Patching is an operation which consists of covering the interior or exterior soil with a leveling mortar. If this technique is generally laid on a concrete slab, it is also possible to lay it on other supports such as parquet, tiles, plastic slabs or cement. However, it cannot be placed on a loose covering (carpet, laminate flooring, etc.) or on a damp floor.
The purpose of the leveling is to smooth the surface of the ground, to ensure perfect flatness, to catch up with an irregular screed and to erase any bumps, hollows, cracks or any other irregularities.
There are two types of leveling compounds:
- Liquid leveling : this self-leveling compound is applied on floors with defects and irregularities of less than 10 mm.
- Mortar-based patching : this self-leveling compound is applied to coverings with defects greater than 10 mm. It is then a screed of leveling and not a simple correction.
It is easy to know if an exterior or interior floor needs a leveling. It is enough to pass a mason’s rule there. As soon as you notice differences in level of at least 5 mm, we recommend that you carry out a leveling. This will allow you to lay your floor covering in the best possible conditions and avoid cracks or defects during installation or after. If the level differences are greater, it is even preferable to lay a concrete screed rather than a leveling screed.
How to make a leveling?
To carry out your leveling, you will have to follow three steps.
Step 1: prepare your soil
You will not be able to make a success of your leveling without properly preparing your support. It is imperative to put your leveling compound on a ground which supports it, which is solid and which does not risk collapsing.
Clean the floor properly. Remove any dust, any waste or any paint or varnish residue that may be there. It is imperative that the surface is clean, healthy and perfectly dry for optimal results and good grip of the leveling compound.
Once this step is completed, you can move on to the next one.
Step 2: apply the bonding primer
We recommend that you start by applying a primer, except on a dry and healthy cement floor since it will be of no use. The bonding primer will strengthen the adhesion of your leveling compound, facilitate its installation and make your support less porous.
Purchase a patching primer from a hardware store and prepare the solution as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply your primer to the support using a brush or roller. Leave to dry for 2 to 4 hours.
When this step is done, you can proceed to the installation of your leveling compound.
Step 3: apply your leveling compound
Prepare yourself well beforehand so that you can leave your room without stepping on the leveling compound. Indeed, you will not be able to set foot there, so avoid starting with the exit to avoid getting stuck.
Prepare your leveling product. This can be liquid or based on mortar. Mix it in a suitable bucket and gently pour the solution onto the floor. Spread it out immediately with a smoothing machine using large, flat sweeping movements. Start with the space furthest from the exit door and finish in front of it so that you do not have to put your feet there.
Let your patch dry for at least 24 hours, or even longer according to the instructions in the manufacturer’s instructions. You can then lay your new flooring.