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Snav 01-03-2012 05:28 PM

Worst case scenario: leveler drying time
So I know it's not the *best* leveler - but it's the only locally available leveler (Level Quik - RS) so that's what I used.

I had several bags - I mixed and poured each bag individually - I didn't have pour or mixxing issues. It didn't start to set before I began feathering it out. This is where people seem to have problems - and I had none. So it went down just fine.

One bag, however - isn't drying - it's maybe 10% dry. Everything else is set at this point and ready to even walk on but this one bag worth of leveler is still quite liquid though it has thickened and dried in a few spots.

So - worst case scenario: how long will I expect to have this one area still wet? At what point do I stop waiting, scrape it up and pour out a new bag?

I'm wiling to give it 24 hours before I start digging in with a scraper and shovel and pour out a new bag in it's place. . . too long? Not long enough?

Is it even usable if it takes a long time to set or is the integrity of it compromised? Should I just go ahead and scrape it up without waiting?

JazMan 01-03-2012 06:58 PM

I'd need to know more to give the best answer, such as; Are all bags from the same batch. Were they all stored off the floor in a conditioned space. When were they manufactured, dates and code numbers are on the bag.

You also didn't mention if the bags were used in different areas or was it one pour. You probably would have mentioned it if the bag in question was used in an area away from the others.


Snav 01-03-2012 07:28 PM

Hmm - same batch: maybe. . . I'll have to compare numbers on the product to be certain but they were bought at the same time off the same pallet from the hardware store - they were packed tight together (like: they weren't just tossed on top from an older pallet, etc).

I will check the numbers, though, to make sure before I give an absolute answer to that.

They were all applied in the same area (kitchen floor) - consecutively. I mixed bag one - poured and spread . . . then mixed bag two - poured and spread (so on. . . . ) This was bag three . . . . I went on to mix bag 4 and 5 after this.. . . all in the same manor: adding the powder to water while water was being agitated with a spiral cement paddle.

I worked as quickly as possible so all application was done within an hour and a half.

Bag three is the only spread that has this issue - all others were fine, are dry and quite solid (no signs of any issues like cracking, eflorescence, etc)

Since earlier is has continued to slowly thicken and a few areas have lost their tackiness - and I realized at about 6:00 PM (7 hours after final pour of bag 5) that the room is colder now than it was before - I'm wondering if the temperature drop in there is part of the issue. . . it's probably in hte mid-60's in the room right now. . . but if that's the issue then it makes little sense seeing as how all other bags have hardened.

JazMan 01-03-2012 08:34 PM

Cold temps will slow down drying time, but that doesn't have much to do with bag #3. If the room is in the low '60's, the floor might be 50 degrees.

Did you apply the primer before the pours? Is there anything peculiar in those certain spots only? You didn't say what the substrate is made of and what covering was on the floor originally. Any contamination?

In the end you should most likely remove that stuff and redo it. There is obviously something wrong. You still need to figure out what though.


Snav 01-03-2012 08:41 PM

The substrate is plywood that I primed early in the AM with the latex primer that goes along with the Level Quik. There was no problem with the spread so I think it's ok.

Since it seems localized to this bag I think I'll set my focus on scraping it up tomorrow - if by that time it happens to fully set I'll do some pressure tests to determine just how solid it is: My guess is that with an obvious problem with this one bag what might happen is the surface might look dried, solid and light grey like the rest of the cured leveler - but the underside (though it's a thin application) will be soft, still, and slightly pliable and just not ideal for walking on.

I'll find out tomorrow if my suspicion is correct - if I begin to scrap it up and it seems to have cured solidly without cracks or other issues then I'll leave it.

Bud Cline 01-03-2012 10:34 PM

You keep mentioning "cracks". Well be prepared because some surface cracks are normal.

Typically that particular product is set hard at about four hours. I use that brand all of the time. Had a similar situation a few years ago and in addition to not setting properly the pour had bubbles just under the surface and some pinholes that did make it to the top. It had a general overall appearance of oatmeal.

I discussed the problem with Custom's Rep and he immediately recognized it as a bad batch but didn't say what made it bad. It was well within date also. Turns out it was a mystery (ah-hem) and they replaced the product for me immediately.

Snav 01-04-2012 07:05 AM

Yep: I'll call them up and fish for a refund/replacement, then - I woke up this morning to find it was, also, looking sort of oat-mealy . . .the surface is rippled and still not dry. . . up it comes!

Thanks for the replies - much appreciated.

Bud Cline 01-04-2012 10:53 AM

If you call the California office of the Tech Reps (# on the bag) for Custom see if you can talk to an Antonio or Tony. Seems like that's the name of the guy that is very knowledgeable in all of Custom's products.

Snav 01-04-2012 01:34 PM

Sure - will do . . . I scraped up the bad batch, poured a new one - it's setting, looks fine so I'm back on track.

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