Help!--can I pour gypcrete over gypcrete?

haven2745October 20, 2012

Hi, we are finishing our basement and putting marmoleum and wool carpet over the floor. The original floor had a significant slope toward an old floor drain, so our contractor suggested hiring a floor leveling company to pour gypcrete over the cement and level the floor. I googled gypcrete and found that a lot of people have had lot of problems with gypcrete over the years, so I was hesitant. My contractor said that gypcrete has improved within the last few years and that the only thing with gypcrete is that it can't get wet. I trust my contractor, so we gave him the go ahead.

Well, I don't know what the floor workers were smoking that day, but all they did was pour a new gypcrete floor; it still sloped dramatically, it wasn't level at all. I complained to the contractor who contacted the floor company, who promised to redo it. I asked the owner of the company if pouring gypcrete over gypcrete was a problem. "Not at all," he assured me. What do I know? So, again we gave him the go ahead.

I asked the contractor to meet the floor workers on the day of the new pour and be very explicit re what was to happen. In the morning, he texted me that he talked to the workers and everything was proceeding nicely. Well, when I came home from work that evening, I went downstairs to check the floor. All the workers did was pour a couple of patches of gypcrete over a couple of areas of the floor. This was not the smooth level floor we were promised. Even worse was that one of the new patches had dried and was cracked and coming off in large pieces. So, once again I complained to the contractor who called the owner of the company; he is out of town and will be back on Monday. I'm sure that he will promise to clean off the cracked gypcrete and redo everything to make it right.

My question is, what are the long-term consequences of pouring gypcrete over gypcrete? What other options do we have? I imagine the best option would be to have the whole thing ripped out and have a brand new cement floor poured; but that would be thousands, especially now that the gypcrete would have to be ripped out, as well. I want as much information as possible so I can be prepared to talk with the floor company owner. Any info or suggestions you have would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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I can't help you much, as we only used cementious self leveling underlayments. Perhaps someone who works with gypcrete will come in with some good advice for you. In the meantime, research gypcrete and look at installation requirements and guidelines.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The elephant in the room is what type of waterproofing was done so that you don't need the old floor drain. Did you install a perimeter drain tile with sump pump? Excavate the exterior to do the drain tile, apply asphalt membrane to the walls and then backfill with gravel? Just leveling a basement floor with gypcrete (or anything else) doesn't make it into a habitable space.

If you didn't address the water issue that all basements have, then all of your efforts and plans are for nothing.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 3:55PM
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