How to Do Concrete Floor Casting Using a Vacuum De-Watering System

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The vacuum casting process being applied to a section of a highway.
The vacuum casting process being applied to a section of a highway. (Image: http://www.balvac.com/images/bnia-xlarge.jpg)

Casting a concrete floor is not a small job, but it is a relatively easy job to perform. The relatively new technique of vacuum sealing concrete floors has brought the industry eons ahead of where it used to be. Vacuum sealing concrete consists of laying down concrete like normal and then using a vacuum to pull a large percentage of the water out of the concrete. This decreases drying time, increases strength and decreases porosity. The system itself is fairly straightforward as well as user friendly. All one needs to do is rent a vacuum sealing system from either a local cement contractor or a hardware outlet. The system consists of a large mat that is laid over the cement with an industrial vacuum pump attached. The pump sucks up the water and deposits it in a storage tank.

Things You'll Need

  • 2x4 lumber
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Concrete
  • Vacuum sealing system
  • Finishing machine

Build the forms for your floor by building a square form the size of your desired cement pad and then digging a trench 1 foot deep by 2 feet wide along the inside of the form. This will provide a footer for your pad and ensure greater overall strength. Pour the cement into the form and make sure all four corners are level. Use a 2x4 to drag across the top of the forms to smooth out the floor and get rid of any excess cement.

Spread the vacuum pad across the top of the cement pad. You may have to do the floor a section at a time depending on the size of the vacuum pad. Hook up the hoses according to the manufacturer's instructions and turn the vacuum on. The equipment will come with instructions on how long to run the vacuum. Turn the vacuum off and remove the pad from the floor.

Start the automatic floor finisher and begin in one corner. Work your way back and forth with the finisher, polishing the floor as you go. Make at least two thorough passes of the floor with the finisher and then allow the floor to dry for about a week. Use a buffing machine to buff your floor to a shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • While the process of vacuum sealing concrete isn't overly complicated, running some of the equipment could be. Make sure to take a thorough training class or get professionals to assist on the job site if you are unsure.
  • Make sure to allow plenty of time for drying. You wouldn't want to ruin the brand new finish on your floor just because you were a bit too impatient.

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