Q.: What are the precautions to take when using a laser screed on slabs with radiant heating tubing in them?

A.: Most radiant tubing these days is fairly flexible and robust. It will spring back from being compressed, but you should be careful to protect it against abrasion. The main concern is protecting the tubing from the laser screed’s stabilizers. You also should be careful to turn the tires only when the screed is in motion, but other than that the tires themselves should not damage the tubing. It sounds easy to do, before the pour, but during the pour the crew laying the concrete down needs to be careful not to exceed 17 to 18 feet of pour strips. If you exceed that, it becomes very challenging to locate the tubing when it is covered with concrete.

One safety precaution is to make sure the tubing for the radiant heat is installed in zones. Each individual zone can be pressure tested for leaks both before and after the pour. If problems do show up after the concrete is in place, at least you will be able to isolate the area in need of repair.