Is your old concrete slab breathing its last breaths and you’re thinking what to do with it? Or maybe you would like to have a new decorative finish, but sadly the old slab can’t be used?
Here is one option you can try if you don’t want to do a new slab and get rid of your old concrete. A concrete overlay can help your slab to look like it was just poured after you decorate it properly.
If you’re thinking about decorations that are possible here, think about concrete stamping and other that kind of surfaces that maybe were not available back in the day you poured your old slab. Now you have a new chance.
The only thing that might worry you is the cost. How much is all of this going to cost me? Let’s start with the concrete overlay.
Concrete overlay preparation
Exterior concrete overlays are an alternative to tearing out an existing slab which can be expensive, dirty, and disruptive. With a concrete overlay, the owner can turn a worn-out even cracked surface a complete facelift.
Depending on the size and condition of the existing substrate the surface can look brand new with added curb appeal. Surface prep for the exterior concrete overlay is the most crucial part of a project.
Typically every project will get thoroughly clean with a 3000 PSI powerwasher and acid etched and neutralized with industrial ammonia. All the cracks should be repaired and other faults as well before doing the overlay.
Concrete polymer overlays are designed for decoration
Adding textures and colors to exterior slabs for marriage with landscaping and home or business. The exterior concrete overlay is the perfect product for driveways, sidewalks, patios, and pool decks.
Using techniques with trowels and other hand tools the renovator can replicate flagstone, brick, stone tile, and slate. The possibilities with the color palette are endless with concrete stains that are UV protected so it will never lose its color value.
Not all exterior projects are suitable for a concrete overlay. The concrete polymer overlay product needs a sound surface for good bonding purposes.
Cracks are addressed by opening up and filled with a product that expands during hot weather and shrinks with the substrate during cold temperatures. After staining the concrete overlay two coats of a penetrating sealer are applied that is impervious to salt and extra protection from UV rays.
Concrete driveway overlay
Improving the appearance of a driveway can definitely add more value to a home with an overlay. Concrete driveway overlays offer a wide range of options from textures, stamping, and colors.
Decorative options for driveways are 1/8″ up to 1/2″, concrete engraving, saw-cut patterns, and random saw-cut patterns. A border can also be installed with a contrasting solid color or a brick pattern adds a whole new element.
Concrete patio overlay
Patio overlays are gaining popularity for the new age of patio transformation. A Concrete patio is a great place to entertain guests and an overlay can make it more appealing.
A concrete patio overlay can be overlayed with a smooth finish, stamped, skip troweled and trowel down. Many patterns can be installed on a patio with flagstone, brick, or slate. Concrete patio overlays are a great way to enhance a backyard space.
Concrete overlay cost
Depending on the level of quality and state of an exterior concrete slab, an overlay can cost anywhere from $5 to $8 a square foot. In some cases especially with a stamped overlay can cost $9 to $20 or more a square foot depending on complexity.
Prep work has a lot to do with pricing because of the time and labor to get a concrete surface ready to accept a concrete overlay.
There are many factors for the pricing of a concrete overlay. The pattern, engraving, taping patterns, stencilling and intricate detail for coloring.
When pricing out the concrete overlay cost doesn’t just look at the square footage price. Even some flooring options material cost is less than a concrete overlay but may cost more in the long run.
When comparing the price with a concrete overlay product for a lifetime, the price is often comparable with maintenance cost of other options.
UV protection products will help to prolong the life of the overlay
It’s good to use a contractor that uses UV-protected concrete stains and sealer that is also UV protected, penetrating sealer that is impervious to salt. Salt and water can cause cracks prematurely at freezing conditions as the moisture freezes in cracks multiple times.
Salt is also no good to rebar in the concrete so it’s good to protect against it and moisture in every climate. The sealer will also look good on the surface so it’s a win.
Maintenance is required with this application every 3 years with powerwash and reseals to get the most out of an overlay for protection. If your contractor does a good job you might want to make a deal about maintenance every 3 years with them.
Another way is to learn how to do it yourself. It’s not very complicated and some guides on this site cover it as well. This acid staining guide has a part for sealing as well, it’s no different from that really.
Now if you’re not you need to concider how much the overlay will cost and how much the decoration will cost. With the first question you can have some kind of estimate with this article.
With the second question, it will depend on where you live. It can be from $7 to $10 or double that if the decoration is high skill one. As always, the more details you want, the more it will cost.
If you’re able guy or girl, I’d say get familiar with the process and try doing it yourself. You will save a lot of money, but you will have to work for it.
Before doing anything big, you can do small practice pour to see if you can handle it. If it seems easy, move on to planning a bigger pour.