When a concrete surface starts to look old and dirty, people start looking for concrete contractors to help them rejuvenate their flooring. Whether it is on the inside of the home or outside the home around the pool, concrete resurfacing could be just the thing that the property needs.
Historically, the answer to making concrete floors look like anything other than a drab, gray slab was to paint the surface with a coating that would withstand a certain amount of traffic before it began to wear off.
Then someone discovered how to impregnate the colorant into the concrete, either by using a powder in the dry cement mixture or by adding a powder or liquid to the mixer and so the art of concrete resurfacing began. It was only a short step to texturing the concrete surface to create interesting patterns.
For that reason, contractors should make sure their customers and potential customers know that resurfacing is often the better route to take rather than replacing the concrete entirely. It can give the home that new look once again in a fraction of the time that other options would take.
Quick facts about concrete resurfacing products
First, it’s important to make sure the customers know exactly what concrete resurfacing is. This is something of a facelift for the current concrete they have. Contractors will add an overlay to the concrete that’s already there. This layer will hide the concrete that is below and remove the appearance of chips, small cracks, and other light damage. It gives it a new look and feel.
Resurfacing an existing concrete substrate is not a complicated process, but it does require specialized equipment readily available from an equipment rental store. The first step is to clean the surface thoroughly so the new layer of material bonds well to the existing concrete.
Pressure wash the floor before applying
A high pressure (3,000 psi or better) power-washer is necessary to achieve the level of cleanliness required. Obviously inside such a thing is not possible. The floor has to be ground and vacuumed clean.
Build forms around the surface, pour and finish
The next step is to build forms around the perimeter or marking pouring heights to the floor. Then mix your material, either manually or preferably with a power mixer from the rental store.
The material is poured and finished, either using wood trowels for a rougher surface or steel for a smooth surface.
Resurfacing works indoors and outdoors
One of the reasons that many customers will like this option is that concrete resurfacing can happen on the concrete surfaces outside the home, such as the walkways and pool deck, as well as the floors inside the home. It is very versatile, and it makes it easy and faster to get a truly beautiful floor.
Another aspect of the versatility that contractors will want to let their customers know about is the colors and design schemes they can use. Any type of design is possible; people usually love that they are able to have a design that is truly different. It’s a very good selling point.
It’s the affordable alternative
Concrete resurfacing also happens to be cheaper in most cases, which is another thing every homeowner will enjoy. When compared to the costs of ripping up and taking out the old concrete, and then replacing it with all new material, the rejuvenation methods simply make sense from an economical standpoint.
Is this option right for everyone? Naturally, the answer is no. Those who have severely damaged concrete will need to have a full replacement. It’s important for the contractors to explain this fact to those customers, so they understand why resurfacing will not work for their property. They can still get concrete that’s unique and that has great style, but it has to be new.
Stencils can make resurfaced concrete even more unique
Stenciled concrete, the process of applying a pattern to freshly poured concrete, has evolved to the point where the surface can be made to look like nearly anything; brick, paving stones, fieldstone, cobblestone, tile, or blocks.
It may also be patterned into company logos or other personalized imprints. This process is often used to resurface existing concrete surfaces, as well as new concrete. Stenciling or patterning concrete involves a couple more steps in the resurfacing process.
After the surface to be stenciled is power-washed clean, a pattern is laid out using a stencil or fiber packaging tape in the desired width. It is important that the pattern material be adhesive and adheres to the substrate. The color of the existing concrete will be the grout-lines in the pattern.
The new concrete layer material is mixed with the desired colorants then applied using a hopper-gun and compressor. After a brief curing period, the stencil or tape is lifted leaving the pattern etched into the surface.
The concrete mix used to resurface is formulated differently than a new concrete pour. Most often, the mix is a polymerized white Portland mix with added colorant. The liquid agent is a resin-hardener that will make the Portland much harder than regular concrete.
This mixture sets up very quickly and you can walk on it in just a few hours. To slow the setting, add some water, not an additional resin-hardener that would only make it set faster.
Concrete resurfacing is great way to give new life to your old floors inside and outside. There is new possibilities with polishing and staining again and the overall look is great.
If all this is a little daunting, turn to the services of a professional. Decorative concrete is now being widely offered in nearly every marketplace, so professional assistance is just a phone call away. I have a guide here for hiring a contractor.