As one of the most durable surfaces currently available, concrete can still be worn out throughout the years. It is not always necessary, however, for having to replace the entire installation of concrete, since this can be both time-consuming and expensive.
Resurfacing your concrete floor is a great way to save some time and money. Concrete, despite its overall durability, does develop cracks and other abnormalities over time. Such aging can certainly make a floor look less attractive.
The traditional wisdom on the matter would dictate that the floor be replaced. However, there is in fact another option that not everyone is aware of. Provided that the floor is still structurally sound, resurfacing is a more convenient and inexpensive alternative to wholesale replacement.
Because of that, many homeowners instead decide to do a resurfacing of their existing concrete walkways and driveway for less than half the cost of a total replacement.
If you want to rejuvenate the surface of your concrete but still stay within your budget, here are some guidelines to check if this choice will work for you.
When should you resurface concrete
Concrete resurfacing products are used for two primary reasons. They may be used to help repair and cover up blemishes in an old concrete slab or they may be used for aesthetic reasons.
The main advantage of using a resurfacing product is that you do not have to go through the expense of removing old concrete and replacing it with new concrete.
Concrete resurfacing products can also be used to mask concrete repairs that should be done or that are done. If an old concrete slab has been allowed to deteriorate and develop big cracks, there are products that can be used to patch and repair the damage.
The problem when filling large holes or cracks with new concrete is that the old concrete does not match the color of the new concrete. This is easily fixed with a new resurface.
Not only will you save money, but you will also save time. New techniques allow a wide array of designs to be incorporated into different resurfacing products. They dry fast and foot or vehicle traffic can resume in a very short time after the job has been completed.
Cities frequently use this technique for sprucing up highways and streets. The cost of a project that involves resurfacing is less compared to an entire replacement. There are many different alternatives these days in resurfacing which lets you give your old, aged concrete a facelift.
While one solution would be to get a jackhammer and tear up the entire concrete slab and start all over again, for many fiscally challenged local governments, the cost does not fit in the budget.
Repairs are far more economical and honestly should be done with landfills filling with concrete. Adding some color and maybe some texture with one of the many concrete resurfacing products on the market makes it possible for the project to fit within a limited budget.
When you should not resurface concrete
Resurfacing is sometimes not a good option. If extreme weight has damaged your concrete or if the soil underneath has shifted, resurfacing is not the answer. You will just be wasting your money and will need to pay for further repairs eventually. Replacement is necessary when:
- Concrete has sunk due to extreme weight or surface soil shifting
- Soil erosion or shifting soil, which has caused large cracks through the entire concrete layer, has occurred.
- Freezing conditions have resulted in an uneven surface that in turn has caused ground swelling and concrete surface changes.
If this is the type of damage that has occurred in your concrete, replacing it is your only option. On the other hand, if your concrete’s damage is merely cosmetic, resurfacing can be the answer you have been looking for.
Not only is it cost-efficient, but it is also aesthetically ideal. Professional concrete contractors will do evaluations for your circumstance and make recommendations accordingly.
What should I do before I resurface?
Any surface concrete needs cleaning before resurfacing, preferably with a pressure washer. Small holes and cracks need to be appropriately filled with an epoxy filler. Once the surface is repaired and dry, it can be treated.
While some homeowners attempt to do concrete resurfacing on their own, hiring professional contractors of concrete ensures that the endeavor is correctly done. It also gives more choices for options in decoration to customize the project to the unique style of the homeowner.
When considering resurfacing, call a concrete resurfacing contractor. You can get much-needed advice and whether resurfacing is the choice for you. Some contractors will advise you and let you know whether you can do a resurfacing or if you need to do a total overhaul.
You can also get color choices and resurfacing styles that will give your driveway and patio a new look. Having a professional to consult will give you the concrete resurfacing you absolutely had in mind.
What kind of resurfacing do I want
There are many applications that concrete resurfacing products are used for to enhance the functionality, design, and aesthetic appeal of plain concrete. Decorative stamping techniques can be used to change the look of an already-existing concrete slab.
Since they are applied in thin layers, usually a quarter-inch or less, they have a very short drying time. Products can be rolled on and given a broom finish or they can be sprayed on and given a sleek, smooth finish. Gritty flakes (no, not cereal) can be sprinkled into the wet product for added traction.
You’ll also give yourself yet another opportunity to design your floor. With the wide range of products available for beautiful concrete floors, why not have some fun? Floor staining and concrete scoring are just two of the ways to make your floor look special.
By putting a new layer of material over the existing concrete, you can make your floor look as good as ever. At the same time, you’ll be undertaking a much less invasive process than floor replacement. When it’s just the surface looks that are a problem, why take out the whole floor?
A small town or city that is trying to revitalize its downtown area might want to section off a 10 block area for redevelopment. Part of that project might include unifying the area by placing a colored brick pattern on the sidewalks in the designated area.
Using a thin layer of stamping mix, a brick-red dye, and some rubber stencil pads, an experienced crew can quickly reproduce the desired natural brick look at a fraction of the cost of breaking up concrete and adding actual bricks.
The city saves money and achieves its goal while the citizens get a more attractive downtown.
As long as the concrete slab or surface has a good foundation and is in good condition, it can be resurfaced. Even if the concrete is damaged, it can be repaired and then resurfaced. Of course, if the entire floor or other concrete structure is crumbling, it probably makes more sense to break up the concrete, haul it away and replace it with newly poured concrete.
Concrete resurfacing products are versatile, fast drying and can be applied by a number of different methods. They can be used indoors or outdoors, designed to resemble bricks or any other geometric shape. They can incorporate a free-form artistic design.
Cement technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. Today concrete resurfacing products turn boring, old white concrete into works of art.