Concrete is an extremely strong and durable material. That’s why it is ideal for the following spaces in indoor floors, garages, driveways, patios, pool decks and among many others.
But no matter how durable concrete is, foot traffic and harsh elements can wear it out over time. Fortunately these days, concrete floors that are not in top shape can be restored.
What is Concrete Resurfacing?
Concrete surfaces can be damaged and have discolourations in the long run. Traditionally, to repair damaged areas, worn out concrete must be removed and replaced. But recently we have seen that it’s easier and more cost-effective to restore concrete surfaces.
Concrete resurfacing renews mildly worn out or slightly damaged concrete surfaces, without needing to remove or replace the existing concrete. The old concrete structure is used as the base for the resurfacing material.
Concrete Resurfacing VS Traditional Method
Compared to the traditional method, concrete resurfacing is:
– cost efficient
– less tiring
– time consuming
This is because there is no need to replace the broken concrete. The concrete resurfacing material is made of special bonding agents and a thin cement-based overlay that are combined together to form a mixture.
This mixture is then poured on top of the existing concrete to form smooth and renewed surfaces. It would take around 24-72 hours for this concrete resurfacing material to dry up and ready for you to step or drive on. When it dries, your concrete floor becomes more durable and stronger.
How To Concrete Resurfacing
Any handy homeowner can do concrete resurfacing provided they have all the necessary equipment. It takes cleaning, repairing and overlaying a new concrete material.
Step 1: Clean the entire aging surface.
This is crucial. Take out any debris and loose concrete completely. You can use a power washer to make sure will help you remove all the remaining fragments.
Most manufacturers of concrete refurbishing material recommend cleaning with a 3,500 psi washer. To remove tree or paint sap and oil stains, use a sealer.
Note that when using cleaning agents or chemicals, you must thoroughly wash the surface to remove the chemicals.
This is necessary because any residue can interfere with how the concrete resurfacing material adheres to the old concrete surface. Also, make sure that the adjoining house walls and the surroundings of the treated area are covered to protect against over spraying.
Step 2: Repair the concrete.
Fill cracks, holes and dents properly to have a smooth canvas for the new concrete material. Reinforce cracks with fabric and then cover them with a polymer concrete. Be sure to smooth it out evenly with the surrounding concrete. On the other hand, fill holes with epoxy mortar. After this, you can apply the first coating.
Step 3: Mix the concrete resurfacing material one bag at a time.
A 40-pound bag usually needs 3½ quarts of water. If you are mixing in warm temperature, use cold water, while use warm water in cool temperatures. For best results, mix the substances using a ½ inch drill and paddle mixer.
Here’s how you create a mixture. In a clean plastic bucket, pour the water and mix in the 40-pound bag resurfacer. Mix for several minutes until it becomes smooth and has a pourable consistency. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes and then mix again. Add a little more resurfacer or water if needed. Doing this creates a pourable mixture.
Step 4: Overlaying.
Once your concrete surface is cleaned, repaired, and moistened, it is now ready for overlaying. But before laying out resurfacing material you must spray the surface with the hose. This is done to prevent the concrete won’t draw the moisture out of the resurfacing material.
Be sure to remove all the water off the concrete surface. Then, pour a little amount of the mixture on the surface. Spread the resurfacing material evenly to create an even and smooth finish. Try using a trowel when finishing the surface.
For professional-looking edges, use a concrete edger. But do this within the first 15-20 minutes after application.
Note that the resurfacing material often creates a smooth finish which is not very advisable for sidewalks, indoor flooring, driveways and patios. However, you can scuff the surface using a long-handled broom and make full strokes across the concrete surface. Be sure to do this within 5 minutes after application when the mixture is still wet.
Step 5: Leave it for 2-3 days
Let it cure by leaving the area untouched for about 48-72 hours. When the surface dries completely, you will have a stronger and more beautiful, brand new floor.
Depending on your taste, there are surface enhancers or decorative concrete resurfacing treatments you can use. You can even choose the appropriate seal coat to protect your new concrete surface.
In addition, there are also non-slip coatings that can prevent injuries and unwanted accidents, which are necessary considering concrete surfaces can become slippery when they get wet.
With decorative concrete resurfacing, you will have countless options for texture, colour, and patterns as well as a plethora of many different choices for resurfacing, patching and sealing systems.
It also includes acrylic concrete sealer for outdoor floors and clear epoxy sealing for indoors. You can also have matte or high gloss finish and non-slip grits when you choose to have decorative concrete resurfacing.
When should you do Concrete Resurfacing?
Concrete resurfacing is actually not designed to repair all concrete damages. This only works best with minor or slight floor damages.
Keep in mind that most concrete resurfacing materials are suitable only to a deep of 3/8 inch to ½ inch. Ergo, this is not suitable for concrete surfaces that are not structurally sound — chunks of concrete have lifted or sunk or broken and there is evidence of heaving. For this, you will need the area be replaced.
In addition, serious problems such as large, deep cracks running through the slab and disintegration of the concrete surface into powdery substances cannot be corrected with just the concrete resurfacing method.
Ultimately, concrete resurfacing is more economical and can be done more quicker to do perform than replacing the concrete with new material. Plus, you have the option to put decorative concrete, to add character to your dull floor.
But to be sure that resurfacing is suitable to repair your concrete, consult with a concrete repair professional.