If your driveway is getting a little worn, your sidewalks are starting to get grooves or your patio simply needs a little sprucing, there’s no need to break out the excavator and build all new concrete surfaces when you can simply resurface the concrete quickly and easily. The beautiful thing about concrete is that it’s not a solid piece of material that needs to be completely removed and replaced when it’s been worn by age, weather, or the daily grind of constant use. You don’t even have to wait until wear and tear has broken down or cracked your concrete to perform the overhaul; if you’re just plain tired of the drab appearance of the concrete surrounding your pool, for instance, you can resurface the area with a new colorful or otherwise decorative concrete. Rather, you can easily resurface concrete with a few easy steps, and have your sidewalks, driveway or patio looking brand new again.
Resurfacing concrete slabs, is an easy process but it does involve several steps, not the least of which being determining how much concrete you’ll need to resurface and how much concrete you’ll need to complete that task. Next, you’ll need to determine what you want to do as far as the resurfacing; will you go with the original slate color, or adventure out with a colored or stamped design. The possibilities are virtually limitless by resurfacing your concrete or adding a concrete overlay. You can create nearly any design, from forming the appearance of a stone pathway or faux circle inlays. If you can think of it, you can probably think of a way to do it.
Resurfacing Concrete Slabs
First of all, as with any home project, personal protective equipment should always be worn. Protective gear for your eyes and waterproof gloves are the minimum of safety measures to be undertaken. Furthermore, you’ll need to check the weather forecast reports for the day you intend to complete this project; you’ll need temperatures to remain over 50 degrees for a minimum of 8 hours, although longer would definitely be ideal; temps must remain above freezing for the entire 24 hours after you’ve resurfaced your concrete to ensure properly set and secure concrete.
Before applying the resurfacing concrete, the first thing you must do is thoroughly clean the concrete you’ll be resurfacing. Using a super high pressure washer, such as 3500 psi, is necessary to ensure the concrete is free of dirt, grease, debris or any other inhibiting materials. Fill in cracks or seriously concave spots on the concrete. After cleaning and filling, thoroughly soak the concrete you’ll be resurfacing; you’ll want it saturated, but ensure that there is no standing water remaining by sweeping it off the surface, or mopping it up if necessary. Tape off any edges you don’t want the new concrete to sit or slide onto. Like sanding and priming surfaces to be painted, these steps are taken to ensure that the resurfacing concrete adheres thoroughly to the concrete below.
You’ll want to immediately start mixing the resurfacing concrete, because the sooner it’s laid down, the less chance of debris ending up on the concrete slab you’re resurfacing, and the less chance the priming saturation will evaporate. Once the resurfacing material has been mixed, according to the directions, pour it out onto the concrete in foot-wide sections; scrub and level the resurfacing concrete out onto the slab and spread it as evenly as you can make it. After a short period of time, like five minutes or so, apply a non-slip finish to the resurfaced concrete. If temperatures remain below 90 degrees for the next few days, it will dry properly on its own. However, in temps above 90, you’ll want to maintain a fine mist of water, known as a moist cure, on the concrete for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Resurface Concrete Steps
The process for to resurface concrete steps is similar to that of a concrete slab: cleaning, pressure washing, taping off, and application. You’ll want to add a second coat of concrete, with a slightly wetter, slurry like consistency, in order to provide a smoother, more finished look to the steps. Work concrete into any pores or pits the aged concrete has accrued, then add a skim coat over the entire resurfaced area of the concrete steps. For edges, you’ll need a nose tool or nodder, and a cove tool to mold the sections where the steps meet one another, for a finish that is smooth and neat looking rather than unkempt or shoddy.
Resurface Stamped Concrete
When you want to create a whole new atmosphere for a certain area, be it your driveway to stand out from the neighbors, your patio to finish off a theme, or any other area in which the ground is concrete, it’s a simple thing to do while you’re resurfacing these places. Like staining, finishing or texturizing concrete, this is a process that should be done quickly, before the concrete has a chance to dry completely. Steps similar to resurfacing slabs or steps are undertaken, but it’s important to remember that because stamping must be done within a certain amount of time, you should work in smaller sections of concrete, and therefore adjust your steps accordingly.
Quikrete Concrete Resurfacer
Quikrete concrete resurfacer is available at most home improvement stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot as well as online at Amazon.com. A blend of sand, polymer modifiers and Portland cement as well as other materials, Quikrete is a popular concrete resurfacer specifically designed to withstand a high volume of foot traffic and moderate vehicle traffic, and make repairs to concrete. It can be used for:
- Pool decks/surrounds
- Virtually anywhere that needs a layer of concrete resurfacing
It’s so much easier on your wallet, your time and your energy to simply resurface concrete rather than remove and replace it. Whether the areas you need repaired are cracked or grooved from every day wear and age, as long as they’re in sound condition, you can resurface concrete to look fresh and new. And with the many different ways to add character to concrete, you can take advantage of your resurfacing project to create a visually aesthetic complement to any area, be it your pool deck, your driveway or your patio.