If concrete is worn, one way to fix it is through resurfacing it. Concrete that has had too much water put into its concrete mix when it was first made can cause spalling or the formation of pits on hardened concrete, thusly weakening it and causing cracks to from on the surface. Regardless of what happened, you can reinforce weak concrete with the act of concrete resurfacing.
According to conventional or commonsensical thinking, you should replace old concrete that has surface imperfections, discoloration, or cracks on the surface as well as suspected cracks deep within, especially if improving the concrete look is your goal.
The Steps Needed to Go about Resurfacing Concrete
You can upgrade the look of damaged concrete with the help of complete resurfacing of concrete with a polymer-modified overlay. Even concrete that’s in good condition but requires a cosmetic improvement can get it from concrete resurfacing. What’s more, there’s a wide variety of pattern and color options to choose from. At any rate, pay attention because here’s how you can go about restoration of existing concrete, which includes decorative options, application techniques, and procedures.
- Improve Appearance: You can improve the appearance of concrete with resurfacing by staining, stenciling, or engraving it with the help of the process. A concrete resurfacer is enough to deal with a walkway that isn’t cracked all the way through. Just coat the slab with the substance that’s a no-shrink blend of polymer additives, sand, and Portland cement. It’s something that fills in the cracks and divots while ensuring a perfect finish every time. The color of the filler is dark gray, so in order to make sure that the color stays uniform all throughout, just buy enough of it to cover the entire walkway. A 40-pound bag is enough to coat 35 square feet.
- Resurfacing Preparation: If you wish to have a better matching color, just add concrete tint to make it blend better with its surrounding concrete, whether they’re a lighter or darker shade of gray. However, prior to doing any resurfacing work, you should strip off any sealers or paint on the concrete surface. What’s more, concrete resurfacing should be done during the right weather or else you’ll end up with wet concrete polymer resurfacer that’s waterlogged due to rain. Like with normal concrete application, you should do it when the sun is up, with no rain, and at the right temperatures.
- Temperatures and Length of Time: Make sure that the weather is so that for eight hours, the temperature remains above 50 degrees Fahrenheit after you’ve poured in the resurfacer agent. It should also be above freezing temperatures for the whole day, so it’s best that you do your resurfacing work during spring or summer instead of risking ruining your concrete resurfacing endeavors during rainy or snowy seasons. Resurfacing your concrete takes a whole day at most, whether you do it yourself or with the help of some sort of construction worker you’ve hired to make sure you have the most even resurfacing result possible.
- Washing the Concrete Surface: You should blast off the surface dirt with a gas-powered pressure washer before anything else. Make sure you’re wearing protective glasses and heavy boots as you do this. The PSI for the washer should be around 3,500 just to make sure the surface you’re going to resurface is completely and immaculately clean (or else the resurfacer won’t stick). Hold up your 25-degree fan tip from 6-8 inches from the surface as you clean out everything. Algae and mildew removal requires a concrete wash. Afterwards, mix concrete resurfacer in accordance to its bag’s instructions to the letter.
- Sectioning and Controlling Joints: From there, you should section off the area at 144 square feet or 13.4 square meters. It’s important to maintain expansion joints and control joints. Avoid having concrete resurfacer from spilling into the joints by using duct tape or weather stripping on them. The surface should also be saturated with water, but don’t forget to remove the standing water or pools and puddles afterwards. Pour the resurfacer then spread it with a long-handled squeegee. Your tool can also assist in scrubbing the material into the surface that requires resurfacing. Fill in the divots while the concrete is damp with the resurfacing polymer agent as well.
- Resurfacing Mix: For every seven parts of resurfacer, combine one part of water in a 5-gallon bucket. A corded drill is usually enough to blend the mix as efficiently as a concrete mixer would. The recesses of your damaged or cosmetically problematic concrete should be filled evenly with the resurfacer mix. Aside from a squeegee, you can smoothen out the whole thing with a finish towel. It takes about 2-5 hours for you to stand on your dried resurfacing patch without indenting it, but it’s not fully dried yet because that takes at least 8 hours.
- Finishing Touches: To make sure that you have a professional and slip-resistant concrete finish with your resurfacer patch, follow within five minutes with a broom. Do full strokes across the work area’s full distance without taking any breaks. This will form a great pattern on the new fixative layer of resurfacing agent that would look absolutely amazing once it dries out. Within 20 minutes of pouring, you can even make use of a concrete edging tool for additional smoothening out if you wish. Don’t forget to put in weather stripping or duct tape around the walkway joints.
With that said, there are many options available that allow you to improve the imperfect concrete without necessarily replacing it. They can even give a colored, damaged concrete surface a new lease on life by transforming it into something that’s decorative and solid, whether it’s a drab patio, floor, sidewalk, or driveway. That’s what concrete resurfacing entails. It’s much cheaper to boot, since you’re conserving resources and you’re only using enough additional concrete to fix the damage instead of altogether replacing a whole block of damaged concrete. You’ll also eliminate disposal problems or the issue of where to get rid of concrete debris you’ve wrecked apart so that you can replace it with fresh concrete.