Most people believe that there is no solution to old cracked or discolored concrete but to remove and replace it if you want to improve the appearance of your concrete surface. However, there are several options to makeover an old dull concrete driveway, walkway, patio or any other concrete surface without having to tear out aging concrete and install a new one.
Some Different Options For Resurfacing Your Concrete
Is the Surface Suitable for Resurfacing?Before anything else, though, you need to determine whether the concrete can actually be resurfaced. There are no complex steps here. All you need to do is inspect the concrete surface to make sure it is in sound condition. If there are widespread, large, or deep cracks, heaving or damage from freeze/thaw conditions or if the soil has begun to settle, then it would not be feasible to resurface the concrete. If you are not sure what to do, ask a concrete professional to check out the concrete.
Here are some of the different decorative concrete resurfacing options:
- Overlays - This option has several types to produce a wide range of patterns. Among the choices include stampable overlays that mimic the appearance of brick or natural stone; microtoppings that can produce either a troweled smooth or textured finish; self leveling overlays which are the thickest and results in a smooth even surface; and spray down overlays that give a textured, highly-durable and skid-resistant surface ideal for pool decks and sidewalks.
- Staining - In this option, you're not just adding a solid color to a concrete surface. Because stains seep into the concrete, it produces rich semitransparent color effects and can even mimic the look of stained wood or polished marble. Because the properties of different concrete surfaces vary, the effect of staining is also different every time and it is this uniqueness that makes it appealing.
- Decorative Stencils - Stenciled concrete patterns can be created on an existing concrete by placing the stencil over the concrete surface and then applying a thin decorative coating onto it. The stencil exposes some parts of the concrete to the coating and blocks other parts to create the desired pattern. There are several ways to apply stencils including trowelling down, spray down and using adhesive stencils.
- Saw cutting - This method can create various patterns onto a concrete surface from grids and geometric shapes to more intricate designs like images. The concrete is saw cut after it has hardened. The pattern can be later stained to create a contrast with the adjacent concrete. Different color stains can also be applied on a pattern.
- Engraving or etching - Special tools are used to etch designs into concrete. This is a permanent surface treatment unlike overlays because the surface is carved with the pattern. It can be followed by staining for even more striking results.
As you can see, the options for concrete resurfacing are many, creating a lot of possibilities for upgrading the look of aging concrete.