It’s not uncommon to see a young home with cracks and worn spots in the driveway and sidewalk. Even though new concrete is much more durable than the older kinds, stains are a problem for concrete, especially if the slab was not properly sealed. Breaking up the slab and pouring a new one used to be the only option, but now there are several ways to restore old or damaged concrete. Whether you’re looking to touch up the driveway, or turn your indoor slab into beautiful flooring, restoration is a great option.
If you’re simply looking to give your existing driveway, patio, or sidewalk slab a face lift, resurfacing is the simplest option. First, any cracks need to be filled with a concrete dressing and smoothed over with a putty knife. Next, the joints in the concrete need to be masked off so they don’t become closed over by the new concrete. Once your resurfacing concrete is mixed, a thin layer can be applied to the top of the old slab and smoothed over by a second pair of hands as you go. Texturing needs to be applied while the new concrete is wet. Once the slab is dry, pull up the masking and the project is complete.
Concrete can also be restored by covering the slab with an overlay. This is similar to resurfacing, but a wider variety of concrete types can be used for this process. Overlays can come in different colors and textures to match your current decor and style. They can also be poured a little thicker to allow for stamping and other decorative methods. Overlays are a good option for more decorative outdoor spaces and for some indoor spaces as well. Overlays are generally used to cover damaged concrete in pools and on decks.
Generally thought of as the most upscale option for finishing concrete, acid staining can be applied to bring new life to an older slab. When acid stains are applied to existing concrete slabs, they cause a chemical reaction that changes the color of the concrete. The result is a natural looking mottle of color that closely resembles natural stone in earthy tones. Acid staining can be applied to a concrete slab of any age as long as the surface is still level. A coating of sealant applied over the top of the acid staining provides a smooth, durable surface and preserves the color.
Epoxy coating is an industrial strength paint that can be applied to concrete to protect and upgrade the surface. Epoxy coating can be used in any area of your home or property, but is most popular for garage floors or for casual spaces like a playroom or patio. Epoxy coating comes in any color, just like paint does. The concrete should be properly cleaned before application to prevent flaking later on.
Whichever option you choose, resurfacing is a great and relatively simple way to fix up the problem areas of your concrete.