Things like patios, floors, sidewalks, walkways, and driveways. But as strong and durable as concrete is, it doesn’t last forever. Eventually, the surface will have some damage typically caused by weather, the freeze/thaw cycle, vibration, impacts, weight, or sun damage. When that happens should you replace the entire slab or reface it? And does concrete resurfacing last?
Concrete is a fantastic construction material used all around the world for centuries. It’s versatile, easy to work with, relatively cheap, and fairly easy to come by. Simply mix aggregate stone, sand, cement, and water to make very strong concrete. Learn more as we go through this article and know some tips on how to take good care of your resurfaced concrete at home.
What Is Concrete Resurfacing?
Instead of demolishing an old concrete slab, you can refinish it instead. The top layer of concrete is removed, minor cracks are repaired, and a new surface is poured. The material used to create this new layer is called a resurfacer. Although a resurfacer looks like normal concrete, it’s not.
A resurfacing compound has a special bonding agent inside its mix that allows it to bond with old concrete. If you were to pour new concrete on top of old without a bonding agent the two layers wouldn’t stick together. This results in two thin layers sitting on top of one another instead of a single slab of thick concrete. Eventually one or both of these thin slabs will crack.
How Long Does Resurfacing Last?
Thanks to its durability, concrete resurfacing can last a long time. Considering it’s been properly installed, well cared for and the existing concrete base is strong. A properly resurfaced floor can last from 10-20+ years.
Longevity is one of the reasons proper installation and repair of the existing concrete are so important. If you pour a resurfacing coat on damaged concrete, then it won’t last long. Don’t get resurfacing confused with repairs. Resurfacing a concrete slab doesn’t fix underlying issues. It covers them up. The slab may look brand new when complete but underneath it can have serious structural issues if you didn’t fix them. Make sure you properly install the resurface layer and maintain it.
Tips To Make Concrete Resurfacing Last
Here are a few important tips to follow when resurfacing your concrete slab. Especially if you want the resurfaced layer to last.
- Make sure you repair damage to the existing concrete before pouring the resurfacer. If you don’t, the resurface coat probably won’t last long.
- Always clean the existing slab prior to pouring the resurfacer. This is very important. A resurfacing compound has special ingredients that make it bond to the existing concrete. If the slab is covered in dirt or dust then it won’t bond properly. The result will be a thin new layer sitting on top of old concrete rather than one thick new slab.
- There are a lot of gimmicks out there that you should avoid. It doesn’t matter that it’s a resurface coat. Finish the new coat in the same way you would new concrete.
Concrete resurfacing is a very popular way to refinish concrete. It’s done in much the same way as refinishing a hardwood floor. A top thin layer of concrete is removed and a new layer is poured on top. This new layer is specially made to adhere to the old concrete. It’s extremely durable while being relatively thin and can last 10-20+ years if properly installed by a Pro and cared for. So yes it can last.