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What is Concrete Resurfacing?

S. Frost
S. Frost

Concrete resurfacing can give driveways, sidewalks, patios, and other outdoor surfaces a new finish without a complete replacement. The process saves money over pouring all new concrete. This option allows homeowners to repair cracked or sunken areas in existing structures. Stamping and decorative concrete finishes are also a possibility to customize finished surfaces.

The usual repair or update process for a concrete slab involves breaking up and hauling away the old material. New concrete is then poured for the new surface. A patio or driveway created by this process is very expensive and labor-intensive, especially if it is large. In contrast to this, the resurfacing process uses the existing concrete structure as the base.

Resurfacing can be used to repair concrete.
Resurfacing can be used to repair concrete.

The concrete resurfacing material goes directly on top of the existing concrete area. This base should be clean with no loose concrete or other debris, as this interferes with how the resurfacing material adheres. A repair material first covers all cracks, indentations, and other blemishes on the existing driveway or patio. Then the refinishing material goes over the entire surface and is finished with any desired decorative elements.

A man smoothing out a concrete floor.
A man smoothing out a concrete floor.

Concrete resurfacing works best on areas with minor damage. This technique cannot fix structural problems. Major cracks or problems underneath the ground will eventually resurface if concrete resurfacing is used. In those situations, a complete removal and pouring of new concrete usually results in a better finished product.

The materials needed for concrete resurfacing is typically available at home improvement stores. Different products work best in different applications. For instance, a thin surfacing product usually works best in a small project, while a project that needs a thicker resurfacing layer generally needs a more substantial material. Package directions provide more accurate information about the ideal application of specific products.

This process can also be completed by a professional contractor, and a project done by someone like this may result in a more polished look. Larger projects might also benefit from professional installation, along with the addition of decorative concrete applications. A homeowner who does not feel comfortable with concrete work might also prefer a professional for the job.

Traditional concrete is gray and plain, but the resurfacing process allows for decorative concrete treatments for a more one-of-a-kind patio or driveway. Borders are one way to add a decorative touch. The material can be stamped to resemble different surface, such as tiles or stones. Coloring in the concrete is also an option to change the look of the newly resurfaced area. A professional concrete resurfacing company might offer even more options, including the chance to personalize the design.

Outdoor applications are typically associated with concrete, but indoor use is growing in popularity. Many homeowners may be surprised to learn that concrete resurfacing is an option inside a house. The decorative stamping, coloring, and other custom touches can allow for unique indoor surfaces, customized to fit the style of homes with a distinct look.

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    • Resurfacing can be used to repair concrete.
      Resurfacing can be used to repair concrete.
    • A man smoothing out a concrete floor.
      By: Lilyana Vynogradova
      A man smoothing out a concrete floor.