What Is Concrete Resurfacing & What Do Professionals Recommend?
If you’ve been researching “what is concrete resurfacing,” chances are you are considering upgrading or restoring your concrete driveway, garage floor, deck, or patio. By the end of this article, you’ll know why you don’t have to choose a long and expensive replacement process, and instead choose resurfacing.
What Is Concrete Resurfacing?
Traditional concrete resurfacing involves pouring and spreading an additional layer of concrete over your existing surface. This blend of different products uses your existing concrete slab as a base, so you don’t need to break apart your old slab, pour new concrete, and wait for anything to dry. A concrete resurfacer will bind to your old concrete, and change its appearance.
Traditional Concrete Resurfacing Process
Here’s a quick rundown of a typical concrete resurfacing process.
- Repairing – Concrete resurfacers are cosmetic finishes that coat your surface with a durable protective covering. They are not repair products. If your concrete has serious cracks, potholes, or other types of damage, you’ll need to repair those issues first. If your concrete is damaged beyond reasonable repair, you’ll probably need to replace the slab.
- Mix – The concrete resurfacer compound will need to be mixed with water until it’s the right consistency. If you’re doing this project yourself, make sure you read the mixing instructions and the optimal temperatures you should be working with. This is also the point where you can add concrete coloring agents into the mix for design choices.
- Apply – Concrete resurfacers need to be applied to damp surfaces. Otherwise, the concrete will draw moisture out from the resurfacer as it cures, ruining the process. The standard application process involves pouring the resurfacer over your concrete in small amounts. This allows for an easier and more controlled application. Most resurfacers require second coats, so always read the instructions to make sure you wait the proper amount of time between layers.
- Scuff – If you don’t add any texture to the concrete resurfacer, you’ll be left with a smooth surface once it cures. If that’s your intended desire, you don’t need to do anything else. But, a smooth surface can be slippery when wet. This is why most experts will add texture to the surface before it cures to provide some traction.
- Cure – Freshly resurfaced concrete needs at least eight hours of cure time before you can walk over it again (two days for driving). Concrete resurfacers also need to be slightly damp while they cure, requiring misting once a day.
Note: While this method seems effective, many professionals with years of experience determined the traditional concrete resurfacing method does not work for every region.
Why Concrete Resurfacing Doesn’t Work With Harsh Winters
Concrete coating and epoxy flooring professionals do not recommend the traditional concrete resurfacing process in areas with harsh winter temperatures. Professionals call traditional concrete resurfacing “skim coating” because of its ineffectiveness. Colder temperatures will cause the top layer of the resurfaced concrete to expand and contract, causing it to crack, flake, and peel. If you want to resurface your concrete surface permanently, you need to apply a coating that bonds to your slab.
What Do Professionals Recommend?
Here’s the process professionals actually recommend when it comes to “resurfacing” your concrete.
- Address issues – Before anything is added to your concrete, any existing surface damage needs to be addressed. For cracks, experts recommend using a sandable epoxy, polyurethane, or polyurea repair product. For spalling or pitting, we recommend using an epoxy or polymer-modified cement patching mix.
- Grinding – Experts will use a diamond grinder to remove old coatings from your surface and expose the pores inside the concrete, allowing the urethane-based membrane system to penetrate and bond to the slab.
- Application – Once any imperfections in your concrete have been corrected, it’s time to apply the urethane-based membrane system. This coating will protect your concrete surface from UV rays, stains, fading, deterioration, and more. Urethane-based membrane systems are designed with a cure time that’s slow enough for easy application but fast enough to rapidly allow foot or vehicle traffic.
This process is similar to deck coating, but it’s much stronger. Read more: Waterproof Deck Coatings: Why They’re Useful.
Who Can Help With Concrete Resurfacing Near You
If you live in the Greater Salt Lake City area and need concrete resurfacing, call Complete Concrete Coatings. Our team of experts has resurfaced thousands of concrete surfaces using the best products available. Call today for your free inspection and estimate.