Concrete has a tendency to deteriorate over time. There are a variety of factors responsible for this, including changing weather conditions (hot and humid summers and cold and dry winters, which cause the concrete to expand and contract) and everyday wear and tear from traffic. When concrete becomes chipped and cracked, resurfacing it is a much more convenient and more affordable alternative to getting it replaced.
If you want your concrete resurfaced or replaced, reach out to us for concrete construction service in Phoenix. Our masonry service providers in Phoenix are highly skilled at concrete resurfacing and other masonry services, including paver installation service in Phoenix and cinder block fence repair in Phoenix.
Here’s how you can resurface old concrete to make it look as good as new.
Why you should resurface concrete
Resurfacing concrete is an effective method of restoring the appearance and finish of existing concrete without getting it replaced. You can smooth over cracks and dents in the surface of the concrete and restore it to its former glory.
Concrete is broken down over time due to several reasons, such as erosion due to rain, hail, and wind. Concrete spalling, for example, occurs when concrete is broken down into smaller flakes, called concrete spalls, due to freeze-thaw cycles that occur in colder climates. Concrete becomes even more prone to spalling when salt and other substances are poured onto concrete to de-ice driveways and roads during the winter season.
Replacing concrete also costs much more than resurfacing concrete. Resurfacing also saves time and causes less disruption; you won’t have to wait for weeks for your concrete to be replaced. You can also resurface your concrete yourself, provided that you have adequate skills as a handyman.
A high-quality resurfacer applied by a professional can make the concrete last for many more years. Concrete restored with resurfacer can also be opened to traffic in one to two days’ time. By resurfacing concrete, you’ll also save money on future repairs because the resurfacer will prevent cracks and dents in the concrete.
If you require professional concrete resurfacing, you can reach out to our masonry service providers in Phoenix.
A guide to resurfacing concrete
Start by surveying the concrete you intend to resurface. It should be structurally intact, and any cracks in the concrete should ideally be no more than 1/4th of an inch deep or wide. If the surface requires repairs before resurfacing, see to those first.
Here are the steps you need to follow when resurfacing concrete.
1. Prep the surface
Preparing the surface is the most important step before starting the resurfacing process. Clean the concrete to remove oil, grease, and other substances with a cleaning agent such as bleach.
Next, use a pressure washer that can reach a pressure of at least 3,500 psi to deep clean the concrete. This will also loosen any weakened concrete and debris, and open up cavities in the concrete so you can see where they are. The ‘pores’ in the concrete help the resurfacer adhere better to the surface of the concrete.
If there is visible growth of mold or algae on your concrete, use a concrete washer.
After washing your concrete, mix the resurfacer with water to fill the holes in the concrete. This step is called patching. Patching can be done with a concrete patching product prior to spreading the resurfacer over the concrete.
If you require the help of a professional, you can reach out to our masonry service providers in Phoenix. We provide concrete construction services in Phoenix as well as other masonry services, including artificial turf installation in Phoenix and quick block masonry repair in Phoenix.
For minor cracks, you can also apply a thinner layer of resurfacer to smooth out the surface of the concrete. Combine water with resurfacer in a 1:7 ratio and mix well with a paddle mixer. The mixture should be a smooth consistency that can be poured. A 40-pound bag of resurfacer will typically require about 5 pints of water.
After filling in the crevices, smooth the surface with a finishing trowel. Wait for two to five hours or until you can stand on the resurfaced concrete without making indents in it to start the next step.
2. Spread the concrete resurfacer
Once the first layer of resurfacer has dried and solidified, spread the resurfacer over the entire patch of concrete. Dampen the concrete with water if needed because resurfacer requires moisture to spread well. If applied to dry concrete, the concrete will soak up all the moisture from the resurfacer as it cures.
Resurfacer is only spreadable for about 20 minutes, so mix smaller quantities that you can work with without the resurfacer drying and your product going to waste. A sensible approach is to mix half a bag of the resurfacer with about a gallon of water. This will give you enough mixture to cover roughly 17 square feet of concrete.
Pour the resurfacer on the concrete and spread it evenly with a finishing trowel. Make sure to cover the edges and spread it out in a layer that’s between 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch thick. Laying the resurfacer on too thick will make the concrete more susceptible to cracking. It will also be likely to result in an uneven surface.
If you require professional resurfacing or concrete repair service in Phoenix, reach out to our masonry service providers in Phoenix.
While it is not possible to control external elements like the weather during concrete resurfacing, there are certain measures you can take to ensure that the resurfacing coat applies well.
Avoid resurfacing the concrete in direct sunlight. Do not start resurfacing concrete at midday, early in the morning, or in the afternoon. The evening is a good time to start resurfacing because the temperature goes down, and there is no direct sunlight.
If the weather is hot, saturate the concrete with cold water. Conversely, if you live somewhere where the weather is cold, douse the concrete with hot water.
Resurfacer that is applied in colder climates will have a darker hue after curing due to better moisture retention. It is advisable, therefore, to resurface your concrete during the winter season, when it will dry down slower.
3. Applying a second and third coat
If it is necessary to apply a second coat, wait two or three hours for the first coat to dry down. Most resurfacer manufacturers do recommend applying a second coat for optimal coverage. Some people may even wish to apply a third coat to cover deeper imperfections.
If you do apply a second coat, follow exactly the same procedure that you followed when applying the first coat. Always wait for one coat to dry down before applying the next to avoid your resurfacer from becoming a lumpy, uneven mess.
4. Scuff the surface
When the resurfacer dries down without any finishing touches being applied, it creates a smooth surface. Smoother surfaces, while great for the garage, are not optimal for a sidewalk or a driveway, which need friction. A slippery driveway can actually be a safety hazard.
If you wish to add texture to your resurfaced concrete, add some long strokes on the resurfacer with a broom as it cures. Do this within five minutes of applying the resurfacer while the concrete is still damp. Make all broom strokes in the same direction.
5. Let the resurfacer cure
Allow the resurfacer to cure before using the surface again. Avoid walking on resurfaced concrete for up to eight hours after applying the resurfacer, and avoid driving over it for up to two days after applying the resurfacer.
For best results, keep the resurfacer slightly moist while it cures. Mist the surface lightly with a water spray once or twice a day for up to two or three days after applying the resurfacer.
Avoid using your newly resurfaced driveway or garage for at least two days after the resurfacing job. In the meantime, park your car at a different location to allow the resurfacer to cure properly.
Get concrete construction service in Phoenix
Concrete can become cracked and chipped with time, which calls for concrete resurfacing. If you require concrete resurfacing or concrete construction service in Phoenix, reach out to us at CF Vice Construction. We are a leading masonry company providing masonry and structural masonry services in Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, Gold Canyon, and other locations.
Our masonry service providers in Phoenix offer concrete construction services in Phoenix. We also offer artificial turf installation in Phoenix