A worn concrete patio can make your entire yard look shabby. In many cases you can simply resurface it to give it an instant facelift. There are a few things to consider when deciding whether resurfacing is a viable option for your patio.
Assess the Damage
Whether your patio needs simple resurfacing or an entire replacement depends on the extent of the damage. Begin by removing the furniture and other patio accoutrements, and then sweep it clean. Things to look for during your initial inspection include:
- Crumbling or pitting on the concrete surface.
- Small cracks in the concrete surface that haven't begun to spread open.
- Stains on the concrete that have penetrated deeply into the surface.
- Larger open cracks, or cracks that penetrate the full depth of slab.
- Uneven slabs at joints or cracks, including sunken areas.
Crumbling, pitting, small cracks and stains can easily be repaired by resurfacing or covering the concrete surface. This allows you to keep the original slab while providing it with a much needed update. If you have large or deep cracks, or uneven slabs, it's better to remove and replace the entire patio. These problems are caused by the ground settling beneath the patio, so the area will need a new base constructed so the problems don't resurface in the future.
If resurfacing is the best choice, you have several options. There's no need to stick with the plain gray concrete patio unless you want to. Consider one of these three common patio resurfacing choices:
Dyed concrete. You can have concrete dyed in a variety of colors, including darker shades that can help disguise the most common stains. Dye is either added to the concrete before it's poured, giving a consistent color throughout, or applied as an acid stain after the resurfacing cures. If you opt for an acid stain, you can add designs to the patio slab to make it even more decorative.
Stamped concrete. Stamped designs are added as the concrete is poured or via molds used during the pouring. You can have it stamped or poured to resemble flagstones or pavers, or you can choose simple texturing. Other options include a stamps similar to tile or specific texturing that resembles wood grain or stone.
Aggregate or pebble surfaces. Adding stone aggregate or pebbles to the concrete really improves an otherwise plain slab. You can choose pebbles and stone in a variety of colors. The slightly rough texture of this finish provides better traction, and the surface is just as durable and easy to maintain as plain concrete.
Whichever option you choose, fixing your patio slab is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your outdoor living areas. Resurfaced slabs are just as durable as new slabs, as long as the base slab is level and retains its main structural integrity. Talk to a concrete repair contractor for more info.