Concrete Repair and Resurfacing: What Are My Options?
Concrete is a solid and durable surface, making it a very popular choice for driveways and patios. But, even the toughest surfaces will eventually start to wear down. There are several reasons a concrete surface may need repair – today we’ll discuss some of the most common issues and processes of repair.
Cracks in concrete are a relatively easy repair job. It would be best if you took care of these cracks right away because extreme weather and regular wear will eventually turn them into big ones.
You’ll need the material plus a few tools, which you can find at your local hardware store. If you’re able to find a specialty store, they’ll be able to help you find the right tools and compounds as well as provide you with some guidance.
Deep cracks can sometimes be a sign of a more significant underlying issue. Watch for spreading; if the cracks multiply or grow, you have a bigger issue at hand. You may have a problem with the subgrade or the ground under the concrete in this case, and you may need to tear up and replace the concrete.
A sunken concrete slab is often the result of an improperly prepared subgrade. Either the ground wasn’t dense enough, the original contractor used loose dirt, or the slab was subjected to extreme weight. Either way, the sinkage will need to be fixed, and oftentimes, the entire slab will need to be replaced.
Slabjacking is a technique for fixing sunken concrete that can save you tons of money. This concrete repair process is done by drilling small holes in the concrete and pumping a mixture of ash, sand, and other materials into the earth beneath the surface. This process will “float” the concrete back up to its appropriate level. The entire process will only take a few hours and costs half the price of a total replacement.
Frost heave is a common problem in colder climates. Moisture that has collected in the ground will cause concrete to rise by freezing and expanding underneath it, pushing it upward. This will cause a cracked and uneven surface that needs to be replaced, which the only way to fix the problem.
Basement Concrete Repairs
Minor cracks in your basement walls and floors are just a part of life. As ugly as they are, small cracks in a basement usually are not a serious problem. They can often be fixed with a gun that injects epoxy or polyurethane. However, if left untreated, small cracks can lead to more significant problems, so it’s best to get them under control as soon as possible.
In some cases, the cause of basement wall problems can be more serious, such as expansion or compression of the ground on the outside of it. As a result, your house’s foundation is unevenly supported, and that can be damaging to your home’s value if it causes cracking or settling.
There are many methods to repair your concrete basement walls, such as an external reinforcement system or hydraulic piles or piers. For a complicated job like this, a professional is always recommended.
When your old concrete is cracked, discolored, or otherwise imperfect, you have another option: resurfacing. A polymer overlay can completely transform the look of your old concrete. With many different colors and patterns to choose from, it’s easy to find one that’s perfect for your needs.
It’s not unusual for homes built in the last half-century to have concrete walkways and driveways. Its sturdiness and longevity make it the obvious choice, but it doesn’t last forever. When it begins to show signs of aging, you may notice cracks, weeds, and other problems. We spoke with our friends at San Jose Concrete Contractor Pros, 408-539-9791 , 2118 Canoas garden Ave #24 San Jose CA 95125 to reach them. But as a top concrete contractor in San Jose CA they helped provide some insight to foundation repair, stamped concrete repair, even cracked concrete step repair.
If you’re a homeowner, you will likely have to deal with this at some point. These things can be pretty costly to fix, but there is a solution. Concrete resurfacing is a way of giving your concrete walkways and driveway new life without having to tear out and replace the old concrete.
The Concrete Resurfacing Process
Concrete resurfacing is the process of cleaning, repairing, and applying a new surface to concrete. This fix is great for aging concrete. This is what the process looks like:
- Cleaning. First, a power washer is used to clear the old surface of dirt and grime completely.
- Repairing the Cracks. First they are primed, then reinforced with fabric, and coated with a polymer concrete to blend them in.
- Repairing the Holes. An epoxy mortar is used to fill in the holes.
- Covering the Surface. Next is the spray-on polymer concrete, then it is finished with a trowel.
- Coloring and Sealing. If desired, decorative coloring will be applied, and a then coat of sealant to protect the new surface from wear and tear.
- Curing. The project needs time to dry completely, so make plans not to use your new driveway for a few days.
It sounds like a pervasive process, but it’s much faster and less expensive than completely replacing the original concrete.
Options for Aging Concrete
It often starts with a basic repair job when it comes to aging concrete, but resurfacing can create many options for visual appeal. While this is an expensive process, there is a wide range of options and something as simple as staining can make your concrete look brand new. Talk to your contractor about what you’re looking for and get an estimate. Other options include:
- Overlays: flagstone, brick, stone patterns, etc.
- Sawcut patterns: Random or asymmetrical
- Stamping or Etching: A pattern that is imprinted on the surface to give the appearance of natural stone or brick
- Exposed Aggregate Finishes: A process that adds to aesthetics and non-slip functionality by embedding small stones
There are many options for resurfacing concrete, and it is often the best and most economical option for revamping an old concrete surface over total replacement. It’s important to know whether or not this is an option.
Sometimes complete replacement is unavoidable, especially if your concrete driveway has been damaged by freezing or thawing, is heaving, or has underlying soil problems. Talk to the pros to see which decision is right for you.