how to resurface badly damaged concrete
walkways, patios, and driveways

Resurfacing your badly damaged concrete is a good way to renew your concrete without having to demo and replace it with new concrete.

In most cases, I've found repairing and resurfacing a concrete walkway, patio, or driveway is much less expensive than removing the old concrete and re-pouring a new one.

Resurfacing concrete for a sidewalk, patio, or driveway is all done the same way.

The steps it takes to resurface your concrete are:

  1. Remove any loose, flaking, and broken concrete
  2. Clean and patch the deep areas over 1/2" deep
  3. Sand patched areas, clean, and apply first coat of concrete resurfacer then let dry
  4. Lightly sand the surface, clean, and apply finish coat of concrete resurfacer with light broom finish.

how to resurface a concrete patio & walkway

In the video below I'll show how I resurface a concrete patio & walkway that was badly damaged from using de-icing salts in the winter.

The video will show you, from start to finish, how we repaired and resurfaced the concrete to make it look like new again.

The 5 basic steps to concrete resurfacing

STEP 1. 

Remove all the loose, crumbling, cracked, and broken pieces of concrete first. You can do this by lightly grinding like we do or by using a good pressure washer, 3500 psi or more.

If you grind like we do, lightly pressure wash the concrete afterwards to remove all the dust & debris leftover by grinding.

STEP 2. 

Patch & repair all cracks, chips, and broken areas over 1/4" deep or deeper before resurfacing. You can use the resurfacing product for this or another concrete patch product. Lightly sand or rubbing stone it smooth after it sets up.

STEP 3. 

Lightly dampen the concrete (no puddles) and apply the first coating of resurfacing material. You can trowel it or squeegee it over the surface.

Don't try to be too perfect, just consistent. IF you have any lines, you can sand them out before doing the 2nd coat.

STEP 4. 

As soon as the first coating is dry, you can apply the 2nd, finish coat. Lightly mist the surface with water and mix and apply the second coating just like the first one.

Apply your broom finish right after you trowel/squeegee it down. (watch us in the video do this)

STEP 5. 

Seal the new concrete with a concrete sealer to protect it! Spray or roll on two very light coats of sealer to help your new concrete surface last for a long time.

You can use a clear sealer or a tinted one like I'm using in the picture!

can you resurface a concrete driveway this way?

Yes, you can resurface a concrete driveway, porch, patio, and pool deck this same way.

For larger areas, you'll have to do it in sections so you can broom each section as you're resurfacing it.

Most concrete driveways have sawed or hand tooled joints. Use these as your "sections" and do one at a time.

what can i use to resurface concrete?

There's all kinds of concrete resurfacing products out there for you to use.

Some of my favorite's are:

What's the best concrete resurfacer to use?  Well, they're all made basically the same. 

They all have a special blend of Portland cement, sand, polymer modifiers and other additives that are designed to be very flowable, shrinkage compensating, high bonding strength, and go down very thin. 

They're all designed to provide a NEW, durable, wear resistant surface over worn, scaling concrete. They're mostly used to resurface concrete driveways, sidewalks, patios, porches, and pool decks.

If you're choosing, I'd go with what's most local to you.  They all have a quick turnaround time. You'll be able to walk on each one in a few hours after applying.

does concrete resurfacing last?

That'll depend on a few things.

  1. The current condition of your concrete - If your concrete is in pretty good condition, sound and not all broken up, just scaling, worn and old looking, then your chances are good it'll last if you do a few other things.
  2. Your prep work - If you clean the existing concrete really good, remove all the loose and broken pieces of concrete, and repair the deeper areas properly, then you chances are good.
  3. If you apply the product as recommended and not over water it - then your chances are good.
  4. If you seal the surface with a concrete sealer and maintain it every year - then your chances are very good it'll last.

If you do all four of these things above then your concrete resurfacing repair should last a very long time.

Just remember, you're bonding this product to the surface of your concrete. The better the bond the longer it'll last. If you hurry and cut corners, then it'll peel or flake off over time.

For more information, see how I repair spalling concrete.

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