Q&A / 

Concrete Resurfacing

Concrete resurfacing is a very popular project for homeowners because it allows one to get a brand-new surface for a fraction of the cost of what new concrete would cost. The concept is not new, and it is gaining in popularity for commercial work and public highways. Many public roads and concrete bridges are getting new thin overlays installed as part of a concrete resurfacing project.

CLICK this image and listen to the first call on the podcast. I talk to Vic about how he can use a concrete overlay to save THOUSANDS of $$$. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

On a smaller level, the products you use to perform concrete resurfacing are readily available and inexpensive. If you want to make your own resurfacing material, all you need is Portland cement, medium or coarse sand and some water. If the concrete resurfacing layer is thicker than 1 inch, you may also need some small rounded pea gravel for the mix.

If you do not want to mix your own concrete resurfacing material, then you can buy products that are in a bag or a bucket. Some of the pre-mixed products are very thin, and will not disguise serious holes or scaled areas in badly worn concrete. Concrete scaling happens when a top thin layer pops off the concrete and reveals the stones that are in the concrete mix.

Thicker concrete resurfacing materials will cover up deep depressions or worn spots in concrete. The tricks to making the concrete resurfacing project last for many years are as follows:

  • remove all loose concrete
  • clean the concrete surface well
  • work when the air temperature is in the 50-60 F range
  • work on an overcast day with still or no wind
  • dampen the old concrete and apply a thin layer of cement paste before installing the concrete resurfacing material

If you mix your own concrete resurfacing material for a thin overlay, mix three parts sand to one part Portland cement. Add just enough water to make the consistency of the mix similar to bricklayer's mortar. If you have to add the small pea gravel for a mix over 1 inch thick, then the mixing ratios are: three parts gravel, two parts sand and 1.5 parts Portland cement.

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14 Responses to Concrete Resurfacing

  1. Hi I want to turn my garage into a living area. I need to raise the existing floor up 2courses of brick to meet the floor inside the property so i dont have a step down. Will I need to insulate the new garage floor or just put a membrane down on top of the old floor and pour? Thanks

  2. Hi Tim. I have recently resurfaced my basement floor and was wondering how long before I can wet it ( clean off latency before acid staining). Its been down aprox a week now and any water that spills seems to start it turning back to its viscous liquid form! Any suggestions?

    • Lisa, your question requires lots of typing, plus I have some questions for you so I can give you the correct answer(s). I only do pithy answers here in the comment section. If you want to protect the investment you have in your house and not waste time or money *hoping* you make the right decision, you should talk to me on the phone for just 15 minutes. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your home!

  3. We had our in-ground concrete pool resurfaced last year $5,000 and it was great. It felt great. This year the flooring and steps(except the top step) is so course and rough that it hurts your feet. Also it looks like dirt on the bottom but there isn't any and it had a white film on top of the water. My husband called the man out who did the job and he claims it's the way my husband thru chlorine on the surface instead of in skimmer and it caused a chemical burn. He said that my husband needed to drain it and power wash it or drain it and do an acid wash on it.

    Thanks for you help.

  4. you have many articles on 'concrete overlay'....ther is slightly diff info re the mix ratio...the articles arent dated.. how do i know which is the most current info... thanks a lot

  5. Steps have been patched many times over the years, several shades of gray. I would like a uniform color. Considering Olympic Rescue it Concrete Resurfaced. Your thoughts? Another product recommendation?

    • Suzanne,

      It will PEEL! I'd never use it. Go read all of my Concrete Overlay columns and apply a THIN COAT of stucco to your steps. Read about the SECRET INGREDIENT you MUST USE.

  6. I have an approximately 30 deg sloped driveway which has started to scale from water erosion. In some spots the wire mesh is exposed and starting to rust. How can I resurface on the slope? All suggestions are welcome

  7. Thanks for your information out there on overlays. I see your formula but all the commercial products out there are mixed with polymers. So are polymers necessary or not?

  8. My husband and I are looking into resurfacing the concrete on our driveway. I like how you mentioned that using thicker concrete resurfacing materials will cover up cracks and worn down spots. Do you have to use the thicker concrete on everything or just on the spots that need the thicker materials? Thanks for the information!

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