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an image of a balcony and concrete stairs that have just been resurfaced

How to Resurface Concrete

Damaged concrete can be repaired through a process called resurfacing. Knowing when and how to resurface your concrete is important. At Discount Contractor Supply, we sell materials to help resurface concrete including concrete trowels, brushes and brooms, edgers and groovers, stamp patterns, and a variety of repair products.

Concrete resurfacing can extend the life of your concrete by many years and can breathe new life into your slabs, pathways, and more. In addition to covering up damage for a more aesthetically appealing look, concrete resurfacing also helps protect your concrete from further damage.

In this article, we'll go over the process to resurface concrete, to help you find success in your concrete repair projects. Whether you're a contractor or a DIYer, Discount Contractor Supply has what you need to get the job done.

Should You Replace or Resurface Your Concrete?

When you're trying to decide whether to replace or resurface a concrete slab, it's important to consider the age of the concrete as well as its condition. Concrete foundations can last 50 years or more, but once concrete reaches a certain age, it's better to replace than repair.

When you're trying to decide whether to resurface, look at the spalling, cracks, and other damage in the concrete. Surface-level cracks that do not go all the way through the foundation are appropriate for resurfacing, while wide, deep cracks that go all the way through the slab are an indication that your concrete needs to be replaced. 

Considerations Before Resurfacing Concrete

When you're trying to decide whether to resurface or replace concrete, it's important to consider a variety of factors including the cost to replace and whether you can do the work yourself or need to hire a professional.

If you're sure that you're going to resurface instead of replace, it's also important to ensure that the conditions are right for getting the work done.

The Cost of Concrete Resurfacing

Basic concrete resurfacing costs between $3 and $5 per square foot. This is the standard charge for concrete resurfacing without decorative elements. Installing a new concrete slab costs between $4 and $8 per square foot, plus the cost of removal of the old slab.

If you're a consumer seeking repair or replacement of concrete, get quotes from at least three contractors before deciding whether to repair or replace. If you're a contractor, you can keep your costs down by purchasing concrete supplies from a trusted discount supplier like Discount Contractor Supply.

How Long Does it Take to Resurface Concrete?

Between surface prep and then the resurfacing work, concrete resurfacing takes most of a day to finish. Resurfaced concrete is ready to use within 24 to 48 hours of completing the job.

How Difficult is Concrete Resurfacing?

Concrete resurfacing is easy enough that confident DIYers can resurface their own concrete without help from a contractor.

What Temperature Should You Pour Concrete?

The best outdoor temperature for refinishing concrete is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Materials and Tools Needed to Resurface Concrete

Resurfacing concrete requires minimal tools to get the job done. This creates a low barrier to entry for people who don't usually do their own concrete work.

  • Pressure washer (can be rented or purchased)
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Finishing trowel
  • Nylon bristle broom

Steps on How to Resurface Concrete

To resurface your concrete, wait for the right weather conditions. This includes daytime temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The outdoor temperature should be a minimum of 50 degrees for at least 8 hours after the resurfacing is finished. To start the work, the concrete should be at least 50 degrees, and the temperature outside should not fall below freezing for 24 hours after the job is finished.

Once the weather outside is right, you're ready to get started.

1. Preparing the Surface

Clean it. Concrete needs to be cleaned before resurfacing. Use a gas-powered pressure washer at 3,500 psi to clean the dirt off the concrete. Wear safety glasses for this process to avoid getting dirt or debris in your eyes.

Use a wand with a 25-degree fan tip, held about 6 to 8 inches from the surface of the concrete. Clean the concrete with an algae remover if the concrete is stained with algae.

Fill spalled areas. Once the concrete is clean and damp, fill any spalled areas with concrete resurfacing. You can mix the resurfacer in a 5-gallon bucket in small increments to fill the spalled areas. Smooth the resurfacer with a trowel.

Wait until the resurfacer is firm enough that you can stand on it without indenting it before moving on to the next step. This may take as long as 5 hours.

Protect the joints. Fill joints between concrete slabs with weatherstrip material to protect them from resurfacing.

2. Application Process

Mix the resurfacer in the 5-gallon bucket and pour it on the slab. Use the trowel to spread the resurfacer around until it's smooth and flat. Spread it around until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick all over the surface of the concrete.

After about five minutes, use the nylon bristle broom to rough up the surface for a non-slip finish.

3. Curing and Drying

Allow the resurfacing material to cure for about 24 or 48 hours, depending on the instructions provided with the resurfacing material that you purchased.

4. Finishing Touches

When the concrete is done curing, finishing touches like sealer and decorative stain can be added. This makes your resurfaced concrete more attractive, and if sealer is applied, this can help protect your concrete from future potential spalling and cracking.

Source Quality Resurfacing Materials at Discount Contractor Supply

Do you need the materials to resurface concrete? If so, contact Discount Contractor Supply for our well-priced concrete finishing and resurfacing tools and materials. We're the preferred vendor for DIYers and contractors because we sell tools and construction materials at reasonable prices, and we offer an excellent shipping and returns policy.

You shouldn't have to spend high prices on good construction materials. Discount Contractor Supply can help.

Next article Concrete Troweling: How to Achieve a Smooth Finish