Look At Concrete Damage As An Opportunity, Not Just An Inconvenience
If you've got a concrete walkway or patio that's beginning to show signs of wear and tear, you probably don't think of this as a good thing. Most people don't look forward to needing to have something repaired, after all.
But believe it or not, there's a bright side to having a damaged concrete surface! It might be just the opportunity you need to get the attractive concrete surface you've always wanted. Concrete that has been stained or has surface cracking and damage is an excellent candidate for resurfacing, and these repairs give you an excellent opportunity to beautify your concrete a little further with a decorative overlay.
Just What Is A Concrete Overlay?
A concrete overlay is a very thin mixture that's applied to a concrete surface, creating a new top layer to the concrete. While the ratios vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, these overlays are generally made of resins, aggregates and cement. The aggregates and cement are what make up the new concrete of the overlay, while the resins cause this new layer to bond permanently to the existing concrete.
How Does An Overlay Fix Surface Damage?
Concrete is incredibly durable. Aside from large structural cracks, most concrete damage is just surface damage caused by regular wear and tear. Installing a concrete overlay covers up this damage, and it also holds smaller cracks together, preventing them from being infiltrated by water or spreading further. In addition, if the concrete is no longer level due to settling, the new overlay can fix this and re-level the surface.
What Are My Aesthetic Options With An Overlay?
Concrete overlays have an amazing array of cosmetic options. They can be stained, changing the color of the concrete. They can be stamped, creating intricate textures in the surface. They can be inlaid with complex designs. The best looks usually come from combining these techniques.
For a more specific example of this, imagine a concrete walkway leading up to a front door. With staining, that walkway can be made a dull red; with stamping, it can be given the texture of cobblestones. Combined, it can be indistinguishable from the real thing. A patio can be stained and textured to look like irregular natural stone tiles. The house number can be inlaid at the end of a driveway for a practical but decorative touch.
What Damage Can't Be Fixed By An Overlay?
Damage that extends down into the concrete may be too deep for an overlay to hold it together. A contractor can inspect your concrete surface and determine whether more extensive repairs are needed. If they are, it will mean cutting out part of the concrete surface and replacing it. Since this will still leave you with visible seams in your concrete, an overlay is still recommended even if deeper repairs are needed first. For more information about concrete restoration, contact a company like Epoxy Stone Inc.