Five Concrete Resurfacing Techniques
Bring Old Floors Back to Life with Chemical Acid Stains, Dyes, Epoxy, Limecoat, and Stamping
© 2011 by Kelly Smith All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without authors written permission.
Resurfacing your concrete driveways, patios, and garden paths boosts home equity and adds aesthetic appeal. Housing starts are down, job layoffs continue to rise, and real estate market is flat.
Because of this, many homeowners are making home improvements instead of selling and trading up to a more expensive house. What you want to do is to identify improvements that will bring the most return on your investment.
One popular improvement today is concrete resurfacing. Why? Economically, it makes more sense to upgrade a concrete patio instead of ripping it out and putting in a backyard deck. Not only is the update cheaper, but future maintenance will be minimal compared to annual deck refinishing.
A Variety of Ways to Resurface Concrete
Today there are more choices than ever before. Demand drives innovation. Lets look at five of the most popular:
- Concrete dyes. Both of these are popular for both residential floor finishes and commercial buildings. There are two primary reasons for this beauty and ease of maintenance. Concrete contractors that apply these methods are as much artists as they are blue collar workers.
- Chemical (acid) stains. These function in much the same ways as the dyes. Stains are often used in areas that receive heavy foot traffic because they are so durable. For example, The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
- Limecoat. You might also see this spelled lime coat. This is a finish that can be applied to horizontal as well as vertical surfaces. Actually, limecoat was initially developed for building restoration projects, but now it is commonly used for cosmetic projects. First, a thin coating of a mixture made of hardened limestone and crushed quartz stone is trowled on, and then a pattern is applied to it, either hand-carved or made with with a stamp or pattern tool.
- Epoxy floor finishes. This is a finish that used to be found in garages but are now used anywhere. With the project kits available at home improvement stores like Home Depot, this makes a fine DIY project. This is a nice factor when working with a tight remodeling budget. A couple of variations along this line are vinyl sheet goods and rubber tiles.
- Stamped concrete. Your salesman might refer to this method as imprinted or patterned concrete, but its the same thing. The stamped method is quite popular for renovating swimming pool decks, home entryways, and outdoor patios. There are a multitude of patterns on the market. Many, like the classic brick paver pattern, seem visually so identical to real bricks that only an expert could make the distinction.
Why Well Maintained Concrete is Important
Keep in mind that concrete resurfacing is not simply done for cosmetic reasons alone. When concrete develop cracks, resurfacing it can bind it together an minimize further damage.
To maximize the life of the new surface, it should be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. Small cracks should be attended to right away.
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