Research shows that concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world, and for good reason. Durable, resilient, and versatile, concrete lends itself well to a variety of applications, including indoor and outdoor flooring.

However, concrete is not immune from damage. Cracks, surface defects, scaling, and other visible signs of deterioration can result from several factors, such as exposure to freeze-thaw cycles, acids and salts, and heavy traffic over a sustained period.

Concrete resurfacing is one of the methods used by builders and contractors to restore the appearance of damaged concrete. Another is replacement.

If you’re dealing with damaged concrete, you might be wondering which is the better option. Read on to learn about both methods so you can make an informed decision and save both time and money.

Concrete Resurfacing vs. Replacement

The following are some facts about concrete replacement and resurfacing to help you determine which solution is best for your unique situation.

Concrete Resurfacing

  • It involves adding a concrete coating on top of the existing concrete surface.
  • There are many colors, patterns, and texture options to choose from.
  • The process of resurfacing concrete typically takes anywhere between 30 minutes to a few days to finish. This includes the time it takes to dry the coating enough to allow foot traffic.
  • A concrete resurfacing system can significantly enhance the appearance of existing concrete surfaces. It’s an ideal option for flooring that has small cracks, chips, or discoloration. However, large cracks must be fixed first before applying a concrete resurfacing product. The surface must also be level and not crumbling for concrete resurfacing systems to bond properly to it.
  • Resurfacing can extend the usable lifespan of concrete as well as keep it looking good for longer.

Concrete Replacement

  • This repair method is best for concrete surfaces with large damaged areas, spalling, deep and wide holes, or structural breaks. It involves removing the old concrete and replacing it. 
  • Concrete replacement is ideal for concrete surfaces that are at least 20 years old and have been previously treated to resurfacing or patching. It’s a longer-lasting solution, especially for concrete surfaces that experience high traffic. 
  • The initial setting time for industrial concrete mixes is 24 to 48 hours. However, it takes about 28 days to cure enough for you to walk or drive over it.
  • While concrete replacement may last longer without needing repairs compared to resurfacing, it’s much more expensive. This is because you also have to account for the removal of the existing concrete as well as pouring new concrete.

What to Consider Before Replacing or Resurfacing Concrete

While replacement is a long-term solution for concrete repairs, it’s worth noting that not all types of damage require a complete tear-out. In the same way, not all concrete problems can be fixed with resurfacing. 

Consider these factors before deciding to replace or resurface concrete on your property: 

The Condition of the Concrete

Assessing the condition of your concrete is a critical step to determine whether concrete resurfacing systems or concrete replacement is right for your property. 

If the cracks are large and require more than two inches of material to be repaired, replacing the concrete might be a better option. But if the cracks are visible and the slab is still structurally sound, concrete resurfacing is ideal.

Cause of Damage

After assessing the extent of damage, identifying the cause is also essential. Below are some of the causes of damage that might require concrete replacement:

  • Tree roots underneath concrete
  • Erosion damage
  • Repeated exposure to extreme weather

Choose the Best Resurfacing Solution for Your Property

Regular maintenance of concrete surfaces helps them remain functional and attractive for longer. Be on the lookout for small chips and minor discoloration, as these can easily be addressed with concrete resurfacing.

Concrete resurfacing rejuvenates tired-looking concrete, giving it a new lease on life. It’s also a cost-effective option that delivers long-lasting results. Life Specialty Coatings offers a wide range of concrete resurfacing systems that are easy to install and last for a long time. They come in many colors and patterns that help improve your property’s appearance and increase its value. To learn more, reach out to us today.

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