What You Need to Know
With so many of us spending more time at home, a patio has become much more than a concrete slab for your grill and some lawn chairs. It’s now a space where meaningful outdoor living happens – a place for family celebrations, bonding with friends, or relaxing and de-stressing. But, if your backyard looks like a scene from one of those unsightly ‘before’ photos on a TV home makeover show, we’ve got some options for you. This article is for those who find themselves cringing as they look down at their decades-old, cracked, or deteriorating concrete patio or swimming pool deck. Sure, it looked great in the '60s but now…not so much. If you’re ready to give your outdoor living area new life, it may be time to consider either resurfacing or replacing your concrete patio or swimming pool deck.
FIRST – Inspection Time!
Leave it to the professionals to determine your best options for turning your sad concrete patio or pool deck into a fresh, new backdrop for outdoor living. A thorough inspection by a qualified concrete patio contractor is needed to learn what your options are. During the inspection, your contractor will look to see if there has been significant damage to your worn concrete patio. Your contractor will look for settling damage, heaving, structural and surface cracks, and evidence of significant deterioration of your concrete surface. These issues are more than unsightly since they also can become a trip hazard.
Should You Resurface or Replace?
Depending on the condition of your current concrete patio, your contractor will determine if it’s a good candidate for a concrete overlay, also known as resurfacing. Your concrete contractor will also determine if the damage is significant enough so that your only option is to have a total concrete replacement. This would entail tearing out the old concrete and starting over fresh with a totally new concrete patio or swimming pool deck.
CONCRETE PATIO RESURFACING
If your concrete is showing minor cracks that do not suggest any serious foundation issues or if your patio is still in good condition and you’d like an updated new stamped concrete patio, resurfacing may be a feasible option. Here are the basic steps in the process that are taken to resurface concrete patios:
A thorough pressure wash cleaning is done
A muriatic acid wash or other cleaning solutions may be necessary
After your concrete is dry, a special primer is applied to the surface
Once the primer has dried, a concrete topping mix is applied to your existing concrete and you then have the option of using a stamped concrete or a broom texture for the surface.
Your contractor will apply your desired finish and make any necessary relief cuts that will help prevent cracking over large areas of concrete
After your concrete is dry, a concrete sealer is applied
Please note: Ensuring that your concrete patio has the correct pitch is important, especially if water is pooling close to your home which can compromise your home’s foundation. If you find that pooling is occurring in certain areas of your existing concrete patio, you may have a pitch problem. If the pitch is minor, it can be corrected during the resurfacing process. But, if it’s significant, this may require a total concrete tear-out and replacement. Your concrete patio contractor will inspect your patio’s pitch and determine the best method to use.
CONCRETE PATIO REPLACEMENT
Although small surface cracks in concrete can be repaired, there are times when your concrete patio or swimming pool deck will need to be replaced. If the cause of the cracking is due to an underlying foundation issue, resurfacing will be off the table, since installing a new concrete layer on top of it will meet the same fate – more cracking. Foundation issues may be a result of environmental conditions such as tree roots, soft soil, freeze-thaw cycles, or poorly constructed sub-bases when the original concrete patio was installed. Your concrete contractor will be able to determine how serious your cracking problem is.
WHAT'S THE BEST OPTION? CONCRETE OR INDIVIDUAL PAVERS?
If your concrete installer recommends a total replacement, you have multiple masonry material options to choose from. The most popular include individual pavers or concrete. We recommend concrete since pavers can sink, shift, stain, and require more overall maintenance. Often weeds will grow up through the joints of the pavers. Pulling weeds is not the only task you’ll have to do. Paver maintenance also includes sweeping additional sand in the joints to help prevent weeds, re-leveling or replacing damaged pavers, and more. In contrast, a stamped concrete surface is continuous and requires only a re-sealing every few years. And, stamped concrete can be made to resemble a host of more costly natural materials like slate, bluestone, flagstone, and even wooden planks.
Our mission at Gruttadaurio Masonry is to fulfill our customers’ needs in a way that makes the most sense. We prefer resurfacing instead of installing a completely new concrete patio or swimming pool deck since it’s less of a financial strain on our customers. But, if we feel that you need a totally new concrete patio installation, you can trust that it will be built with the utmost quality and care – from the sturdy foundation to the artistic application on the surface. Call us today at 315-310-7193 for an appointment so that we can inspect your current concrete patio or pool deck and make recommendations for the best outcome.