Unattractive, cracked concrete walkways, steps and patios are everywhere. However this does not have to be.Steps that look like they should be removed can be resurfaced with decorative concrete overlays that look brand new. A fairly simple, low construction process with the right materials and processes will dramatically improve the appearance
Cracks can be filled with epoxy filler with sand added for durability. Spalling or crumbling concrete can be repaired with hydrolic cement which dries fast or using a patching product with polymer hardener added for increased strength.
Once the steps are repaired, a concrete overlay can be mixed with any color and applied to the concrete. The overlay can be smoothed with a Magic Trowel or which is a squeegee like tool that is used to spread and smooth the overlay. Other systems utilize steel trowels to smooth and burnish the surface. Other overlays can be stamped in numerous stone or brick patterns.
Typical thickness of the coatings range from 1/8 to 3/8 inch thick. The thickness depends on various factors like design and adjacent flooring, vents or doorways. The versatility of coating thickness provides a solution when height becomes a code issue. In most cases adding a thin coating allows for code compliance with the added benefit of a durable and decorative surface
Color choices are unlimited. Color can be mixed in the concrete and topically added with concrete acid stains and dyes. Dyes will not hold up to UV rays but acid stains will. Integrally colored concrete is the most popular and easiest color solution.
Resurfacing steps and stairs has been very popular for pool decks, patios and walkways. Retail shopping centers worldwide use stampable concrete overlays to add value to their property. Office building owners use stampable concrete to customize exterior entrance areas as well as interior lobbies. Many restaurants and hotels have these new surfaces applied both inside and out to solve construction issues while adding value to their facilities.
Graphics can also be easily to cement flooring to define a parking space on a parking curb. The possibilities are endless. New technology in recent years has dramatically increased the strength allowing for long term performance.
Pricing is comparable to the cost of many tile installations. However the cost is much less expensive and faster than removing and reinstalling new concrete.
Not all decorative contractors are the same so be sure to check out their work. Though the process is considered low construction, choosing the contractor with experience with the appropriate coating is important.