If you are noticing wide-spread, deep cracks where obvious settling has occurred, or sunken concrete, including frost heave often caused by cold winter months, it may be necessary to replace or repair the original concrete. However, if the damage is repairable, decorative concrete overlays can be a cost effective method for covering significant flaws and blemishes, while dramatically changing the appearance of indoor and outdoor concrete areas, for much less cost than total removal and replacement.
Concrete overlays and toppings are frequently used in a variety of applications, because they are considered highly versatile from both a functional and aesthetic perspective, for the protection and maintenance of pavement or concrete slab surfaces. Not only are concrete patio, driveway and floor overlays a cost effective way to achieve a new and attractive decorative surface, but they also have the capability to extend the life and integrity of an existing concrete structure, while often decreasing the likelihood that complete replacement will be necessary. If you want to radically and beautifully transform that plain, worn, gray concrete with virtually unlimited contemporary finish options, consider a stamped overlay to cover an existing surface as an alternative to removing it and pouring new.
Concrete overlays for driveways, include stamped concrete overlays designed to look like brick, flagstone, cobblestone, slate, and countless other popular materials and configurations. Natural stone products are expensive and require more maintenance than patterned or stamped concrete, therefore concrete driveway overlays remain a viable and economical solution for achieving a desired facade. Stamped overlays are comparable to traditional stamped concrete, but are considerably less time consuming and labor-intensive, due to the minimal thickness requirements ranging from ¼ to ¾ in. Concrete remains the most frequently used standard in materials for courtyards, patios and driveways, so stamped overlays are a rapidly growing trend in feasible, distinctive, design accents for maximum visual impact.
Spray-down overlays work well for interior concrete floor overlays, or exterior concrete patio overlays. Using an air-powered sprayer, this finish style is sprayed uniformly onto concrete for a flowing, even finish. Conversely, if a textured or non-slip surface is preferred, a variety of spray products can be applied with use of a hopper or other applicable spray equipment, not unlike the process used to achieve varied surface treatments on painted surfaces.
Self-leveling overlays are in essence, self-explanatory, because they level themselves without troweling, after being poured or pumped onto an existing surface. If your primary motivation is repair or restoration of damaged concrete surfaces, this type of overlay may prove most convenient for quick, minimal labor. The self-leveling method is also used in preparation for leveling an area for application of wood, carpet, tile or other surface flooring material.
Micro-toppings are purely decorative and subsequently micro-thin overlays. Purely decorative, this overlay is spread to create micro-thin overlays that may be applied as single or multiple layers, for a variety of effects, in a myriad of textures. Because the material can be tinted during mixing or soon after pouring, the color tones and patterns achievable are truly limitless.
Concrete overlays may prove not only to be a minimally invasive fix, but an economical “big bang for your buck” design solution as well. If your concrete is in need of a make-over, the aforementioned methods are just some of a vast array of practical and artistic remedies for BCS (Boring Concrete Syndrome). Not only can they revive structural integrity of significant surface structures, but they may surprise you with an added WOW factor for a heck of a lot less than you might think. Contact us today to discuss options for your residential or commercial concrete project.