Concrete Overlays

Concrete surfaces, no matter how durable, will eventually need some level of maintenance to perform their best for years to come.

Normal wear and tear from daily use, UV radiation from the sun, chemical spills, rain, temperature changes, and other environmental stressors all play a role in the erosion of your concrete surface.

Concrete overlays can help alleviate some of the damage, enhance or change appearance, and correct surface irregularities, all while being cost-effective and creating minimal disruption to use of the surface.

Please keep in mind that this service is only for concrete surfaces that are structurally sound and only involve surface level damage.

When is it Necessary?

A concrete overlay can be helpful in various situations where an existing concrete surface requires improvement, restoration, or transformation. Here are some examples:

  1. Surface Damage and Deterioration: If the existing concrete surface has minor to moderate surface damage, such as cracks, spalling, scaling, or surface wear, a concrete overlay can be an effective solution. The overlay covers up the damage, providing a fresh, smooth, and visually appealing surface.
  2. Surface Enhancement: A concrete overlay can enhance the performance and durability of a concrete surface. It can improve resistance to abrasion, impact, chemicals, stains, and UV degradation. This is particularly useful in high-traffic areas, commercial or industrial settings, or environments where the original concrete surface lacks adequate protection.
  3. Aesthetic Upgrades: Concrete overlays offer an opportunity to transform the appearance of a concrete surface. They can be used to add decorative patterns, textures, colors, or even replicate the look of natural materials like stone, tile, or wood. Overlays allow for customization and can significantly enhance the aesthetics of various spaces, including driveways, patios, walkways, or pool decks.
  4. Surface Correction and Leveling: If the existing concrete surface has minor unevenness, roughness, or surface irregularities, a concrete overlay can be used to correct these issues. The overlay can be applied to level the surface, fill in low spots, or create a smooth and even surface for improved functionality and aesthetics.
  5. Repairing Surface Cracks: Applying an overlay fills and conceals surface cracks, preventing further water infiltration and potential damage. This extends the lifespan of the concrete surface and improves its structural integrity.
  6. Quick Installation and Minimal Disruption: Concrete overlays offer a faster and less disruptive alternative to complete concrete replacement. The overlay process involves minimal demolition or removal of the existing concrete, resulting in reduced construction time, less debris, and minimal disruption to the surrounding area. This is advantageous for projects that require a quick turnaround or need to maintain access to the space.
  7. Cost-Effectiveness: Concrete overlays are often more cost-effective compared to complete concrete replacement. By utilizing the existing concrete as a base, the costs associated with excavation, removal, and disposal of the old concrete are avoided.

It’s important to note that the suitability of a concrete overlay depends on the condition and structural integrity of the existing concrete surface. Proper surface preparation, including cleaning, repair of major defects, and assessment of the substrate, is crucial to ensure a successful overlay installation and long-term performance. We recommend starting with a consultation with our concrete contractors to determine the feasibility and best approach for your concrete overlay project.

How it Works

Installing a concrete overlay involves several steps to ensure a successful and durable result.

  1. Surface Preparation:
    • Clean the Surface: Thoroughly clean the existing concrete surface by removing dirt, debris, oil, grease, and any loose or unsound materials. This can be done using a pressure washer, scrub brushes, or other suitable cleaning methods.
    • Repair Cracks and Damage: Inspect the concrete surface for cracks, spalling, or other damage. Repair any significant cracks or defects using appropriate concrete repair materials and techniques. It’s important to ensure a stable and sound substrate for the overlay.
    • Profile the Surface: Create a suitable surface profile to ensure good adhesion between the existing concrete and the overlay. This can be done by mechanical methods such as shot blasting, grinding, or acid etching. The surface should have a rough texture to enhance bonding.
  2. Primer Application (if necessary):
    • Apply Primer: Depending on the specific overlay system being used, a primer may be required. The primer helps promote adhesion between the existing concrete and the overlay material. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper primer application.
  3. Mix and Apply Overlay:
    • Mix Overlay Material: Prepare the overlay material according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves mixing cementitious materials, aggregates, and any other additives or colorants specified by the overlay system.
    • Apply Overlay: Use appropriate tools, such as trowels or squeegees, to apply the overlay material onto the prepared concrete surface. Work in small sections, ensuring an even and consistent thickness throughout. Follow the recommended thickness guidelines specified by the overlay system.
    • Spread and Smoothen: Spread the overlay material evenly across the surface, working it into the prepared concrete. Use trowels, screeds, or other tools to achieve a smooth and level surface. Pay attention to maintaining a uniform thickness and avoiding any excess buildup or low spots.
  4. Decorative Treatment (if desired):
    • Texture and Design: If a decorative finish is desired, various techniques can be used to add texture, patterns, or other decorative elements to the overlay surface. These may include stamping, stenciling, scoring, or using specialized tools to create the desired appearance.
  5. Curing and Protection:
    • Curing: After the overlay is applied, it needs to be properly cured to promote hydration and strength development. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for curing time and techniques. This may involve using curing compounds, polyethylene sheets, or other curing methods.
    • Protection: Protect the newly installed overlay from excessive moisture loss, temperature extremes, and damage during the initial curing period. Take measures such as covering the surface with plastic sheets, using curing blankets, or implementing appropriate construction practices to ensure proper curing and protection.
  6. Sealing and Maintenance:
    • Sealing: Once the overlay has cured, consider applying a suitable sealer to enhance durability, resistance to staining, and longevity. The sealer will help protect the surface and can provide a desired level of sheen or finish.
    • Maintenance: Follow proper maintenance practices for the concrete overlay, including regular cleaning, periodic resealing (if applicable), and addressing any repairs or surface issues promptly.

These steps may vary slightly depending on the type of overlay system, manufacturer’s recommendations, and project requirements.

Request a Free Quote

Contact us today for a free estimate on your project. Our friendly, experienced staff look forward to helping you plan out your concrete resurfacing project.