Resurfacing heavily damaged concrete is a great way to restore it without having to demolish and replace it with new concrete. In most cases, I have found that repairing and re-cladding a concrete walkway, patio, or driveway is much more cost-effective than removing old concrete and pouring a new one. You can repair and re-coat chipped concrete in several ways. You can purchase products that apply a very thin layer on the concrete.
Larger manufacturers of premixed bagged concrete make them, as do other specialist companies. These products work, but it is important to be aware of their limitations. Concrete floors and subfloors can be repaired using some common methods. All of this involves covering the existing concrete slab with a new layer of concrete or concrete-like cover and finishing the new layer as desired. Concrete floors should be repaired with a surface coating only when the concrete slab contains shallow or fine cracks or has cosmetic surface faults.
If the concrete floor being repaired is bulging, has large or wide cracks, or is damaged due to frost damage, other alternatives should be considered instead of resurfacing. Layne emphasizes that it all comes down to the extent of the damage and whether it should be repaired or replaced should be determined on a case-by-case basis. It also highlights that technology has kept pace, allowing repair products to dry faster, stronger and longer lasting than their predecessors. Many of the same products used to repair horizontal surfaces can also be effective with vertical surfaces, such as outer retaining walls and interior bearing walls. In addition, due to the high cost of resin injection, it is not normally used to repair shallow cracks, dry shrinkage cracks, or pattern cracking.
Before repairing a crack by dry packing, the portion adjacent to the surface should be widened to a groove approximately 25 mm wide and 25 mm deep. Although the composition of concrete has not changed dramatically over the past 20 years, repair products have. Apart from that, when time, money, aesthetics and sustainability are priorities, repair becomes a very attractive alternative. Keep in mind that any repairs are temporary, although some will last longer than others, possibly many years. Before starting any driveway repair project, the first and most important step is to figure out what caused the damage and then determine the best repair procedure to resolve the problem (read this troubleshooting tip).
These assessments will help you decide if you should repave, repair, or replace your concrete driveway. If it's simply a worn or chipped surface, commonly known as delamination, repair is a viable option. Self-leveling treatments can be applied to most concrete floors and are thick enough to help correct uneven surfaces and relatively deep surface damage. Situations may arise where you wonder if you should re-pave your concrete driveway or complete the concrete driveway repair. Instead of pulling out the concrete and starting over, you can often save money by repairing your driveway, as long as the concrete is structurally sound. In some circumstances, fine repairs can lead to accelerated deterioration behind or next to the repair.