Concrete is one of the most durable products you can use to build your driveway, patio or anything else around your home. However, Minnesota has an intense climate and damages can happen over time. Whether you decide to resurface or replace your concrete will depend significantly on what surface you are hoping to update and for what reason. Read on to learn whether you should resurface or fully replace your concrete.
Deciding Between Concrete Resurfacing & Concrete Replacement
Concrete driveways, sidewalks, steps, garages and patios all serve different purposes for us and their use impacts whether replacement or resurfacing is a better option.
- Driveways take the bulk of the abuse from Minnesota's intense climate. Typically, they are shoveled throughout the winter and de-icing chemicals that have accumulated on tires are deposited as cars drive into the garage. Also, the vehicle and plow traffic wears concrete surfaces down much quicker than mere foot traffic. There are some great products to give a driveway a quick face lift. However, the conditions must be just right if you want your resurfacing to last for a long time.
- Sidewalks and patios receive considerably less abuse than driveways. Although they may be subjected to freeze-thaw cycles like driveways, they usually aren't exposed to de-icing chemicals or heavier plow equipment. Both resurfacing and replacement are typically an option for these concrete sidewalks and patios.
- Garages are protected from much of the weathering caused by rain and hail but they do see plenty of damage from unrinsed salt and can experience quite a bit of pitting. Many times, resurfacing your garage floor will be sufficient to keep it in good condition, assuming you keep your concrete sealed well and free of salt.
- Steps are a special case. Like sidewalks and patios, they usually only have to endure foot traffic and some are even covered by awnings. They are also usually frost-protected because they are attached to the house and do not move around a lot. As a result, steps are a better option for resurfacing than other concrete surfaces.
Another important aspect to consider when choosing to either resurface or replace is the condition you are trying to resolve by doing so. Common problems such as cracks, flaking or crumbling have some unique challenges.
- Cracks often occur in concrete but with proper base and steel reinforcement, they will not pose any great danger to your concrete surfaces. When a concrete surface becomes unlevel or cracks widen and begin crumbling along the edges, it may be time to act. Resurfacing options will not add much structural value to your concrete. If your concrete becomes uneven or cracks widen and shrink through the seasons, you need to replace the concrete.
- Flakes and rock pops are shallow divots in your concrete that are often unsightly, but usually not a danger to the concrete surface. These can be spot filled and, with a good sealer, they'll stand up for some time. After small areas have been repaired, the entire surface can be updated with a uniform coat over everything.
- Crumbling occurs when the damaged area has gotten wide enough or deep enough that the concrete itself is beginning to fail. In this case, you should replace your concrete. Any resurfacing product is only as good as what it is attached to, and you will not have much success if the concrete is failing.
Pros & Cons of Concrete Resurfacing vs. Replacement
There are many pros and cons to both replacing and resurfacing your concrete. Resurfacing is usually very labor intensive and thus pricier than most people expect. In Minnesota's climate, care needs to be taken to ensure you’re putting your money where it will last. On the other hand, resurfacing usually requires less disruption of your yard or home and can sometimes be accomplished quickly with a variety of finishes.
Replacing your concrete will open you up to many more options when it comes to equipment and products. Concrete replacement can usually be completed for less money than you might expect and with less damage to your yard than you are dreading. In Minnesota, this is typically your best bet if you plan to remain in your home for the foreseeable future.
The Twin Cities' Top Concrete Resurfacing & Replacements
If your concrete has started to look worn and torn, have it professionally resurfaced or replaced by the most talented team in the concrete industry. Contact Unlimited Concrete Concepts today for expert concrete replacement and resurfacing services in the greater Twin Cities area!