There is no need to break out the jackhammer or rent a bulldozer when a concrete path becomes worn. The polymer-based cement resurfacers on the market today will easily repair any worn or cracked concrete surfaces. The path will appear as if it were brand new and will tolerate many more years of traffic. Here is how to refinish a concrete path.
You will need:
- Concrete resurfacer (one 20-pound bag per 50-60 square feet to be covered)
- 5-gallon bucket
- TSP (trisodium phosphate)
- Duct tape
- Concrete repair caulk
- Masonry mortar mix
- Masonry sealer
- Electric drill with mixing paddle
- Caulking gun
- Putty knife
- Long handled squeegee
- Push broom
- Pump sprayer
- Medium bristle push broom
Step 1: Start on a day with low humidity, temperature between 70 and 75 degrees, and no rain. The concrete should have a surface temperature of at least 50 degrees. Clean the concrete with TSP prior to resurfacing the area.
Step 2: Patch all holes, crevices, and cracks in the existing concrete surface. Use concrete resurfacer for cracks that are 1/8 inch wide or less. Use the concrete repair caulk for cracks up to ½ inch wide. Apply the caulk to the cracks using the caulking gun and smooth the area using the putty knife. Use the masonry mortar mix to patch cracks wider than ½ inch.
Step 3: Mask the expansion joints with a strip of the duct tape. This will prevent them from being covered with cement top resurfacer. These joints should remain exposed after the job is completed in order to permit expansion and contraction of the slab.
Step 4: Mix the concrete resurfacer in the 5-gallon bucket for at least two minutes until it is smooth, using the electric drill with the mixing paddle. Use one 20-lb bag of resurfacer per2 ½ quarts of water. Remove the paddle and place it in another bucket containing clean water.
Step 5: Pour the resurfacer onto the concrete slab and spread it out immediately. Use the long handled squeegee for large areas and the trowel for small surfaces. Press firmly to force the resurfacer into all crevices. Have someone else begin mixing the next batch of resurfacer as you are doing this.
Step 6: Push the broom across the wet surfaces to create texture within the area. Add more resurfacer to any bare spots and re-brush the area.
Step 7: Immediately after sweeping, remove the duct tape from all expansion joints. Do not walk on the area for approximately two hours and do not drive on the surface for at least six hours.
Step 8: After 24 hours have passed, coat the area with waterborne masonry sealer in order to protect it.