When finished adequately and maintained well, concrete surfaces should keep up a good quality visual appearance for several years. That said, many influences over time can cause concrete to crack, discolor, deteriorate, or become unlevel.
Runyon Surface Prep has partnered with concrete surface professionals for decades. Our clients fix residential concrete faults, perform new surface installs, and much more. This post will cover the different ways you or a contractor can refresh your concrete surface for a better overall aesthetic.
Repairing Cracks and Craters
There’s no way around it, concrete cracks are ugly. For businesses, they give off an unprofessional impression to guests and partners. For homeowners, they significantly reduce curb appeal – not to mention the weed growth cracks invite on pathways.
Concrete cracks and craters are often caused by:
- Heavy machinery
- Unlevel ground or foundation settling
Simple cracks and craters (less than an inch deep) can be repaired with sand mix concrete or concrete sealant, while deeper grooves will need a coarse concrete aggregate mix. Once you’ve achieved the proper mix and bonded it to the crack or crater, you’ll need to use a trowel to bring the filled-in surface to a smooth, level finish.
Fixing Unlevel or Deviated Concrete
Unlevel concrete presents tripping hazards for guests and is also quite an eye sore. To improve the visual appeal of unlevel concrete, you have a few options.
- In situations where an unlevel surface exists because of building settlements, or other foundational disruptions, you can apply self-leveling concrete to recreate a level surface.
- If you have a deviation causing unlevel slabs, like in the case of public sidewalks or property pathways, you’ll want to use a concrete shaver. A shaver can trim the deviated slab down to match the level of the nearest slab, thereby leaving a level transition from slab to slab.
Apply Stains or Paints
If it’s only a matter of discoloration or weathering with no structural damage, a coat of stain or paint may be enough to take your concrete surface to the next level. A coat of new coloring or tone can liven an area, impress guests, and support company branding elements.
Here are a few simple steps for applying new stain or paint to your concrete surface (note: you should use a professional for this):
- First, make sure any cracks are filled and the surface is properly prepped and buffed beforehand
- Sweep, mop, and remove any dust or dirt
- Apply your paint or use a stain sprayer (and roller when necessary)
- Allow the coat and let it cure for the appropriate time (check manufacturer’s directions)
- Apply concrete sealer, which will help repel the elements from damaging your coat
- Don’t forget to wear a mask
To maintain a good shine on your sealed surface, you’ll want to burnish it every week (or more if there is extensive foot traffic).
Give It a Good Polish
If it’s been a long time and your flooring is showing signs of roughness, bumps, or general wear and tear, you may need to polish your surface with a concrete floor grinder. Depending on the surface—foot traffic, machinery use, and liquid spills all have their influences—you’ll want to re-polish your concrete floor every 2 to 3 years. Using floor mats and performing routine maintenance can help extend the life of your polished surface.
Concrete Surface Tools for Rent or Purchase
At Runyon, we strive to support concrete professionals with the best equipment possible. We carry some of the best brands, including our own RSP models, and tailor each sale or rental according to our clients’ needs. Runyon carries everything from concrete dye and decorative aggregate to ride-on power trowels and heavy-duty dust extractors.
Learn how we can support your project by giving us a call or contacting us online.