New ideas to fix a cracked concrete patio

Written by cheryl munson
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New ideas to fix a cracked concrete patio
Resurface a concrete patio using innovative techniques. (marigolds on concrete image by tomcat2170 from Fotolia.com)

When cracks are substantial enough or the concrete is old enough, it is often best to go the extra step to rejuvenate a concrete patio instead of attempting to repair the crack. Several new resurfacing techniques provide remarkable results. A cracked patio can be resurfaced to mimic brick pavers, tile and even stone. Concrete has come a long way in its versatility and ability to transform traditional patios into customised outdoor living spaces. Consult with a professional concrete contractor to explore sustainable options and costs.

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Resurfacing

Resurfacing is an option that will not only repair cracks but also give a look of rejuvenation. Most concrete patios can be resurfaced if the cracks have not penetrated all the way through to the substrate foundation. Professionals can apply a cement overlay system to the existing concrete. This also gives the option to add colour to the concrete. It can be scored to look like tile, but without the slippery effect of real tile.

Stamping

Stamping is one of the innovations in resurfacing old concrete and pouring concrete for new patios. It is also referred to as patterned concrete or imprinted concrete. The selected pattern is pressed into the concrete while it's still wet to achieve the look of brick pavers, flagstone or even wood. Many homeowners are turning to the stamping technique as an affordable and durable alternative to recreate the look of other more expensive materials. They also select styles and looks that will blend with the exterior of the home, such as the look of brick to accent a traditional home or flagstone to give a stucco home a European flair.

Staining

Colouring concrete has advanced in use and creativity. Acid staining of concrete works exceptionally well because of the porous nature of concrete. The stains are made of a combination of water, hydrochloric acid and metallic salts that react with the lime component that is in concrete. The acid penetrates and etches the concrete surface and becomes embedded in the concrete so that the colour and appearance will not fade, chip or peel. This makes staining a low-maintenance way to repair and resurface a patio. The growing popularity of this technique is expanding the colour palette from earth tones of tan, brown and terra cotta to include a wider palette of colours that include reds, oranges, yellows and even purples.

Stencilling

Stencilling is a more elaborate technique that is used to resurface cracked concrete patios. The process requires setting and aligning square forms to provide a consistent pattern in the design. The stencils can be used as a border around the entire patio, as an insert in the middle of the patio or to embellish each segment or slab that composes the concrete patio. Colours and stains can also be added to the stencil to give the patio extra depth and character.

Interlocking Modular Deck Tiles

Modular deck tiles are a new resurfacing material to fix and transform concrete patios. These tiles are simple and easy enough for even a novice to lay. They don't require special adhesives or nails and you don't have to prepare the surface. This is because they are not permanently affixed to the concrete. You can create patterns by mixing and matching tiles to your liking and design preferences. There is also the added benefit that you can take the tiles up if you decide to move to another home.

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