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Do it yourself concrete driveway resurfacing

Updated February 21, 2017

A cracked, weathered concrete driveway can detract from your home, making it appear uncared for and poorly maintained. To spruce up that ageing drive, you might consider a resurfacing project. A newly painted or resurfaced drive will bring new life to your home and significantly improve its curb appeal.

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Repairing Cracks in Concrete Driveways

Your first step in your concrete driveway resurfacing project is to repair any cracks that may have formed. Fluctuating temperatures apply pressure to concrete, and over time, cracks and splits are bound to form. Frst create a clean, clear surface. Using a high-pressure hose, blast the area thoroughly to rid it of all excess debris and dirt. If you have any oil or gasoline residue from your vehicles, clean the area thoroughly using a sturdy degreasing agent. Mix your new concrete completely, and using a trowel, apply it evenly and slowly over the cracks. Pat the concrete down to create an even surface, and allow the first layer to dry. Once it has set, apply a second layer of concrete in the same manner.

Painting Concrete Driveways

Concrete paint, or vapour barrier paint, is an inexpensive option for a driveway resurfacing project, and can be purchased in a variety of colours and styles. Vapour barrier paint is typically sprayed on the surface, but can also be applied with a paint roller and brush. The advantages to painting your concrete drive are cost and time savings. A concrete painting project should take no more than one afternoon. However, the disadvantages are that paint, even sturdy vapour barrier paint, is still prone to peeling over time. Also, it can be very slick in wet weather, which can be quite hazardous.

Resurfacing Concrete Driveways with Black Asphalt

Using black asphalt to resurface your drive is more labour-intensive, as it is typically a two-day project. It also produces a distinct blacktop appearance, so choosing this option may simply be a matter of taste. Asphalt can be purchased with a five- to 10-year warranty. Asphalt is applied as a gel, using a simple squeegee. Plan to resurface during warm weather, as cold temperatures or rain can damage the asphalt if it has not yet set.

Finishing Off With Concrete Sealant

For both methods of driveway resurfacing, a final layer of concrete sealant is a must. This will protect your new surface from the elements, preventing moisture damage and cracks. Apply concrete sealant generously and evenly, and allow it to dry overnight. Whether you're working with paint, asphalt or sealant, protect yourself as you work with eye goggles, work gloves and, if necessary, a respiratory mask.

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About the Author

Robyn Murray is a journalist based in Omaha, Neb. She has reported for national and international media including National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Business Day in Johannesburg. Murray holds a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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