If you have a rough concrete surface across your driveway, patio, or pool, then it may be time to have new concrete poured. This is wise if the structural integrity of the concrete has been compromised in some way. Large cracks, crumbling concrete, and deep surface deterioration are all signs that new concrete is needed. However, if the concrete is merely discolored, somewhat uneven, or if it contains small imperfections, then an overlay can be placed over the surface instead. Concrete resurfacing with an overlay can be performed in many different ways, but a polymer modified overlay is your best option. Keep reading to find out why.
Polymers Provide Strength
If you want the surface of your concrete structure to remain strong, then a polymer will do this. Concrete becomes strong during the curing process where a chemical reaction takes place. The process is called hydration and it allows the different compounds in the cement to form bonds with the water molecules in the concrete mixture. A crystalline structure is then built throughout the concrete that makes it tough. Since concrete is often poured at least a few inches thick, hydration has more than enough time to take place as the concrete dries. However, if concrete is poured in a thin layer to revitalize the surface of a driveway or other structure, then hydration does not have long to occur before the concrete becomes firm. The result is a layer of concrete that will easily crack and crumble.
To stop the concrete from crumbling, a polymer is added to the concrete mix. This material reduces the evaporation rate of the water added to the concrete. This allows a thin surface, like what is added during resurfacing, to go through a hydration process that is similar to a thicker slab of the material. This means that you will need to stay off the surface of the concrete for several days once resurfacing is complete, much like you would if an entire slab of concrete is poured.
When the resurfacing is complete, you will end up with a structure that is not only strong, but it will also be more water resistant and chemical resistant than the concrete underneath it. This means that you may not need to place a sealant over the finished concrete to keep it safe from environmental damage.
Polymers Allow For Adhesion
One of the main drawbacks of placing a thin concrete overlay over an existing concrete slab is the fact that the new concrete will not bond or adhere to the material underneath. This will often leave behind two distinct structures that will react to the environment. The result will be a concrete overlay that pulls and breaks away from the material underneath it. The polymer keeps this from happening by acting as a glue that will adhere the new concrete to the old concrete underneath it. This allows the new material to flex and move with the existing structure.
Not only will the polymer help to adhere the new concrete to old concrete, but it can also adhere a thin a layer of the overlay to other types of materials. Specifically, it will stick to materials like wood, brick, and metal. This can be advantageous if you want the overlay to extend outward a small amount beyond where the original slab was placed. This can help with the smoothing out or rounding of edges along the concrete structure. You also will have the opportunity to fill in gaps and small openings between areas like driveways and walkways and decks and pool structures.
If you do not like the deteriorating appearance of a concrete structure on your property, then you do not necessarily have to pay for a full rebuild. Resurfacing and polymer-based overlays are a great idea, so make sure to speak with your concrete specialist, such as those at Mara Restoration, Inc., about this option for your property.