How Long Will a Concrete Skim Coat Last?

Learn how long does a skim coat of concrete last and what factors affect its lifespan.

How Long Will a Concrete Skim Coat Last?

The layer of good quality concrete correctly applied to ready-made concrete will last from 10 to 25 years. Even so, it must be resealed every 5 to 7 years, depending on the environmental conditions experienced by the overlay, the type of materials used, and the type of finish used on the overlay. It's a common misconception that a skim coat of concrete will last as long as concrete poured correctly. However, this is not the case.

Skim coats are not as durable as concrete poured correctly and need to be resealed more often. The story of a homeowner from Irving, TX is a perfect example of why it's important to use a good quality concrete skim coat. The homeowner had a contractor pour their pool deck and some neighborhood children decided to “customize” it with their initials. Instead of tearing off the platform, they decided to apply a skim coat of concrete to cover up the problem.

It's important to note that when concrete cures, it expels a lot of water that was part of the mixture. If you put a layer on top of that, it's like trying to put the cap back on a shaken soda bottle. That liquid just wants to come out and it will push that layer and try to remove it. After 28 days, assuming that it is not in freezing conditions, enough water has been expelled so as not to weaken the bond between the skim coat and the original slab.

If you have a contractor who didn't have enough help at the time and prepared for fast and it turned out terrible, you may be wondering if they can apply a skim coat instead of tearing out the platform. The answer is yes, if done right. If your contractor does not have experience applying overlays, you should hire an experienced installer of elite chalk systems or Elite crete coating products. These products are stronger than concrete and, if applied correctly, will last for many years.

If a layer is not installed correctly, it will delaminate and peel off shortly after it is installed. Take a look at this decorative concrete screed that we installed on a concrete floor. By using concrete as a material for the entrance to your house, you expect it to be sturdy and durable. The main reason is that, in addition to being affordable, it is known for its durability and versatility.

Not only can you customize the concrete to achieve the look you want, but you can also count on that look to last for years. If there is too much damage and crumbling, you may need to weigh the pros and cons of resurfacing versus replacing your concrete driveway or porch. A professional contractor will be able to evaluate existing concrete and determine if it is a good candidate for resurfacing. A coating compound has a special adhesive agent inside it that allows it to adhere to old concrete. You can apply thinner layers of concrete coating to restore the wear surface of an existing coating, but this will not add structural strength to any of the concrete layers. Temperature differences mean that the concrete layer will expand and contract at a different rate than the base concrete.

This can cause cracking or peeling over time if not done correctly. If you want to re-pave your concrete driveway or porch, many consider it the “midpoint of caring for your driveway”. You can repair this type of concrete coating in some cases, but it usually needs to be replaced if it is damaged. Applying a concrete screed is time consuming and can be expensive, so it is vital to know the typical lifespan of a concrete screed and the factors affecting its life span. It is almost impossible to guarantee that the concrete screed does not crack, break or be damaged in any way since it is almost impossible to ensure perfect adhesion to the base slab. The main benefit of applying a skim coat of concrete is that you can usually make it look like new again if that's what you're going for.

According to the Portland Concrete Association, the best thickness for a skim coat is 1-2 (25-50 mm) inches thick. In conclusion, while applying a skim coat of concrete can restore your driveway or porch back to its original look, it's important to remember that this type of coating does not last as long as properly poured concrete and needs more frequent resealing in order for it to last.

Brock Cottew
Brock Cottew

Certified pop culture enthusiast. Award-winning troublemaker. Incurable food lover. Hipster-friendly tv geek. Subtly charming travelaholic. Incurable pop culture enthusiast.

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