If your driveway is in need of a complete makeover, a layer of decorative concrete can provide a new finish that will cover minor surface damage, such as cracks, imperfections and discoloration. The overlay creates a durable finish and a strong bond with the original concrete that won't chip, crack or flake. Concrete overlays are an eco-friendly option compared to other materials such as wood, as they are made of sand, gravel, water and cement - all naturally occurring elements that are recyclable and can disintegrate without harming the environment. When applying the overlay, it is important to cool the slab and prevent the mixing water from being extracted from the wet concrete rectifier you are going to place.
You can create an incredibly accurate patterned concrete screed, but without the right color, it will still resemble basic gray concrete. To apply the overlay, use a long-handled spatula to spread the material back and forth across the driveway, effectively rubbing the polisher into the concrete. Concrete overlays are now being used not only for driveways but also for pool covers and other projects. However, if there is too much damage and crumbling, you may need to weigh the pros and cons of concrete resurfacing versus concrete decoration.
It is important to consult a professional to determine if your concrete can be successfully re-coated. Heavily damaged, cracked or chipped concrete should not be considered a good candidate for resurfacing. The advantage of patterned concrete coatings is their ability to mimic other materials without replacing concrete. If the slab is cracked or badly damaged, the concrete layer used to coat the slab will also begin to crack over time.
A local concrete patio contractor can give you the best estimate based on your needs (and desires). While it's possible to re-pave the concrete driveway yourself, it's not a simple DIY project to take lightly. A good concrete screed will solve this problem by improving your existing concrete surface without having to endure the headache or cost of a complete renovation. Its concrete coating, decorative or not, is as good as the existing concrete underneath.
If the concrete is in poor condition, with large cracks or severe settlement, resurfacing may not be a viable option. Before opting for a patterned coat, consult a professional to determine if your concrete can be successfully re-coated.