If you have a concrete patio or driveway that is showing its years, you might keep putting off those necessary repairs and renovations for years to come due to the cost and complexity. Concrete is such a stable material that it is easy to think it can wait a little longer maintenance, but eventually it becomes too late to simply add a new surface. Find out if your slab is too far gone to save or if resurfacing is still an option for your home.

Determining the Cause of Cracks

All concrete eventually cracks due to the aging process, but you'll notice these fractures appearing slowly and over long periods of time. Quickly appearing and spreading cracks indicate something is wrong under the slab, which is not easy to fix with resurfacing alone. Other problems that need more than just a fresh coat of concrete include

  • Chunks of concrete sliding out of place due to erosion or soil movement
  • Rising edges pushed up by frost heave or tree roots
  • Slumping and sinking sections
  • Crumbling and powdery sections of concrete, which indicates a failure of the material.

Measuring the Damage

Aside from extensive damage, a concrete slab is not fit for resurfacing if the cracks in it are too large or widespread either. Check out the cracks with a ruler. If any of them are wider than a quarter inch at any point, or if they're visibly spread apart at a point deeper than two inches, the slab is likely too damaged to simply cover in a new layer of concrete.

Driveways covered in cracks that resemble large spider webs rarely handle this kind of resurfacing well either without the cracks quickly showing through the new surface. A skilled concrete technician can help you decide how much damage is too much with a hands on inspection.

Considering the Age

Don't forget that all concrete driveways eventually break down and wear out. Paying to repair and resurface a patio reaching the natural end of its lifespan is basically throwing money away because the slab won't last long enough to make it worth the investment. Outdoor concrete rarely lasts longer than 25 years, no matter how well installed or the type of mixture used for the work. Save up for a replacement if your slab is nearing this age instead. However, timely resurfacing done relatively early in a slab's lifespan can extend its usable years by preventing wear and tear from accumulating.

Investigating the Restrictions

Check out how your local zoning restrictions and homeowner's associations rules have changed since you originally put in the slab. If you purchased a home built and designed before your neighborhood was turned into a subdivision, resurfacing it with a completely different color or stamped pattern could break the newly implemented rules you're expected to follow. Installing a brand new driveway that conforms to the requirements may be your only option, depending on the quality of the slab and the changes you want to make.

Weighing the Costs

Finally, consider what kind of budget you have and how long you plan to stay in the house. If you're trying to sell your house on a budget and simply can't afford to completely tear out and replace the damaged driveway, resurfacing is a more affordable way to make it look good in a hurry. However, check the local restrictions on disclosure to make sure that covering up outdoor damage in this way doesn't violate any rules.

Invest in resurfacing before its too late to keep your patio or driveway useful for as long as possible. Don't wait until replacement is the only option or you'll need to save up a lot more money to improve the look of your yard. For a second opinion, visit resources like http://www.mararestoration.com.