When to Use a Polymer Overlay
Concrete overlays are an alternative to breaking out and replacing an existing concrete slab, which can be expensive, messy, disruptive, and time-consuming. With an overlay, you can give worn, lackluster concrete a decorative makeover or restore it to like-new condition in as little as a day and at a fraction of the cost.
Polymer-modified overlays are ideal for:
- Adding pattern, texture, and color to exterior concrete slabs, including patios, pool decks, driveways, and sidewalks. Using special techniques and tools, skilled installers can precisely replicate the look and feel of natural stone, brick, tile, or slate.
- Resurfacing interior floors, including those previously covered with linoleum tile or carpeting (after removal of all residual mastic). With the use of stains or dyes, it's possible to create colorful graphic designs, logos, or stenciled patterns. (Another highly versatile decorative topping for interior floors is epoxy terrazzo.)
- Smoothing and leveling uneven or spalled concrete surfaces. (Watch the video below for more details.)
- Restoring surfaces quickly with minimal downtime. Polymer overlays cure fast and some systems can support foot traffic within a few hours.
Not all existing concrete is a suitable candidate for an overlay. The concrete must be structurally sound, without gapping cracks, severe delamination, or an unstable subbase. Proper surface preparation of the concrete is also imperative to ensure good bonding of the overlay. Any non-structural cracks wider than hairline should also be repaired. (Read more about repairing cracks in concrete.)
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