Concrete sidewalks, patios and driveways last for many years, but eventually the concrete needs repairs to remove cracks and weather-related chipping or flaking. Resurfacing cement is much easier and cost-effective than removing the old concrete and pouring new. With concrete overlay products on the market today, a do-it-yourselfer can repair the concrete and save the expense of hiring a contractor. Many of the products are self-leveling, so there's no setting up forms and leveling them. It's possible to add color to the resurfacing cement to give the concrete pad an entirely new appearance.
Scrub the surface of the concrete with a degreaser using a scrub brush. Select one specifically for concrete, or mix a few drops of dish detergent in a bucket of water. Rinse the concrete well using a pressure washer. Remove all traces of the grease and soap to get a good bond with the concrete overlay.
Mix seven parts concrete resurfacing product with one part water. Use a trowel to fill in cracks and holes in the concrete surface with this mixture. Smooth the top surface with the side of the trowel and feather the edges into the existing concrete. Allow the repairs to dry.
Cover expansion joints on the concrete with duct tape or place weather stripping in the joints.
Place the contents of a 40-lb. bag of resurfacing product in a 5-gallon bucket. Add approximately 3 1/2 quarts of water a little bit at a time. Mix with a paddle mixer attached to a drill.
Dampen the surface of the concrete with a garden hose. Remove any excess water with a long-handled squeegee
Transfer the resurfacing product from the bucket to the concrete you're resurfacing. Use the long-handled squeegee to work the overlay product into the surface of the concrete.
Run a push broom across the surface within five minutes of pouring the concrete. Keep the strokes even to create a roughened, slip-resistant surface.
Create an edge to the overlay by running a concrete edging tool along the edge of the concrete pad, within 20 minutes of pouring the overlay.
Allow the concrete overlay to dry for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. Protect the overlay from rain by covering it with plastic sheeting, if necessary.