Are you new to decorative concrete? Maybe you have a customer with limited funds or time. For any number of reasons, you may not be able to pour fresh concrete, leaving you stuck with the existing surface. This is where resurfacing products and overlays become valuable. Let’s say a customer has a patio that has deteriorated, or they are just tired of how it looks. Pouring fresh would require removal of the existing slab, getting a Ready Mix truck on site, and a large crew to pour and finish. While it can yield amazing results, this process could take a great deal of time, labor, and money. If any of those factors are an issue, an overlay is a viable alternative
Different overlays and resurfacing products have different requirements. All require some surface preparation. This could range from something as simple as cleaning and etching to more involved processes such as scarifying, grinding, or media blasting. Next comes application. Most overlays are either spray-on or trowel-on. Either way, this process can usually be completed by one or two workers. Finally, once the overlay has cured, it should only require sealing (most overlays can be stained, if you choose).
For the ease of use, overlays offer a great deal of creative freedom. When paired with stencils and design tape, products such as SM Professional Grade and Micro-Topping can be used to create intricate two dimensional designs. Different trowelling techniques can also yield different surface profiles. Stampable Overlay can even be used to stamp and texture. Overlays also come in handy when presented with surfaces in need of repair. If an existing slab has developed surface defects or discoloration, or if something went wrong with a fresh pour, overlays such as Cem-Coat, SM Professional Grade, and Micro-Topping can be used to hide repair work and cover discoloration.
No matter the intended use or situation, resurfacing products and overlays are a valuable tool for any concrete contractor to have in his or her arsenal. Overlays also help lower the barrier of entry for contractors looking at getting into decorative concrete, even for those with limited experience with standard cast-in-place concrete. Upgrading, repairing, and altering new and existing concrete surfaces has never been so easy.