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HauteShots 01-30-2011 02:56 PM

Driveway Resurfacing
I just moved into a new property a few months ago and I was notified last week by the HOA that my driveway is in violation because it needs to be re-stained. I bought a power washer and tried to clean it first and now it looks even worse then before and it cracked a bit more too. There is about a 1/2 layer of cement on top of the original concrete with a slate like pattern in printed. According to my neighbor the doctor who lived there before me had the driveway re-surfaced 3 times in 7 years. While the good doctor could afford to do this every couple of years, I can't. I am looking for a more permanent solution.

Can the refaced layer be removed altogether without ruining the cement under it?

What are my other options?

Thank you!

joecaption 01-30-2011 04:49 PM

No skim coating is going to last in a driveway. To me it looks like the underlayment was not done right in the first place and is causing it to crack.
For that small an area I would hire a pro come and remove what you have and do what's called stamped and dyed concrete. Once the concrete pored they stamp it with a rubber stamp to make it look like stone, slate, or brick then stone or brick dust it thrown down over it and it becomes part of the mix.
New concrete does not like to stick to old.

HauteShots 02-01-2011 08:59 AM

I sent the photos to a few contractors and a number of them recommended that I epoxy the driveway and acid stain it.

I looked it up on Google and I do like the epoxy with the pebble face. Has anyone tried to do this themselves or do I need a pro for this?

If I need a pro whats the going rate per sqft?

Thank you!

HauteShots 02-02-2011 08:55 AM

I’m so freakin' confused… I contacted about 6 contractors and all of them told me different things… Not only is epoxy coating the cheapest, it also sounds like the best solution to me. Here is just a few responses I received:


Anyway, the answers you are getting are correct. Most often the finish on these types of driveways is matte. Needless to say it does not always hold up the best with both hold and cold weather, not to mention vehicle traffic. Best advice I can give is a good pressure wash with potentially some cleaning solutions up to and including an acid etch. THEN apply an epoxy coating. My recommendation would be the Behr two part epoxy. It is only available in a couple colors, I believe tan and gray. It is a time sensitive application as once the products are mixed for application they begin to react. It is a really good product yet it can be slippery. However, there is a non slip additive that can be added at the time of mixing and application. You can also add a clear coat for protection after the initial coat dries. I recommend if adding the non slip to add it to the clear coat. This is a good and strong surface, however there at times in which it too needs maintenance. For the size of your driveway you should expect around $200.00 in product and then add application items, rollers, etc.
However, I contacted a guy from Las Vegas Epoxy Floor Coatings: Infinity Epoxy Garage Flooring Systems who only does epoxy floors and driveways and he said:


Unfortunately it appears that your concrete will most likely need to be re-surfaced again. Epoxy alone will not fix the deterioration and cracking that is present; “Like putting lipstick on a pig” as they say. I suggest calling Concrete Accessories here in town, they are my supplier, and know plenty of great concrete guys who may be able to help fix your driveway permanently.
Still Another contractor told me:


Oh man this isn't looking to good. Sorry but I think you will have to take it all out and replace it. Most overlay materials are made to adhear and be stronger then the concrete beneath it so usually removal of the overlay is impossible. Even if you took it off, your concrete below would look so damaged your hoa would still make you fix it. The best thing is to take it all out and repour it. Or try to take the overlay off and re overlay it. Both would be close to the same price as overlaying is more expensive but demo and disposal is costly also (concrete weighs so much).
Finally this one told me:


Epoxy for a driveway, basicly looks like a painted floor and is a good solution for this problem. I specialize in acidstain. I would grind acidstain and seal for $3 sq ft. We can also grind it off for $1.50 sq ft or patch and re-seal.

What is the best solution? Does anyone have any more comments?


oldognewtrick 02-02-2011 02:14 PM

Joe, I wish it was as simple as coating the top of the existing because my driveway is also cracked and it would be cheaper for me to coat it and forget it. But heres the issue, the concrete is not stable and simply coating it won't stop the the movement of the driveway. Movement will cause what ever you topically apply to crack also. Thank goodness I don't have a homeowners ASSN breathing down my neck to fix it.

Remember, the cheapest solution will probably be the least effective. Just don't throw good money after bad.

itsreallyconc 02-02-2011 04:42 PM

most overlay contractors don't have real conc experience & many conc contractors don't yet understand the relationship w/overlay products,,, polymer-modified cements/concrete have proven themselves & are an accepted architectural/engineering process,,, if the underlying conc is a mess, no o'lay product will perform acceptably,,, anyone who's in the craft knows epoxy is NEVER used for exterior finishes,,, we've been o'laying conc over 20yrs & never place a product when its sure to fail,,, along w/choosing the correct mtls & method, prep is equally important,,, doesn't appear your d/w's a good candidate for overlay but you have eyes on it & we only have pics,,, has anyone done a sound test yet for adhesion ?

joecaption 02-02-2011 07:14 PM

I never suggested overlaying it I suggested cutting it out, redoing the underlayment right this time and redoing it. If you like the stone look then they can do exposed agragate. The stone is in the concrete mix, they wait untill it starts to set up then mist water over it to wash some of the concrete away and leave the stone exposed. Laying anything over that cracked and sinking drixeway is going to fail.

SteelToeS 02-07-2011 09:53 AM

First remove the skim coat and go from there, looking at the pictures it is already falling apart and it needs to go out.
Once you get the skim coat off you can inspect the first pour and determine if is salvageable or not.
If it is in salvageable condition and there is no cracks outside the control joints you can adhere 1" pavers over the top.
Forget about epoxy or skim coating these are not going to least.
What matters is prepping the surface correctly for pavers and using the right products.

designer-fixit 02-07-2011 07:04 PM

wow...i really thought i was really going to be able to help with this one....i feel bad now cause i dont think my opinion will do any good. sorry. so at this point i just want to wish you luck on this project and see how it turns out after your done.

frozenstar 02-14-2011 07:53 AM

Hmmm. Seems like the contractors that you contacted has different ideas and opinions about the problem. I wish I could help. But I just don't want to add to the confusion. Wish you luck on your driveway resurfacing.

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