This Dallas, TX homeowner was on a mission. He wanted to create a beautiful garden in his back yard with enough space to set up a grill and stretch out his legs on some comfortable lawn furniture. The problem was that the existing patio was too small; he needed more space. Two new sections were added, one in front of the patio and the other to the side to place the grill. He knew that the new sections would look different and had contacted us before the addition was made about possibly resurfacing the patio to make it all look the same.
Whenever we think about resurfacing a patio, the first thing we have to make sure about is that the concrete has cured. By cured we mean that it has hardened and more importantly that it is not shrinking anymore. Yes sir, while most people are familiar with concrete hardening, they don't realize that it also shrinks. The longer and wider the slab, the more it shrinks from its original size during the curing phase. Now, this isn't much, usually fractions of an inch, but when we are resurfacing a patio, this type of movement will cause problems, especially where it butts up against a wall or another concrete pad.
One other thing that concrete can do while it's curing is to curl. It's similar to putting down a piece of paper on a table, wetting it, then allowing it to air dry. Usually as it dries, the edges will lift slightly off the table, curling upwards. Concrete slabs will also do this, normally by small amounts, but sometimes it can be quite visible. This movement can cause problems when we are resurfacing a patio, so we always wait until it's cured before we apply it.
We can start resurfacing a patio or any other freshly poured exterior concrete project once it has properly cured. In most cases this takes about 14 days unless it is in the middle of winter. Our Dallas homeowner was very intent on finishing his garden but understandably wanted us to do our thing first before putting down his flower beds. As spring was in the air, we started up as soon as the curing period was done, applying the resurfacing material, staining it, and finally sealing it to protect it from all the dirt work that was soon to follow.
As you can see, it absolutely tied in all the areas; you can't tell the difference between the original concrete and the new sections. He was quite pleased with the final result, and it works well with the stonework around the columns.