Patio resurfacing may not be on your list of fun things to do on a Saturday afternoon, but the work can be well worth it.
An old or damaged patio affects the atmosphere of your backyard oasis. You want a comfortable place where you can invite your friends or relax and enjoy the evening breeze. A beat up patio isn’t quite conducive to that elegant idea of relaxation.
But resurfacing a patio isn’t free and to be practical you should do it when your patio needs it. In some cases, you may be able to repaint it instead. If that’s your situation be sure to check out our guide to the best deck paint.
How do you know when the time has come to resurface your patio? Here are 7 signs to help you determine when it’s time to spruce things up a bit.
Your concrete patio will crack over time. This is an inevitable fact of exposure to the elements.
Your patio may have a few small cracks here and there. That isn’t necessarily a sign that it’s time to pull out the big guns and resurface your patio.
But, keep in mind that those cracks will get bigger. Water will get down inside there and freeze during the winter. If you remember from high school science, water expands when it freezes. This unfortunate force of nature will cause your little cracks to get bigger.
You can postpone a full out resurfacing by sealing cracks when they are small, less than 1/8 inch. With cracks that are a bit bigger, you can use caulking designed for concrete repair.
When this is no longer an option, it’s time to start considering patio resurfacing.
Standing Water On Your Patio
Pools of standing water on your patio are a serious problem. This is a sign that your patio doesn’t have proper drainage. It may be that it was poorly installed or that something has shifted, causing a new problem.
Regardless, now that water is pooling you are going to have troubles. Water is the number one enemy of concrete and any other masonry type materials.
You need to fix your drainage problems very fast. Otherwise, you will be looking at a patio resurfacing soon.
Spalling or Other Surface Issues
Spalling is also an issue that happens with concrete patios. You’ll see that little pieces of the material are chipping off and falling away.
This is most often a result of poor installation. Perhaps the installer mixed too much water into the concrete mix. Another possibility is that the concrete did not cure well after installation. Concrete patios can last a long time, but proper installation is key for that to happen.
If you find that this is happening, don’t despair! You don’t have to start from scratch and build a new patio. In most cases, you can add about 1/2 inch of a concrete overlay to protect the existing layer.
If you do this early enough it can be a good solution. Resurfacing with pavers is a practical way of doing this. Check out Bayside Pavers for an awesome selection of pavers and a wealth of ideas!
This is more often a problem with wooden patios. There are many different types of fasteners that installers use with wooden patios. These range from nails to anchors to screws.
Regardless of what type of fasteners are in your deck, keep an eye on them. If you notice that they are loose, you should take action.
Loose fasteners can allow water to get inside your wood. This will speed up rot and other types of damage. At some point, it will even affect the stability and safety of your patio.
Speaking of wood rot, there are all sorts of wood damage that can become apparent over time. Boards can warp, crack, swell, splinter, and even mold or decay.
The good news is that you won’t have to replace your entire patio in all cases. If your boards are splintering and/or cracking, you may be able to sand and seal the affected area.
Rot sometimes appears in isolated areas first, such as at the base of a planter. Other problem areas can be those where lots of ice and snow sit for long periods in the winter.
If the problem is new, or isolated, you can get away with replacing only the affected boards. This is why it is a good idea to inspect your patio every once in a while. Catching problems early almost always results in a lower repair bill.
Have you noticed that your boards feel springy when you walk on them? Or you might notice piles of insect wings lying around on the ground. These are possible signs of termite damage.
Try tapping on your boards near the wings and listen to the sound. Do they sound hollow? There may be termites tunneling through your boards.
If the problem goes long enough, you will have to replace your patio. It would be a good idea to use composite or other material that termites won’t eat.
Your Patio Looks Beat Up and Old
Our final sign that patio resurfacing is a good idea is your patio simply looks old and beat up.
Patios don’t last forever. If your patio receives a lot of attention from mother nature in particular, signs will begin to show.
This is where proper maintenance comes in handy. A well-maintained patio may only need a resurfacing. You won’t have to put the extra money into replacing the patio in its entirety. In most cases, this will save you a decent amount of money.
Time for Patio Resurfacing
What do you think? How does your patio look? Is it time for patio resurfacing? If you’re still not sure, you can always talk to a professional and ask their opinion.
What about if you decide to rip it all out and rebuild? Then our post about things to know before building a deck will be invaluable. We’ve got lots of great information for just about everything!