Can Concrete Be Poured Over Existing Concrete?

Just like any other surface, concrete surfaces experience wear and tear.

Weather damage, regular use, and the passage of time all take their toll on the surface. In some cases, this damage may be significant enough that a concrete repair or replacement is necessary.

In many cases, rather than removing the entire surface, a thin layer of fresh concrete can be added to the existing surface.

This process is known as resurfacing and it’s a great way to repair damaged concrete without having to remove it completely. So yes – if you’ve been wondering, you can pour new concrete over the existing concrete.

can concrete be poured over existing concrete

Find Out When It Is Safe To Pour New Concrete Over Existing Concrete

Before you do this, however, there are a few steps that should be taken to ensure the success of the resurfacing process.

Learning when it’s safe to pour new concrete over existing surfaces and how to properly prepare the surface are both essential for a successful job.

Here are some examples and situations when pouring new concrete over an existing one is considered to be safe:

You Have a Strong Foundation

if you are fixing a concrete slab, it is vital to ensure that the foundation is strong before adding new concrete. If that is not the case, adding new concrete to the surface will lead to delamination and cracking.

If you don’t have a strong foundation, the new concrete may not bond properly with the existing surface and there could be other structural issues.

Your Surface is Clean

Most of the time, even old concrete surfaces can be fixed by pouring over new one, given that the surface is clean. This means that there is no dust, debris, or oil on the surface.

If you have a clean surface, the bonding process will be much easier and the result will be much better.

With that being said, you can clean the surface prior to pouring the new concrete by using chemical cleaners and pressure washers to ensure that the surface is free of any dirt and debris.

A broom is pushed across a sidewalk to add texture to the concrete finish

You Have a Bonding Agent

Before adding in the cement, you should note that most brands do not have a bonding agent. This means that the new concrete will not bond as well and you may end up with cracking, uneven surfaces, and other issues.

Using a bonding agent is an important step in the resurfacing process and it will ensure a strong bond between the old and new concrete layers. Find a bonding agent that will help hold together two layers – the old and the new one.

This bonding agent should be painted on the old concrete surface to ensure that the new concrete adheres successfully.

When Not to Pour Concrete Over Existing Concrete

There are certain cases when pouring over new concrete is not the best solution. While it can be a viable option in some cases, there are other times when the resurfacing process should not be used. Here are some examples:

The Surface is Not Level

If the existing concrete surface is not level, then pouring over new concrete will not solve the problem. The new layer of concrete may fill in some of the gaps and depressions, but it won’t fix the underlying issue.

Doing so may incur more expenses in the long run as additional work may need to be done in order to level out the foundation.

industrial worker on construction site laying sealant for waterproofing cement

There are Cracks in the Existing Concrete

It can be frustrating when you notice cracks on your concrete surface. But pouring on new concrete is not the solution. If you do, you will only transfer the cracks to the new surface and the problem won’t be solved.

In cases like these, it is best to remove the entire concrete and replace it.

There are Physical Obstructions

If there are physical obstructions such as tree roots or pipes, then resurfacing may not be the best option. In these cases, feel free to call in a professional contractor who will be able to provide the best advice as to what needs to be done.

Take note that pouring new concrete over an existing one means that a few inches will be added to the overall level of the surface. If you have trees or any kind of physical obstruction, such as stairs, then this may not be the best option.

Final Thoughts

Adding a new concrete surface over an old or existing one is considered to be a quick fix, especially if the existing foundation is sound and level. Taking the time to properly prepare the surface and apply a bonding agent will give you better results in the long run.

However, if there are any underlying issues, such as cracks or physical obstructions, resurfacing may not be the best option. Be sure to consult a professional contractor who can properly assess the situation and advise you on the best course of action.

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