It’s easy to see why so many stairs, walls, and other busy surfaces are made of concrete, it makes them highly durable and long lasting. Usually concrete steps last for decades but sometimes weather and continually use results in damage like chips and cracks. If your stairs have suffered from conditions like these, you’ll find that concrete stair refacing, performed over the top of the steps can make them look and feel like brand new again. Best of all you can perform concrete stair refacing on your own fairly easily by following these 5 simple steps:
- Mix bleach with water in a ratio of 1/2 quart of bleach per 1 gallon of water. Then take a scrub brush and apply the mixture with a circular motion over the steps surface making sure to apply the mixture to the cracks which have formed. After letting this mixture sink in, wash the bleach and water mixture from the steps with a power washer that produces at least 3,500 lbs per square inch of pressure. You should make even and slow sweeps that are 6 to 8 inches above the steps surface with this power washer.
- Next you should insert something called weather stripping into the steps joints by pressing the strips down firmly along the entire length of the joint. This weather stripping will help to maintain the joints and keep the concrete resurfacing from getting into the joints. Expansion joints are the gaps that are adjacent to the parts of the concrete and they are around 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch deep. This helps to bring everything together and gives a nice finish to the concrete stairs.
- You then mix 1 part of water with 7 parts of a concrete resurfacer and water mixture which is available in most home improvement stores. Use a drill and paddle mixer to stir this mixture until it’s pourable and lump free. The concrete resurfacer is a mixture of sand, cement, polymer and other additives which helps to strengthen your concrete stairs from the inside. Once your mixture is stirred thoroughly, fill the cracks in the steps concrete with this resurface mixture by using a trowel, skim over the imperfections until the mixture is level with the existing concrete. Allow this mixture to dry for around 5 hours without being disturbed.
- You now need to spread a 1/4 inch layer of the resurfacer-water mixture across the entire surface of the steps using a long handled squeegee to ensure that you can make consistently smooth, long strokes without any imperfections. Using the resurfacing mixture, cover all of the exposed areas on the steps once again. Then shape the rounded bits on the steps front with your trowel. Allow the mixture to dry for around another 6 hours.
- When everything is finished then you should sweep a big nylon bristle broom over all of the steps. You should also slightly insert the bristles into the steps resurfaced faces while it is still wet. Then make one complete stroke right across the top of the step from one end to the other with no stopping. Give it around 20 minutes and then remove the weatherstripping. This should complete the concrete stair refacing and make your stairs look like new again.
If throughout this guide you felt uncertain of your ability to complete all the required steps it’s important to feel comfortable about contacting specialized concrete contractors in order to make sure that the reliabilty and beauty of your home’s concrete stairs are as high as you deserve.