Is Concrete Removal Necessary?

Learn more about concrete removal and compare it to other options for rehabilitating a concrete surface.
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Is it better to resurface or replace concrete?

If you have a damaged or outdated concrete surface, you might be considering concrete removal. However, concrete removal is expensive, messy, time-consuming, and loud. If your surface is structurally sound and not damaged beyond repair, concrete resurfacing is a superior option.

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Alternatives to tearing out concrete

If concrete replacement isn’t necessary, there are several ways you can update a concrete slab without having to tear it out. Here are a few of them.

  • Concrete Resurfacing. If you have a little bit of damage on your concrete surface or your concrete just has an outdated appearance, resurfacing is a wonderful option. After resolving surface imperfections such as hairline cracks, chipping, and other minor damage, an experienced concrete contractor such as SUNDEK can apply a durable coating right on top of your surface, giving it a brand-new look.
  • Concrete Staining. If the look of your surface is outdated and you want to give it a refresh, concrete staining is a great way to do that. There are many staining options, and the one that’s right for your surface depends on what look you’re going for.
  • Repairing. Do you have cracking, spalling, chipping, or any other small signs of wear and tear? Decorative contractors experienced in concrete repair can both fix your surface and make it look good, too.
Rather than tearing out their existing pool deck, homeowners had SUNDEK of Houston resurface the space—creating a beautiful location to spend time with friends and family. Read about the transformation.

What is concrete resurfacing?

Concrete resurfacing involves taking an existing concrete surface, removing any existing stains, sealers, coatings, paint, or other contaminants, and then applying a coating on top. That coating creates the appearance of a brand-new surface, allowing you to get the look you want without having to go through the messy, expensive, and time-consuming process of concrete removal and replacement.

When should you tear out a concrete slab?

Although resurfacing, repairing, or staining concrete is a better option than concrete removal, sometimes it is necessary to completely remove a concrete slab. When cracks are significantly large, or the slab just wasn’t properly installed, you it may not be viable enough to place a coating on top. The best way to find out if there’s a potential for reviving your existing surface is to contact a local contractor.

At SUNDEK, we will never resurface a concrete surface that’s beyond repair. It is not in your best interest or ours to work with a surface that isn’t viable. Verify that whichever contractor you work with has a solid plan for how they will address your concrete’s existing damage.

Homeowners in Nashville were thrilled when SUNDEK of Nashville resurfaced their slippery and cracking driveway, renovating it to create a gorgeous surface that’s durable and functional, too. See more of this project.

Cost of concrete resurfacing vs. replacement

Although prices vary depending on where you live, it is generally safe to say that tearing out and replacing concrete is more expensive than resurfacing or coloring your existing concrete—not to mention more environmentally friendly.

Typically, the cost for removing your concrete ranges anywhere from about $2 to $6 per square foot. Then, having a new concrete slab poured costs anywhere from $6 to $15 or more per square foot. That puts you at a minimum of about $8 per square foot to just tear out your existing surface and put a plain gray concrete slab in its place.

Compare that to resurfacing which starts at about $3 per square foot and then increases depending on the type of design you want.

Ultimately, resurfacing will cost about half as much as tearing out and replacing your concrete (and this price breakdown doesn’t take into account any decorative features you might want to add to your new concrete slab that replaced the one you tore out).

Coloring your concrete starts at about $2 per square foot and goes up from there depending on how many colors you choose and what type of design you want. If you’re going to choose something basic, coloring your surface would cost about a quarter of the total amount of tearing your concrete out and replacing it.

Get more information about resurfacing costs.

Rather than tear out their existing patio and cabana when they decided to add this pool, homeowners hired SUNDEK of San Antonio to resurface the existing concrete to match the exposed aggregate finish of a new pool deck. Learn how it was done.

Is your surface cracked? We have a solution for that!

Although concrete is durable and known to last a long time, it’s almost inevitable for at least a little bit of cracking to occur since concrete is not elastic. With our Custom Scoreline Effect system, we can take a cracking surface and incorporate the cracks into a new design—in a beautiful way. And since the cracks are retained, it makes it less likely that your surface will crack again.

Does your surface have water damage? We have a solution for that, too!

In addition to resolving existing water damage, we help you determine how to resolve the issue that’s causing the damage. On top of that, we have waterproof coatings that prevent future problems. Learn about our waterproofing solutions.

Find a contractor in your area

If you’d like to find a contractor near you who can assess your existing concrete and then give you a quote for resurfacing or coloring, we can help! We have authorized installers all over the country with decades of experience beautifying concrete.

Find a SUNDEK authorized installer near you

You can also fill out the form on this page
Or call SUNDEK headquarters at 877-478-6335

We look forward to working with you!

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