How to Smooth Rough Concrete Patio Like a Pro


Having a patio in one’s house has become the icing on the cake for many house owners. Contractors find it easy to construct into any preferred design. Also, its use of recreational purposes for family relaxation and gathering cannot be ignored. That is why house owners opt for concrete patios because they are durable and cost-effective in comparison to a wooden deck.

Yet this concrete patio can wear out over time due to some natural causes like water erosion, dust, and foot traffic, or inefficiency on the part of the contractor if relatively new.

How then can you smoothen your rough concrete patio into looking brand new again without having to spend so much money tearing out the whole thing or hiring a contractor?

Here is a DIY step-by-step process of smoothing an uneven concrete patio using a resurfacer and a concrete grinder skillfully.

DIY Way: Resurface Concrete Patio

Firstly, you have to get your resurface equipment ready which includes:

  • Cleaning supplies such as hose, water, bucket, concrete cleaner, brush, and broom
  • Resurfacer
  • Paddle mixer bit
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Float
  • Protective equipment such as rubber boots, waterproof gloves, and protective glasses

You can get any of the equipment you don’t readily have at home from any hardware store.

When you’ve your resurfacing gear ready proceed to.

Step 1: Thoroughly clean the concrete patio with an eco-friendly concrete cleaner 

A proper cleaning preparation is essential for an overall good result, so suit up in your protective gear and start by sweeping off the dirt from the surface using a concrete broom and applying an eco-friendly concrete cleaner on the surface. Ensure that the concrete cleaner is eco-friendly because there’s a lot of non-eco-friendly concrete cleaners being sold that may be hazardous to the floor.

Leave the solution for some minutes depending on the type of cleaner being used. Then thoroughly scrub and scrape off any stubborn dirt or deteriorating concrete and rinse off with clean water using a hose to create pressure on the surface to enhance better cleaning.

Step 2: Mix the resurfacer

The resurfacer can be homemade or premade whichever it is. Ensure that it is a quality one to avoid drying, shrinkage, and cracking. Take a paddle mixer bit and equip a drill in a resurfacer of about 7 to 1 ratio mixing it with water in a large plastic bucket, until you achieve a loop-free paint-like consistency to ensure it is spreadable. You may also use your eye to gauge the resurfacer ratio if the concrete patio requires more but ensure it is not too thick or watery and if it is, adds more water to reduce thickness or more resurfacer to thicken it to a pourable consistency. 

Step 3: Repair cracks or patches before resurfacing the entire patio.

Before resurfacing the entire surface, use the resurfacer to repair any cracks using the trowel to spread it on the damaged spot. After it has hardened, rewet the entire surface if dried and use a broom to sweep off any standing water. This is to ensure that the surface is damp enough to retain the water when applying the resurfaced.

Then pour the paint-like consistency resurfacer mix on the surface in a perpendicular way and use the float to coat the entire surface dragging it back and forth to even the material ensuring it fills every concavity of the concrete, you can also divide the concrete patio to resurface better and finish up by dragging a concrete broom across the surface to get rid of inconsistency giving it an appealing texture. Then give it two hours to dry or more depending on the type of resurfacer used.

Step 4: Mist the surface

After two hours, the resurfacer would have dried up enough to gently moist the surface for 24 to 48 hours which is known as curing.

Step 5: Leave it to dry

The surface would still be sensitive for a couple of hours after application, so leave it overnight to completely harden before walking on it.

Note before resurfacing don’t do it under very sunny or cold conditions. It should be done at a temperature between 20 to 40 degrees.

Now that you know how to resurface your concrete patio. Let’s dive into how to use a concrete grinder skillfully to smoothen your rough concrete patio but to be sure we are on the same page.

Professional Way: Grind the Patio

What is a concrete grinder?

It is a finishing tool used for leveling and restoring floors by removing organic and non-organic residues/materials with the aid of a rotating disc engineered with abrasive diamond. It is used for smoothing or polishing rough concrete.

Types of concrete grinders:

There are several types of concrete grinders and they can be powered by either gas, propane gas, or electricity. The most effective are the ones that use gas. Nonetheless, the electric and propane gas grinders work just fine.

Hand-Held Concrete grinders: Due to their size they’re being used to smoothen narrow corners where a walk-behind concrete grinder can’t enter. It comes in different models, one of which is the versatile angle grinder that can be used for smoothing or polishing concrete and metals. With a cutting disc of 1.2mm it can cut any metal, steel, and stone.

Walk-Behind Concrete grinders: They’re used in smoothing large concrete areas. This type of concrete grinder comes in different sizes and models. The two main types are rotary and planetary grinders. The rotary grinder is heavier and has a large disc that spins at high speed allowing it to make better contact with the surface while planetary grinders have double pads compared to the former. They’re lightweight making them easy to maneuver.

To smoothen or polish a concrete patio an angle grinder of 4- 1/2 to 9 inches is what is advisable to use. It’s not just because of its versatility but it is easier to use due to its size and can easily be gotten from any hardware store.

Aside from the angle grinder which is the star of the show, you’ll also need other supplementary equipment like;

  • A flexible coarse disk of 24 to 36 grit kick
  • Protective equipment e.g. protective glasses, rubber boots, nose mask, waterproof gloves, knee pads, and earplugs
  • Cleaning supplies e.g. calcium sulfate, brush, broom, vacuum machine, and mop.

Ensure you are suited up in your protective gear then proceed to;

Step 1: Thoroughly cleaning the concrete patio

Make use of a broom or vacuum machine to clean the surface. This is to get rid of any sort of dirt whether oil, grease, or stubborn stains to prevent any obstruction when using the grinder. You may also clean the surface with water to reduce dust when grinding but most prefer to leave it dry to prevent the surface from being too messy after grinding. Choose whichever works best for you.

Step 2: Set your concrete grinder

Before using the grinder make sure to properly attach everything that needs to be attached like the disc, and handle guard. For no reason should you remove the handle guard, it is there to protect you from injuring yourself. Don’t plug in the grinder until you’ve properly attached everything to prevent accidents. Also, make sure there is no one around you that can get hurt from the shooting debris. If someone is with you they must wear protective gear as well and ensure there is no flammable material nearby.

Step 3: Power the concrete grinder and start using

Now you can plug in your grinder and hold the grinder flat on the concrete surface using the handle guard and begin to smooth out all the bumps in a circular or up and down motion moving it right and left whichever is comfortable to get a uniform or even surface. You can also use a flap disc to achieve a polished surface.

Step 4: Clean the surface after grinding

Upon getting the desired surface result clean with calcium sulfate, rinse off and mop, to prevent moss growth.

Benefit of smoothing rough concrete patio

A rough surface concrete appears unattractive and instigates cracks but when it is smooth it has a lot of benefits like:

1. Giving the concrete surface a brand new look and increasing the lifespan of the concrete.

2. It is less expensive and time-consuming since you don’t have to tear out the whole thing and start from scratch. You also don’t need any professional qualification to smoothen a concrete all you need is basic knowledge and have your equipment ready to start the job. However, even though you are trying to save some cash it isn’t advisable to do it alone, so ask your family members or friends to help you out.

3. It is easy to add any flooring options or aesthetic you want especially for the concrete patio e.g. color, stamp, etc.

4. It helps to remove residues and stubborn stains because of the acid solution used in cleaning the surface or the concrete grinder used to scrape and smooth out the surface of the concrete. The surface also becomes easy to clean after it has been properly done.

Conclusion

With the above steps, you should be able to smoothen your rough concrete patio using either the resurfacing or the grinding method like a pro. Also, ensure to take safety precautions when performing this task.

Now that you know how to smoothen your concrete patio. Get your smoothening gear and get to work.


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Jason D. Turner

Hi there! My name is Jason, a keen enthusiast in power tools and their mechanisms and the sole mastermind behind the Noisy Tools. Working in a multi-national construction firm in Brooklyn for over a decade, I have developed a fair flair for different construction devices, gadgets, and their diverse operational aspects. By the dint of this platform, I have researched and reviewed various tools with utmost details of even the most trivial matters that will provide valuable insights for any prospective user.

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