Many homes, especially older homes, have concrete patios. These outdoor features are built to last, and purely for function, having little to do with style or aesthetics. Concrete patios are great for outdoor living because they are a dedicated space and help to define borders. Over time, however, the weather elements, inclement storms, root systems, and foot traffic all take their toll. These combined forces eventually cause even the sturdiest of patios to begin to crack.
Those cracks only grow larger, and become a source of aggravation because now, you’re constantly having to pull weeds out, plus, insects use them as kinds of miniature highways. What’s more, those cracks present another problem, and that’s safety since you can trip over them, or worse, find a sandal or shoe wedged between. All of this, not to mention the fact, that they completely detract from their already plain, but worn look.
Refurbishing an Old Concrete Patio
You are tired of looking at your old, worn, cracked concrete patio and want to do something about it. There’s a few problems, however, which you have to address and most of all, you’re dreading having to break up the concrete. What’s even worse is the fact that it’s likely not just constructed of concrete but steel rebar, a reinforcement material that helps to keep the patio sturdy. What this means is you’ll have to rent a dumpster, rent a jackhammer, rent an acetylene torch or hydraulic bolt cutter, and, get a lot of helping hands to get the job done.
A concrete patio is made for practicality, not beauty. It starts out looking plain and goes downhill from there. As craters, cracks and stains accumulate, it can go from dull to downright ugly in just a few years. But there’s a simple solution, whether you want to dress up a bland patio or hide an aging one. Covering concrete with paver bricks is much easier than pouring new concrete or laying pavers the traditional way. It requires less skill and less time, and it’s a whole lot easier on your back. —The Family Handyman
If that’s simply too much, the good news is, you don’t actually have to break-up and discard your old concrete patio, you can simply opt to patch the cracks and then, cover it with pavers, or even bricks. You probably ought to go with pavers because you’ll be able to cover more surface area with less material, which will cut down on expense.
Replacing a Patio with Bricks or Pavers
After you’ve filled the cracks and have mowed and trimmed the lawn around the border of your concrete patio, you’ll be ready to start transforming it into something wonderful. Materials and tools you’ll need:
- long-handled and course scrub brush
- concrete cleaner or muriatic acid
- garden hose
- tape measure
- chalk line
- polyurethane construction adhesive
- landscape fabric
- utility knife
With all your materials and tools ready-to-go, you can lay pavers over your concrete patio by following these steps:
- Start off with a good cleaning. Combine muriatic acid and water or use concrete cleaner to scrub your patio down. Put most of your efforts into the border because this is where you’ll be using adhesive to glue the border down to keep the pavers from shifting. Scrub it clean, then allow it to dry completely. Do this on a sunny day and sweep away any leaves that fall onto the patio.
- Lay the border down along the edges. Using a tape measure and chalk line, mark the lines where you’ll create the border. Then, glue the border pavers down directly over the concrete patio. Do this carefully and use adhesive smartly, you don’t want to use too much or too little. If you use too much, you’ll have to deal with the excess and too little won’t be enough to keep the border in-place for very long.
- Put down landscape fabric. After the adhesive has dried, then lay landscape fabric onto the bare concrete, but don’t cut it to size just yet. You should wait to do that after you’ve laid all the other pavers into place over the fabric covering the concrete patio.
- Lay the remaining pavers into place inside the border. Starting at one corner, work your way in a parallel direction and then lay the next row. You can also get creative and lay the pavers in another type of sequence to create one or more patterns.
- Cut off the excess landscape fabric. Once you’ve covered the entire patio surface, you might have extra landscape fabric. Simply cut off the excess with a utility knife.
Now, you can furnish your newly transformed patio and use it for years to entertain family and friends.