While patching aggregate concrete is not as simple as working with plain or polished surfaces, it’s possible to repair with the right materials and tactics in the hands of the pros.
Outdoor spaces are meant to be used, not just looked at. So it makes sense that you’re driving and parking on your driveway and entertaining on your exposed aggregate concrete patio. But accidents and elements can sometimes push concrete past its limits, causing damage that leaves a mark.
In these cases, you’ll want your surfaces to look like new, but achieving this affect with patchwork can be quite challenging. You’ll probably want to call in the professionals for their expertise, especially if the damage is deep or has chipped away a large area.
That’s not to say that you can’t patch exposed aggregate concrete. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this a little trickier than working with other materials and how to get the patchwork in place as seamlessly as possible.
Specialised concrete requires specialised repairs
Exposed aggregate produces a unique speckled effect, mainly because you can mix in any number of unique elements to give it character, color, and depth. A special blend of stones, shells, porcelain, rock, and other substrates are mixed into the concrete and poured to create custom driveways, pathways, patios, and more.
Which means that when disaster strikes (or something heavy puts a divot in your driveway), it can be hard to patch. To start with, concrete poured at different times can have different hues just from weathering. Add to that the unique blend of aggregate in your mix, and it can be hard to match a patch just right.
Going to your local Bunnings for an off-the-shelf mix will certainly fill in holes or smooth cracks. But what it won’t do is blend in. But if you call a professional concrete company, or the firm that poured your surface in the first place, you’ll stand a better chance at getting a close match.
Before you go!!! Find out how much exposed aggregate concrete costs in Melbourne
Step-by-step guide to patch exposed aggregate concrete
All of this sounds fairly pessimistic, but patching exposed aggregate concrete is certainly possible. Whether you attempt this as a DIY project or call in the pros for a proper fix, here are the steps that have to be taken for a job well done.
Step #1: Match colours
Before anyone pours one drop of concrete, work must be done to determine the colourways that will be needed. This comes down to two parts: the concrete base mix tint and the aggregate itself. You’ll want to make sure that both of these can be matched as close as possible, with supplies readily available, before you start. A professional service may be able to more quickly match this based on their expertise.
Step #2: Prep surface
With the materials nearby, it’s time to prepare the surface. While it may seem counterintuitive to remove even more material than you have already lost, you’ll want to clear the crack, hole, or dent of debris and rough edges. This can be done by sweeping as well as by using a blade to remove excess material so that the new concrete has a smooth surface to adhere to.
Step #3: Mix blend
Now you can get your materials ready. The concrete should be mixed along with the right proportion of aggregate according to directions.
Step #4: Insert epoxy
Before you can add the concrete, you want to give it a surface to stick to, so that it doesn’t come loose when its done and dry. This is done by adding a layer of epoxy adhesive to the surface you just prepared. Wait just long enough for the epoxy to be tacky (not too dry and not too wet) to continue to the next step.
Step #5: Add patch
Time to get in there and fill the holes, cracks, and dings with the new mix. Using tools like a putty knife or a wooden stick applicator will ensure that the entire space is filled with the concrete for a proper seal and adhesion. You also want to make sure that its level across the surface of the patch, too.
Step #6: Wait (patiently)
This is one of the most important steps. You should wait at least 24-48 hours for the patch to completely dry and cure in place before walking, driving, or working with it more.
Step #7: Seal coat
The last step is to seal the new patch so that it will last. The sealant may also help the patch blend in more with the surrounding aggregate. You’ll want to let this coating cure for at least 48 hours before deciding that the project is complete.
Patched your exposed aggregate? Find out how to maintain your beautiful new surface here
What causes damage to concrete (and how to prevent it)
Concrete on the whole is a durable material designed to last for decades when properly installed and sealed. So what can go wrong and how can you prevent it from happening and requiring you to patch exposed aggregate concrete in the first place?
- Bad weather: Excessive rain or hail damage to seal coatings
- Water damage: Pooling water and high-pressure washing
- High impact: Dropping heavy objects with maximum force
- Repeat wear: Excessive repetitive pressure from traffic
While you can’t stop Mother Nature, you can take steps to treat your surfaces with care while also living your best life while using them. Keep your seal coating up to date (most are refreshed at least every 5 years). Take care when moving heavy items like furniture across surfaces to avoid unnecessary impact. Consider using outdoor rugs under seating areas to protect the surface. And patch as needed.
P.S Here’s how long exposed aggregate lasts (hint: a loooooong time)
Trust in professional concrete patchwork from Concept Concrete
Concrete patching is doable but can require a bit of finesse when it comes to getting a patch to match and remain in place for the long term. While you can try this on your own, calling in concrete professionals to get the patch just right will probably pay for itself in the long run (not to mention save you a hassle and a mess).
At Concept Concrete, we’re experts in all things exposed aggregate concrete, and that includes patch work. We know that with time, your driveway or patio area will come under pressure (literally), and we’re ready to help you make it look like new with matching patchwork for a smooth and precise finish.
Homes across the Melbourne metro area have trusted Concept Concrete for years, taking advantage of superior customer service and attention to detail. Whether you need an entire driveway or a single square metre repaired, our team is standing by to get the job done right at a price you can afford.
To learn more and get started, request a free quote on 1300 366 343.