While concrete is a very durable surface, over time your concrete can get little chips and cracks that affect both the appearance and the longevity. But, here are some steps you can take to refresh the surface and give it a longer life.
Clear Away Debris
The first thing to do is to sweep the area to remove all debris. You wouldn't want an old leaf to get permanently trapped inside whichever fix you choose. It can also help to hose down the area.
For patching up cracks, you can use a concrete dressing that comes in a squeeze tube. Have a putty knife on hand to force the dressing into the cracks and to smooth out the surface. Some people also like to fill cracks partway with sand before covering them over with a filling. This is a more cost-effective solution, and the sand is fairly durable. Concrete repair caulk is another option for filling in cracks.
If you intend to pour a new concrete layer, then you should mask the expansions first using plastic channel. The expansions are the planned breaks in your concrete surface that allow the material to contract and expand without running into other sections and causing them to break. It's very important that you don't cover over these areas when you're applying new concrete, since they were strategically placed by your original concrete contractor.
Pouring new concrete will ideally be a several person job, since one person should be mixing and preparing the next batch of concrete while someone else is pouring the current batch; otherwise, you risk having the concrete harden prematurely and causing a huge mess and destroying your concrete. For this step, you may wish to call in some concrete contractors, like Joslin Concrete LLC, to lay down a new layer of concrete to cover over your surface after you've prepared it. Ensure that the concrete gets pressed into every crack to make sure that there are no air pockets in the new concrete surface.
By following these steps to improve your concrete's durability, you can save yourself money in the long run by avoiding outright concrete replacement. When in doubt, call in some highly-trained concrete contractors to do a thorough and hassle-free job; you may wish to work in conjunction with your contracting team, doing what you feel comfortable with and then handing them the rest of the tasks.