There are lots of things you can try! Perhaps the simplest is to give it a good scrub down - if you can get your hands on a power washer, or hire a professional to come out and jet it for you, this is the easiest method of transforming a patio.
If it’s already as clean and free of weeds as you can get it and it still looks a bit sad and boring, don’t worry! A concrete stain, epoxy, or paint is the next best thing - you can transform your patio for less than a hundred bucks and an afternoon’s work.
Be aware that stains aren’t as good as paint, though they take less time to apply and are often cheaper because a stain will never completely cover up any marks, stains, or otherwise unpleasant spots completely - it dries somewhat transparently.
Paint and epoxy certainly require more prep work and cost more on average, but they’ll also give you a much better finish. If done properly, both can last upwards of around ten years before needing to be repaired or replaced.
Working with less money or looking for a quick fix? Consider getting an outdoor rug, as these can be a good solution that’s weather-resistant and seem attractive without much work or effort on your part, though this doesn’t solve the patio problem!
How Can I Make An Old Concrete Path Look Better?
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford to rip up your path and lay a new one, there are plenty of things you can do to spruce it up a little. Much like a concrete patio, you can stain a path, or if you have more time and patience, epoxy or paint it!
You might think that the rain does a good job of cleaning it, but you’d be surprised just how much dirt and grime can penetrate the surface of your concrete. A powerwasher (either wielded by yourself or a professional) can really improve things.
Once you’ve got it looking spick and span, instead of painting or staining over top, you could simply seal the concrete instead. This not only gives it a more attractive look, in a variety of finishes but also protects it from future dirt and weathering.
By lining a walkway with either bricks, stones or flowers for instance, you can give an old and tired walkway a lease of new life and a pop of color. This is a very easy and affordable way to distract the eye from old, cracked or lackluster concrete paving.
Those with more time and money on their hands could resurface the original path with a new concrete overlay. This doesn’t require the old concrete to have been removed and can simply be poured over the top of the existing stone.
Once that’s done, the new layer could be stamped, colored or textured somehow if you want to add some personality to your garden or yard. All you need are some flagstones or pavers - you can even create the illusion of grout lines!
How Do I Level An Old Concrete Patio?
Besides digging it up and starting again, the easiest way to level an old patio is to pour a new layer of concrete over the existing one. It’s not as easy as it sounds though - you still need to prepare the old surface before you add more on top.
You’re going to want to get a strong cleaning product known as etching acid and give the present concrete a good thorough scrubbing with a broom or something similar. After that, wait a couple of hours to allow penetration before hosing it down.
Another important step is to then go over the clean concrete with a wire brush and some water, as this will stop any moisture being absorbed from the new concrete pour and give it the best possible chance of sticking to the old layer permanently.
Failing to follow the above steps will stop the new layer of concrete from properly sticking to the old one, creating a weak adhesion that may well fall apart over time. If you’re looking for an easy solution, this is your best shot!
If by the time you’ve allowed everything to dry for a few days, you still feel things look a little strange or the finish isn’t perfect, you could always put some paving stones or use epoxy, paint or stain over the top to hide away any unsightly marks or stains.
That said, if you want to change the color of your uneven patio, when you’re mixing up your new batch of concrete, you should add your dye or stain directly into it rather than painting over afterward. This ensures a nice, even finish that won’t chip away.
What Can I Do With An Uneven Concrete Patio?
The most obvious thing to do would be to dig it up and replace it, solving the problem of things being uneven. That, however, is a huge job that requires a lot of time, effort and money. Looking for an easier, cheaper solution? Try concrete jacking!
Otherwise referred to as slab leveling, mud jacking or slab jacking, effectively it involves using a cement slurry of sorts to fill any gaps and cracks. This covers any emptiness in the soil beneath the concrete and is a lot more budget-friendly.
Although you can definitely do this yourself if you have the right tools and know-how, it’s definitely going to be a lot easier for you to hire a professional. Rest assured that it will be a whole lot cheaper than getting rid of everything and starting from scratch!
If that all sounds a bit too difficult, you could also take the easier route of pouring a completely new layer of concrete over top to create one consistent and level surface, though you have to properly prepare the old concrete to ensure the new layer sticks.
This is, unsurprisingly, known as a leveling layer.