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I have a large exposed aggregate concrete walkway that goes to my backyard patio and it has partitions in between (maybe granite?). I live in an older 60's bungalow and I assume the walkway is original and it is well past it's life span. It is very difficult to walk on and chipping-away. I am wondering if it is possible to go over it with concrete and if the concrete will bond. I am looking for a more modern look. Any options or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Walkway picture

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My suggestion would be to blast away the surface dirt with a pressure washer, then clean it off with something strong like muriatic acid. (Or hire a neighborhood teen to do it. ;-> ) Then apply concrete bonding agent and leveling compound. Leveling compound is pricey, but it can be applied in thin sheets and it sets up fast (very, very fast).

You'll have to put some sort of forms up, but you can use cut up cardboard boxes, because you're only adding 1/8" (3 mm) or less to the thickness.

If you DIY this, please, please do an experiment with about 1 square foot of compound on some cardboard or something, first. It's really a mix-pour-spread-set product, so you want to be ready.

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Best option would be to clean it good, removing as much loose debris as possible, then getting a concrete bonding agent and applying according to the directions with the proper timing of your concrete pour. To get a lasting sidewalk, you will want the new slab to be the proper thickness and expansion gaps installed, otherwise it will just crack and break apart. Plus this will also make your sidewalk higher on both ends, you may need to slope the ends or use a step.

Other option is to completely remove the old sidewalk and pour a new one. Depends on how much work you want to do. First option less work, but might be a little higher in cost to ensure the new slab "sticks" to the old area.

  • Thanks Jeff. Do you know what the proper thickness should be? There is a pergola/hanging lights above the current walkway, so I can only go so high. – veclempt Sep 27 '17 at 19:10
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    If the surface is clean being that rough a bonding agent may not be needed. The thickness will depend on the aggregate size. If you use a mortar or a mix with pea gravel you could go as thin as 1" but thicker is usually better with concrete. – Ed Beal Sep 27 '17 at 19:14
  • I also forgot to mention, you could use an interlocking paver system too. They are usually 2" thick, unless you use patio pavers. I would say the best bet is 2" so it won't crumble on you. If that is an issue, then you might need to just dig up the old stuff and pour a new slab. But experiment, buy a few pavers that you might like to look at, and place them at the highest location. If the pergola or lights are not movable and in your way, then you know what will need to be done! – Jeff Cates Sep 27 '17 at 19:31
  • @JeffCates the patio pavers may be an idea. Would I need to lay down anything extra over the aggregate concrete or would it be the same as normally laying pavers - gravel & sand? Is there a particular way I would address drainage? – veclempt Sep 27 '17 at 20:42
  • Lay them as normal. You already have a firm ground, just use sand to level. The space between them will allow for drainage, plus if need be, slope away from the house. – Jeff Cates Sep 27 '17 at 20:47

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