I purchased a home with an existing VERY old aggregate patio. A few years ago I dumped a boatload of money into it to try and fix it, and it lasted about two years. Now I just want to get rid of it. There is a concrete patio underneath the aggregate layer but I want to save that so how do I remove the aggregate layer without destroying the concrete underneath it? Thoughts....

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    What makes you think there are "layers" to the concrete? I have a 28 yr old very rough exposed aggregate patio that was all one single pour. The only option was to cover the aggregate with another layer of concrete.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 3 '20 at 16:14
  • How was the aggregate layer bonded to the original pour? In most cases the top layer will spit off easily if you hit it with a sledge hammer. Do you really want to save the underlying concrete? Since you already spent a lot of money and failed to fix it, why not just remove the whole thing and do it right from the beginning?
    – jwh20
    Mar 3 '20 at 16:51

Aggregate is the gravel and sand that is mixed with cement and water to make concrete. so the surface you see is the concrete of the patio.

Exposed aggregate is prepared by applying a chemical to the surface of fresh concrete which slows the hardening of the top layer. when the bulk of the concrete is hard the top cement is hosed off exposing the aggregate. (the run-off makes a real mess)

You've got a few options to resurface. you could use a skim coat of mortar slurry with some additive to improve bonding resulting in a classic concrete looking surface. or a leveling compound. It probably wants a good cleaning before you try to bond anything to it.

Or you could grind it down to get the terazzo-like look of cut concrete

Or you could tile it.

  • ...or get a jack hammer and take it all out, then start over.
    – JRaef
    Mar 4 '20 at 23:53
  • my first impuls was to suggest an excavator with a rock breaker, yeah.
    – Jasen
    Mar 5 '20 at 3:55

I started using a power washer in unison with a pole with a heavy metal edge on it. It's going tremendously slow. My question, if I rent a concrete grinder from Home Depot, would that remove this top layer of aggregate? enter image description here

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    David, you've posted a question, or perhaps a followup to it, as an answer to your own question, and you've done it as a different user. Please add any new information to your original post, and be sure you're logged in as the correct user. Don't post content as an answer that isn't intended as an answer.
    – isherwood
    Mar 31 '20 at 22:46

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