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I am a first-time homebuyer and purchased an older home in the Northeastern US. While I've found great infomation here on my many DIY projects, I have not been able to determine whether or not my garage floor is in a "refinishable" state.

The Problem: I have zero experience with concrete, and had originally intended on doing the refinishing process myself. After scouring the internet for how-to videos, I kept noticing that most of the slabs being repaired are in much better shape than what I'm dealing with.

The garage is a concrete slab poured around cinderblocks; I've included a photo of one large problem area, which has very long, deep cracks, and pitting all over the place. The cracks are rather wide as well. The paint removal process is also taking it's toll on the slab, bringing up chunks in the weaker areas.

My Original Plan:

  1. Strip the original paint/epoxy using stripper and floor scraper.
  2. Clean and V-Score cracks, and remove existing patchwork.
  3. Apply concrete patcher & bonding agent to cracks and problem areas.
  4. Sand smooth and spread resurfacer across the entire slab.

I grew concerned over the amount of concrete patch I would need to purchase to achieve results - more than what would be considered simple patchwork.

My Questions:

  1. Is this concrete slab repairable, or is it beyond it's usable life? If you could please explain how you came to that answer, I would greatly appreciate any context (i.e. When should you consider full replacement for any slab?).

enter image description here

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  • Looking at that photo I would say an overlay is your best option , a photo of a larger area may change that idea but that is in rough shape and looks like a wheelbarrow pour to me (mixed in a wheelbarrow). 2” with fiberglass reinforced would be my recommendation based on what I can see.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 1, 2020 at 7:58
  • @EdBeal That's definitely worth considering. Would that pour be new concrete, or using a "patch" product?
    – WebsterXC
    Sep 1, 2020 at 19:33
  • Yes an overlay will cost less than a complete removal and replacement if you have the height. The new on top of old will be quite strong similar in height to pavers but stronger and with fiberglass it is much stronger.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 1, 2020 at 19:43
  • @EdBeal I think I've determined that while it's correct to replace the whole slab, it's out of my planned budget. It's good to know what my other options are despite not being as robust. Thank you so much for pointing me in another direction, I will educate myself on this!
    – WebsterXC
    Sep 1, 2020 at 19:50

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It's done-for. Whenever you have both severe surface degradation and spider cracks there's no turning back time. No patch will hold up with so many independently-movable segments. You'd have to pour a new slab that's robust enough to span such movement.

If it didn't cause problems at the door opening you could lay paver bricks over the top. They'd do pretty well I think. That would mean doing the same out into the driveway, though.

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