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Parts of my concrete patio are eroding from around the gravel on the surface. I think it was built in the 70s or 80s. Some parts of the patio are in great condition, others are very bad. Shown below is the worst part and a close-up of it.

Question: What is causing this failure, can I stop it and/or is there a way I can resurface it as a DIY project?

enter image description here enter image description here

Next image shows both fair and bad spots in the same area: enter image description here

Next image shows the tile in best shape: enter image description here

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    Are you sure it's not supposed to be that way? That looks like a "washed" surface (I think that's what it's called) where they intentionally power wash some the surface away to expose the aggregate. That gives a desired (by some) look to the concrete as well as better traction. Can you add a picture, for comparison, of some of the "great condition" portions? The pinkish portion in the 1st pic looks like a step and like it's from a totally different pour, finished in a different way.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 29 at 17:57
  • I added a pic showing the best area, and one showing a very bad and not so bad area near each other. Correct that the stair is a different pour, probably more recent. And for some reason pink but that can be a different question. :)
    – jay613
    Mar 29 at 19:39
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    Any concrete will show degradation after 40 or 50 years. The trouble with resurfacing here is that you don't have a monolithic slab, you have a bunch of individual pavers. You'd have to work them separately.
    – isherwood
    Mar 29 at 20:20
  • After looking at the additional pics, I'd agree with you - your concrete isn't in the best condition anymore. :(
    – FreeMan
    Mar 30 at 12:25
  • @FreeMan that's kind of you. So I do not have The Tate's Manzoni: tate.org.uk/art/artworks/manzoni-artists-shit-t07667, just a regular bag of sh*t. At least that's settled.
    – jay613
    Mar 30 at 15:22
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It looks like the different surfaces were made that way by an amateur. So, not a matter of deterioration except for the rotting wood. Concrete with rough aggregate was poured , then at the "right" time , a stiff broom was used to sweep cement and fines from the surface leaving the aggregate. Appearance depends a lot on timing and broom action. The angular surfaces of the black aggregate show that it is hard and not wearing. Same answer; It needs to be replaced if you want to change it.

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No, you can't resurface the surface economically, as it needs skill, and is a labor intensive business. You can repave, or adding topping concrete though. The original cement facing has simply flaked out due to weathering.

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  • Skill and labor needn't be expensive if you're providing them yourself.
    – isherwood
    Mar 29 at 20:30
  • I'm not knowledgeable enough to understand the distinction between resurfacing, repaving, and adding topping concrete. If "resurface" means something specific, I didn't mean that. If there is some way I could repair this without breaking it up and starting again, that is what I meant. Hopefully something I can do myself in a few weekends at a cost that would be justified by another, say, 10 years of life. If so what's the high level approach or type of material I should be investigating?
    – jay613
    Mar 29 at 20:45
  • @isherwood The skill required is usually beyond the casual DIY, it is rather a professional job. As always, more skilled labor time = more $$. It pissed me off this morning, $515 to replace two faucets (kitchen and bathroom), labor only, material not included.
    – r13
    Mar 29 at 20:50
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    I would say repaving is easier to handle. Go to Home depot to select patio bricks/paving blocks, then clean the existing surface to receive mortar paste, and setting the selected material. But this will raise your pavement, that causing other problems. Have you talked to a contractor? Better get 3 estimates and compare, and decide if you can handle yourself.
    – r13
    Mar 29 at 20:57

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