When repairing or replacing concrete, both come with their own set of benefits. Replacing concrete is often faster than repairing it because the reinforcing rods, wires, and mesh are already in place. This saves time for concreters who only need to pour into place and then cure. However, this also means that there will be one more repair needed somewhere else sooner than if the existing concrete was repaired instead. Repairing existing concrete takes longer but it can help to extend the life of the slab. If your homeowner’s association (HOA) requires homeowners to maintain their sidewalks or driveway within a certain amount of time (e.g., every five years), then choosing to keep rather than replace could save you money in the long run with local concreters.
The time for concreters to repair or replace depends on the size of the job. Replacing a driveway typically takes one day, while repairing it can take two days with large slabs or more depending on the damage. If you just have cracks that need to be filled in, then this will only take an hour or so. However, if your concrete is old and weak (e.g., no rebar), more time could be needed for the concrete to properly cure before it’s safe enough for cars.
Concrete costs about $350 per cubic yard of concrete when bought retail – nearly half of that price comes from transporting the materials to the site! The cost difference between replacement and repair is typically negligible (about 10%).
If your concrete is in good condition but just has some cracks, then repairing the concrete will be cheaper than if it is old and must be replaced. Concrete that needs repair typically costs $30-$40 per square foot while replacing new concrete can cost $50-$70 per square foot for this size of the job. Repairing existing concrete may not always be the cheapest option, however, especially if you need to replace or add more than 10% of the slab’s volume (e.g., adding stairs). This is because there are extra expenses involved with putting in reinforcement rods – it’s not like pouring plain old concrete on top of what’s already there! Larger repairs that require reinforcing rods can end up costing about the same as replacing.
Replacing existing concrete can cost about the same as repairing it, but the timeframe for replacement is much shorter. If you plan to put in new reinforcing rods before resurfacing, then expect to spend at least one day on every 20 square feet of the slab that needs work. If your contractor doesn’t need to add extra support bars or mesh, then this job will only take half a day per 20 square feet. On average, expect the replacement process to take up to 4 days for this type of project.
If time isn’t an issue, then replacing your concrete is how you’ll want to go because it’s faster than repairing it. There will be no need for waiting for reinforcement rods and mesh – these are already in place so all your concreters need to do is pour the concrete! On average, expect this project to take up to a day per 20 square feet – however, larger slabs may need more time.
For a repair that will not require adding rods or mesh, then expect the process to only take one or two days for every 20 square feet of the slab. This task can be completed within half a day if your flooring is already off and you have access from below as well as above. If there are any areas where your sidewalk slopes down towards the house (e.g., for wheelchair access), those might also need to be repaired or replaced depending on how many steps there are. In this case, expect to spend an extra half day 20 square feet of the slab because these areas often take more time.