Have an old concrete floor or patio that's uneven? You can actually level an existing concrete floor with a leveling layer of new concrete — but the catch is that you must prepare the old concrete floor first. Neglecting to prepare the old surface will prevent the new concrete from adhering correctly, resulting in a weak bond between the two layers. When done correctly, however, a leveling layer of concrete increases the longevity and strength of an old concrete floor.
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Here's how to pour a leveling layer of concrete to even out a concrete floor:
1. Mark Your Measurements
Mark the intended height for the new concrete. If you're working inside, snap a chalk line around the walls. If you're working outside, dig a trench around the perimeter of the floor 4 inches deep. Place wood form boards on their sides in the trench and nail them together at the ends. The surface of the new concrete will be level with the top of the form boards. For instance, if you're raising the level 2 inches, use 2-by-6 inch form boards.
2. Pour Concrete Etching Acid
Pour concrete etching acid over the surface and spread it with a shop broom. Scrub the acid into the floor, and wait half an hour before rinsing it off with a hose.
3. Rough Up the Surface
Go over the surface with a wire brush to rough it up to help the new concrete adhere to the old. Water the old concrete to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the new concrete.
4. Mix Up the Concrete
Prepare enough concrete to pour a 1- to 2-inch layer over the old floor. In a concrete mixer, add cement, aggregate, sand and water as directed on the concrete package instructions.
5. Pour and Spread the Concrete
Pour the concrete over the old floor and spread it over the surface with a rake. Continue pouring the concrete until you reach the height of the chalk line or the top of the form boards.
6. Smooth the Concrete Surface
Settle the concrete with a clean straight-edge long enough to drag across the surface. Smooth the surface with a float beginning with the first section of poured concrete and working across. Stop manipulating the concrete once water begins to appear on the surface.
7. Cover the Floor
Cover the floor with moist burlap and allow it to dry for four days, keeping the burlap moist so the floor cures slowly.