Resin Driveways – How Is It Done
Resin bound driveways are fast becoming one of the most popular driveway surfacing choices across the world. The simple process of mixing different stone with resin results in stunning paving surfaces that provide strength, durability and longevity.
Resin bound driveways are relatively easy to install, and with curing times of less than ten minutes, you need to know what you’re doing, so caution is advised if you’re considering this as a DIY project.
The choice of gravels available for resin bound driveways include granite, flint and quartz. Demand is also incredibly strong for glow-chip gravel as this makes for a spectacular sight at night for all the stargazers out there.
Keep in mind that this isn’t any old gravel hauled up from the beach. Gravel for resin bound driveways must be sized, washed and then thoroughly dried.
An important part of the preparation process is also to filter out the very fine particles from the gravel. This means it must be tumbled, otherwise, bonding may be compromised during the installation process.
Generally, the size of the gravel is between three to eight millimetres and is normally laid to a depth of 18 millimetres.
Advantages of resin-bound driveways
A major advantage of resin-bound driveways is their permeability.
What is permeability? This term refers to the ability of surface water to drain through the driveway surface.
In the UK, sustainable urban drainage systems ( or SUDS for short) are a hot subject for many local authorities. Flooding risks, and increased demand on public sewerage systems, mean any new installations must satisfy SUDS requirements.
A resin-bound driveway with a suitable sub base ticks the box. The base can either make or break the true utility of your resin-bound driveway. The technology behind resin allowing water to go through it is impressive, but chemistry and molecular structures are left out of this article.
Installing on a Slope
In optimal resin-bound driveway installations, there will be a natural fall to bedding areas and in these circumstances, an overlay may be possible as per SUDS regulations. This means substantial cost-savings, but caution is urged as an existing surface must be suitable.
It’s been known for some companies to bore holes into existing surfaces to aid drainage. This is not the way to go.
Our wisdom, which is based on experience, says whenever possible, the installation of a new sub-base is best.
Increasingly grid systems are also being used with resin-bound installations, and these provide extra support and increased weight-bearing capacity. But again, with no two grids the same, consistency is a complication. Some may provide weight-bearing of only 750 kilograms, whereas others provide ten times this amount.
Two Main Types of Resin
The two main types of resin in use for driveways, patios and pathways are aliphatic polyurethane or aromatic polyurethane. Aliphatic offers protection from ultra violet rays from the sun. This matters if an area has exposure to sun, as aromatic polyurethane will dull with UV exposure. These darkened areas will stop the colours of gravel showing through, thus taking away the attractiveness of the original stone. This in turn defies the entire object of having a resin driveway.
Be sure to separate the wheat from the chaff and always go for the best. We hope this article has so far provided a helpful introduction to resin. We will now discuss some of the pros and cons of resin driveways.
The Cons of Installing a Resin-bound Driveway
1. Finding a reputable contractor
Because this technology is a fairly new development, regulation is lacking in the area of resin-bound driveway installation. In fact, to be sure, this is an understatement. No regulation currently exists.
NB: This is not an attempt to turn you away from installing one. It’s simply a call for vigilance, and to seek out customer testimonials before you commit to an installation.
2. Finding the right variety of resin
One of the difficult decisions when installing resin driveways can be deciding where to use UV resistant resin and where you can do without it.
Aliphatic resin products are far more expensive than aromatic, but shaded areas may not remain in shaded forever on account of trees or buildings being removed, and this makes it necessary to plan your resin selection with the next 20 years in mind.
3. Stone Size and Drainage
Smaller aggregates are more cost-effective but they also cut down the drainage. This means that stone size is an aspect you’ll have to weigh up extremely carefully if you’re constrained to a budget.
4. Maintenance Needs
The flip-side of permeability is that mineral deposits from dust can collect in the resin’s porous structure and this can lead to an organic build-up of weeds, moss and mould. Don’t overlook maintenance as this can cause the resin surface to become slippery and dangerous to traverse.
5. Driveways Burdened by Traffic
If a part of your driveway is used regularly used by outside vehicles as a place for turning, don’t install resin in that area. The structure of resin-bound installations is not suitable for traffic.
The Pros of Installing a Resin-bound Driveway
1. Its phenomenal look
Resin driveways give the property an undeniably modern feel, which is still classic and recognizable because of the visible use of natural stone.
The sheer variety of stones is also incredible and allows you to create beautiful contrast or a seamless blend with your natural surroundings depending on your tastes.
2. Your draining issues will disappear
You’ll be able to kiss drainage issues goodbye as you admire the magic of a molecular structure that’s able to handle any level of precipitation.
NB: Do be aware of the fact that the sub layer is equally as important as the above resin and should also be permeable for drainage to properly take place. However, base layer drainage should NOT include holes drilled into impermeable concrete as this can jeopardise the resin layer’s structural integrity.
3. Low Cost is a Possibility
If your existing sub base is suitable, you will be able to install resin-based driveway at a reduced cost.
4. Fast installation
Even with the installation of a suitable sub base, a resin-based driveway can take less than a week to complete due to quick setting time.
5. Easy maintenance
Maintenance is easy, provided that it’s carried out regularly. A high-pressure cleaner will do the trick.