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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

Overlay System For Driveways: What Do They Offer?

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There comes a time in the life of any driveway when it has obviously seen better days.

No matter how high quality the original driveway was, you will find that eventually cracks, stains, worn areas and crumbling are going to affect it. 

This is when you need to decide if ripping it up and replacing the entire driveway is a good idea, or if you can take the cheaper and quicker option of doing an overlay.

The latter may seem like a great idea, but will it really offer everything you need?

If you are hoping to improve your driveway to improve the value of your home - you are making a very wise choice. 

Real estate agents say that a great looking first impression can add as much as 10% to the value of your home and buyers will be more than happy to know that the driveway is in good shape and it is not an expense they will have to face further down the line. 

For that reason, choosing a durable driveway material makes sound financial sense. But how do you tell if your driveway needs to be overlaid, and if so, what are the options on offer? It's time to find out...

What Is A Driveway Overlay System?

Put very simply, a driveway overlay system is one that adds a layer of material to the existing driveway to resurface it.

It can be made from a number of different materials including: resin, concrete or asphalt. 

These can be imprinted for an attractive look, or they might just give the driveway a new and fresh appeal - while protecting it in the short term.

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From repairing a crumbling driveway, to giving it a distinctive new look, overlay systems enable you to address underlying issues with your driveway-and create a stunning new surface in the process

Does My Driveway Need To Be Overlaid?

If you are looking into adding a driveway overlay it probably means that you don’t like your current driveway, and you would like to give it a new look. 

There are many reasons why your driveway might benefit from an overlay system, including the following:

●    You simply don’t like the colour or the look of your driveway. If your driveway is made of concrete or asphalt, you may find that the colour is too boring or that it doesn’t work with your home or garden. These types of overlays are the best, as the driveway is still in good condition.
●    The driveway may have become stained or discoloured. Asphalt driveways tend to take on a faded appearance when they are exposed to UV light; especially if they have not been sealed. Unsealed concrete is also susceptible to staining from oil and dirt. This can be hard to remove. Other driveway choices, like paving, can become discoloured from spillages from your car; unfortunately, these can be incredibly hard to clean.
●    The driveway is suffering from crumbling. Asphalt is one surface that is prone to crumbling after a few years use - especially on the edges. But many surfaces suffer from crumbling due to failed materials, or water getting into the driveway surface. The weight of vehicles is also enough to lead to problems of this kind. An overlay may help.
●    The driveway is cracked and this is getting worse. Cracking is usually caused by water. It gets into fine cracks, freezes and then expands, making the crack larger and more difficult to fill and repair. Eventually, the driveway needs to be replaced or resurfaced. Cracking can also happen when the underneath surface of the driveway has not been correctly prepared with hard core for drainage. The upper surface becomes unstable with pockets of water-filled areas underneath. The weight of a car can then cause a major crack.

You have a number of different options when it comes to adding a new surface to your driveway. 

Many are designed to give the driveway a fresh new look, while others are designed to repair problems like cracks.

With that in mind, let's explore the main overlay options on offer in a little more detail...

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Although relatively simple to install, an asphalt overlay system can be terribly tricky to get right-and requires thorough preperation to ensure the asphalt remains in place

Option 1: Polymer Modified Cementitious Overlay Systems 

The Polymer Modified Cementitious Overlay Systems offers more strength and durability than simply adding a new layer of concrete-and they are far more flexible as well. 

The existing concrete base needs to be acid washed to open up the “pores” and allow proper adhesion. The benefits of this polymer mix are many:

●    It offers a strong bond between the existing driveway and the new layer.
●    You don’t have to pay to have your current driveway removed and relaid
●    The installation is quicker and easier for your contractor - although it is not recommended for a DIYer.
●    You can choose from lots of different colours and styles, including an imprinted version that looks like paving stones.
●    The surface is low maintenance, and offers a good shelf life of up to 20 years - if installed on a solid base.

Option 2: Asphalt Overlay Systems

Any current asphalt or concrete driveway can have a new layer of asphalt added to it. 

This is relatively simple to do, and will give the driveway a new a fresh new appearance in the short term. However, it can be terribly tricky to get right. 

It is important to make sure that the surface is carefully prepared, cracks are repaired and the current driveway given a “scratch” coat to improve adhesion. 

This “milling” of the top surface is important, and if missed out, will mean that the asphalt will lift very quickly. The asphalt is usually laid to a depth of around 5cms depending on the current base. Be aware that this will cause some issues where the driveway meets the road or steps into the house.

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From ease of maintenance, to SUDs compliance, a resin bound surface provides the best overlay options for a driveway, preventing pooling and puddling on the surface

Option 3: Resin Bound Driveways

A resin bound driveway is a mixture of stone aggregate, in the colour of your choice, and resin that has been premixed and pressed into an asphalt base. 

In almost all cases, this is best laid onto a newly prepared base that has been correctly graded and improved to allow the best possible drainage. 

However, in some very specific circumstances, it can be used as an overlay to good effect. You can use resin bound as an overlay if:

●    The current asphalt base is free of cracks, crumbling sections, potholes and areas that might fail.
●    The area below the base is free draining, with a layer of hard core to facilitate this.
●    The base has been built to avoid water pooling on the surface - that is, it is graded away from the house, and has areas where water can run off and drain easily.

If the base is at all suspect, it is usually much better to rip it up and start again. 

This way, you can be sure that your resin bound driveway will offer you all of the benefits that it should. These include:

●    A 30 year shelf life as a minimum
●    A choice of colours that fit with your home and landscape design
●    A smart and attractive appearance that will not discolour, or show signs of dirt
●    A driveway that is flexible, easy to lay, and suitable for regular use with heavy vehicles.
●    A driveway that is ready to drive on after just 24 hours, and will be laid in as little as 48 hours.
●    A driveway that is maintenance free, aside from an occasional jet wash.

Using an overlay system can be great if you want to save money, and get a quick solution to the problem of a driveway that has seen better days.  

However, it makes sense to consider the long term implications of taking this short cut. 

You may prefer to have a driveway that you know will stay looking great for many many years to come-without the constant repair issues that you are currently trying to avoid. For driveway transformations that last, talk to our team today by calling 0800 1700 636, or, alternatively, by clicking the button below!

Ready to upgrade your existing driveway to elicit serious neighbour envy?

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