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Resin Bound Gravel Construction Detail: The Process

Resin Bound Gravel Construction Detail

The outside appearance of your home can be influenced by a number of factors, and one of those is the condition and construction of your driveway.

First impressions count and a beautiful driveway will both improve the look of your home and even increase the value, should you want to sell it.

A resin bound driveway is a great way to achieve both of these aims, and to get a long lasting driveway that is eco-friendly, long-lasting, and will be the envy of all your neighbours. Here’s how it works its magic…

What Is A Resin Driveway?

There are two types of resin driveway that you may wish to choose from. Resin bonded surfaces are created by adding a layer of resin to a prepared surface, and then scatter-coating it with your preferred choice of aggregate.

Another layer of resin is then applied to set the stone in place. In contrast, resin bound surfaces take the aggregate and resin and combine them in a specialised mixer before the mix is trowelled into place and flattened to produce a uniform, hard-wearing driveway, path or patio.

Resin bound driveways are generally better surfaces for driveways and hard wearing areas, as the depth of the layer of stone is deeper, and therefore less prone to cracking and wear.

The stones are also bound into the surface, and it does not suffer from bald patches – nor does it need maintenance to patch up bare sections.

A resin bound driveway is also permeable, and will allow rainwater to seep back into the ground, thereby protecting local wildlife, and preventing the flooding that can be caused by front gardens being concreted over.

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Resin Bound Gravel Construction Detail

Resin Bound Gravel Construction Detail For Driveways: The Process

Step 1: Preparing The Existing Surface

Your driveway simply will not last if you do not prepare the ground beneath it carefully. You do, however, have a few options depending on the existing driveway, and whether it can be repurposed.

If it is a concrete slab that is all in one piece, you may simply be able to lay the new resin bound driveway directly over top – however, if it has any cracks, gaps or undulations, you may find the result is not as expected.

In this case, and in the case of any other type of driveway, such as bricks or paving stones, we recommend the base is dug out, and that a new base is laid in its place. This involves removing the existing concrete, or paving then digging down by around another 20mm.

A mix of sharp sand and cement is then spread over the surface, and is vibrated into place until it forms a firm and solid base.

You can then choose either a cement base, or a tarmac one. Concrete will last longer, but does not have the permeability of tarmac, which will let water drain through it more easily. You will need a depth of 125mm for concrete, and 75mm for tarmac.

At this point, you should also add your edging material. This can be bricks or pavers to delineate the edges of your driveway, and to keep the resin mixture in place.

Step 2: Deciding On Your Materials

Resin bound driveways use aggregate that can be in almost any colour you wish. You can order samples of different types and decide in situ, or you can simply go for whatever colour takes your fancy. Do bear in mind that your choice of resin may ultimately affect the colour of your stone.

If you choose a UV resistant resin, the colour of the stone should not be affected, however other resin types can yellow as they are exposed to the sun, causing the colour of your driveway to change over time.

This may not be an issue if your chosen stone is already yellow or cream, but if you are going for white or black, the effect can be noticeable.

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Resin Bound Gravel Construction Detail

Step 3: Ensuring The Tools Are Up To The Task

The most important tool in the arsenal of your contractor is a forced action mixer. This is very different to a standard concrete mixer, as it will mix the aggregate and resin together more quickly and thoroughly.

Your contractor will also use a trowel, a float, and a wheelbarrow to carry the resin mixture.

Step 4: Preparing The Mix

Getting the quantities right for the driveway is essential, and each and every load must be prepared in exactly the same way, to prevent obvious differences in colour and texture across the driveway. The mix should also be rotated in the mixer for exactly the same period of time.

The resin usually comes as a two part mix which is simply combined using a plasterer whisk. This is then poured into the aggregate inside the mixer. The aggregate should be kiln dried to prevent any white leaching due to moisture.

Some contractors will also add kiln dried sand to the mix to make it more durable – but this is not always required. The mixture should be tumbled for around 2 minutes, and always for the exact same period of time.

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Resin Bound Gravel Construction Detail

Step 5: Laying The Material

It is important to work quickly once the mixture has been prepared, as the resin can start to harden after just ten minutes. The mix should be removed from the mixer, emptied into a wheelbarrow, and then poured over the section of driveway being laid.

It can be spread with a rake, and the contractor will start to trowel it on. By using white spirit on the trowel, the tradesperson can prevent any of the resin from sticking. The mix is evenly spread to a depth of around 15mm for a driveway, and tamped down with the trowel to achieve a smooth finish.

For larger areas, it is important to get into a good rhythm, and not to stop until the entire area is covered. Each section of resin mixture must be laid before the previous one has dried, or lines will appear in the driveway.

The edges of each section should be slightly overlapped, to prevent any obvious signs of where each section starts and finishes. If an anti-slip surface is required, it may be necessary to add a sprinkling of glass beads to the surface before it dries.

Step 6: Enjoying Your Driveway For The Long-Term

You can now enjoy your driveway – even on the very same day it is laid. It will completely cure within a few hours, and can be driven over with no issues.

If you have chosen a UV stable resin, you can expect the colour of your driveway to stay the same, and your maintenance should require nothing more than a simple jet wash from time to time.

You can expect your driveway to last for many years, and to require no maintenance whatsoever – assuming all of the preparation has been carried out correctly.

For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a contractor with plenty of experience, and one that can show good reviews. Never choose a cheap contractor, as they may simply cut corners.

Ready to upgrade your existing driveway to resin? Enlist the help of the experts today, by calling 0800 1700 636, orby simply clicking the button below!

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