Rubber Driveway Problems: How To Prevent Them
When you are thinking about improving your driveway, you will wonder what type of material to choose. These days there are some many options to consider including: resin stone, reclaimed bricks, classic flag stones, concrete, tarmac and of course, recycled rubber surfaces.
If you are looking to do something that seems environmentally friendly, you might go for the latter. However, it may not be all it is made out to be. Rubber driveways may not have the advantages of some of the other systems of offer. Here’s why…
What Is A Rubber Driveway?
A rubber driveway is made up of shredded and crumbed recycled rubber tyres that are compressed into a driveway surface. While the concept sounds new, it has actually been around for some time, and have been used in playgrounds and as running tracks for around 75 years.
The forgiving surface with a little “bounce” makes it perfect for applications where a softer ground covering is needed.
The process for laying a rubberised driveway involves mixing the rubber granules with a binder agent and spreading it to a thickness of around 1 inch across the existing concrete base, The surface is trowelled and tamped to make it uniform and smooth.
It then goes through a curing process where the rubber fuses to the binding agent, making a continuous surface that is slip resistant. The covering comes down to about ¾ of an inch once the process is complete.
Manufacturers sell rubber driveways based on the benefits as they see them. There are a number of reasons why rubber surfaces can be a good choice for driveways. including:
● They offer an eco-friendly way to dispose of old rubber tyres
● The layer of rubber on a driveway reduces the amount of asphalt required. Asphalt is considered to be environmentally unfriendly to produce.
● Rubber driveways are thought to be a cheaper alternative, and can be laid over an existing surface.
● They are thought to last a long time, and are resistant to staining and erosion.
● They are easy to lay, and and are sometimes even recommended as a project for DIYers.
With all of these benefits, you may wonder why people find they have problems with their rubber driveway. No surface is perfect, but it does seem that homeowners are suffering with issues with their rubber driveway that perhaps should have been foreseen.
Despite manufacturers claiming that rubber is easy to lay, it is in fact a specialised job. The base needs to the carefully prepared and very clean. There should also be no cracks or dips that might lead to cracking of the surface above
Problem No.1: An Unsuitable Surface
Rubber is perfect for all kinds of applications – especially for playgrounds and running tracks. It has some give to it, meaning that if a child falls, they will not be as injured as they might be if they fell onto concrete.
The materials can also sometimes be coloured to make playgrounds interesting places. But you will note that rubber is only used below play equipment and not usually across the entire playground including walkways. This is because it simply doesn’t have the durability for high traffic areas.
A driveway is a very high traffic area and there have been issues with rubber driveways starting to disintegrate and fall apart after a few years, due to them not being durable enough for use.
If you consider that car tyres are replaced once every 2-3 years, you will realise that rubber surfaces will suffer the same wear and tear. With a depth of just one inch, it is easy to see that the rubber may not go the distance in terms of providing a long-term surfacing solution.
Problem No.2: Difficult To Lay
Despite manufacturers claiming that rubber is easy to lay, it is in fact a specialised job. The base needs to the carefully prepared and very clean. There should also be no cracks or dips that might lead to cracking of the surface above.
While rubber does have some flexibility, it can still be affected by a poor sub base. For this reason it is not really suitable as a D.I.Y job.
Problem No.3: Less Environmentally Friendly Than You Think
A typical driveway will keep around 60 tyres out of landfill. This is good news, but consider the impact of the process of recycling them into a driveway surface.
The process of chipping and granulating the rubber is energy intensive and the bonding agent is a harsh chemical that is far from environmentally friendly.
Compared to something like resin driveways that offer a multitude of around 50 colours, its easy to see why this product looks a little boring!
Problem No.4: The Surface Is Rough And Hard To Maintain
Rubber surfaces tend to get dirty fairly quickly, due to the nature of the surface. It has lots of rough edges that trap dirt, and it cannot be easily washed away.
Manufacturers do not recommend jet washing or power washing in case it destroys the surface, so you may need to brush it by hand. This can be time consuming, and may not give good results.
Problem No.5: Rubber Is Not Permeable
Rubber is waterproof, and when it is combined with a binder, it is even more so. This means that your driveway surface will not meet drainage requirements, and will mean that you need other solutions to make it work.
You might have to install drainage channels to ensure that there is no standing water. This water can freeze making your driveway dangerous, or it can leave dirty marks that are hard to remove.
Problem No.6: There Are Limited Colour Choices
If your driveway is made from recycled tyres, it will be black – there really are no other options. You can of course buy rubber that is coloured, but this will not have the environmental impact that you are looking for.
Compared to something like resin driveways that offer a multitude of around 50 colours, its easy to see why this product looks a little boring.
You should certainly consider rubber surfacing for play areas around your home, but when it comes to your driveway, you need something that is really going to last. Resin bound is the perfect solution and offers everything that rubber driveways do not – drainage, colour, easy maintenance and a safe and durable surface
Resin Surfacing: The Ideal Alternative To Rubber Driveways
Resin bound driveways are a perfect alternative to rubberised driveways. This system is simply an aggregate of prepared gravel and stone that is mixed with a resin to give you a firm mixture that is applied over a prepared base.
The result is 15mm of strong and durable driveway surfacing, that is both long lasting and attractive. Compared to rubber surfaces, resin bound offers the following:
● It uses natural materials that are easy to source, and do not rely on manufacturing
● It can be laid in almost any colour you want, including mixtures of different stones to get interesting effects.
● It is entirely porous, and allows for free drainage of all water on your property, thereby reducing the risk of localised flooding.
● Maintenance is minimal. This resin bound surface can be power washed without damaging the surface, and will look great year after year.
You should certainly consider rubber surfacing for play areas around your home, but when it comes to your driveway, you need something that is really going to last. Resin bound is the perfect solution and offers everything that rubber driveways do not – drainage, colour, easy maintenance and a safe and durable surface.
Drive your surfacing in the right direction, with the help of resin bound material. Discover more of the brilliant benefits of using this multi-purpose product today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!