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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

What Are The Main Resin Bond Driveway Problems?


Your driveway is the first thing that people see when they arrive at your home, and if it is unsightly, with cracks, dips, bare mud or sparse gravel, it is going to set a bad first impression. What you need is a driveway that is long lasting, easily laid and, ultimately, the envy of your neighbours.

Resin bonded driveways could be exactly what you are looking for, although they can have some serious problems that you will need to be aware of before you choose this driveway type.

Research has shown that having a nice outdoor area can improve the value of your home by as much as 20%; and this includes your driveway. After all, first impressions really do count.

By choosing a driveway with the wow factor, you may actually be making an investment in your home that you will appreciate when it comes time to sell.

Resin driveways have an excellent reputation when they have been correctly laid by an experienced contractor. They come in two types: resin bonded (with the resin and gravel applied separately), and resin bound (with the gravel and resin applied as one mixture).

Here we will be focusing on resin bonded driveways, and discussing the issues you might face in the long-term (as well as a few savvy suggestions to prevent them!)…

What Is A Resin Bonded Driveway?

A resin bonded driveway starts with a suitable base, such as concrete or tarmac. The base needs to be firm with no flexing or crumbling. It is also important it is level, and possessing a sleek and smooth appearance. The base should also be in one piece, and very clean.

This base is coated with a resin mix, which is scattered with your chosen gravel or stone before it sets. It can set in as little as ten minutes, so it’s important to work very quickly (often requiring several people to cover the entire area).

In some cases, this stone is pre-coated with more resin, so that it melds with the existing resin to form a strong and stable mixture. In other cases, the gravel is added, and then a further layer of resin is placed over top to set the stones in place.

This method is popular, as it is easier to apply than the resin bound method, and can be cheaper and quicker. The result is a thinner coating, that is strong and durable. However it’s not fully flaw-free-as we can see below.

It is also possible to add different colours to the aggregate to produce markings on the driveway such as house numbers or attractive designs.

While this all sounds great, there are always drawbacks. Many of these can mean that you will have a driveway you are not happy with, or one that doesn’t last.

What Are The Main Resin Bond Driveway Problems

Loose stones driving you scatty? Improper bonding of the aggregates is usually to blame-and can be considerably costly to fix

Resin Bonded Problem No.1: Loose Stones

Due to the way that stones are simply scattered over the surface of the resin, issues with some stones not bonding with the resin fully can arise, resulting in stones that come loose over time.

This may mean that empty patches develop, and more stones need to be added, with more resin to make them stick. This can result in a patchy driveway, if the stones do not match in colour. If this happens, often the result can be a patchwork of new and old sections that detract from the driveway’s appeal.

Resin Bonded Problem No.2: Increased Maintenance

As mentioned above, your driveway may need regular stone top ups to keep it looking its best. Additionally, due to the way that the stone sits on the surface, and it being a rough finish, there are more spaces for dirt and oil to get caught in the stones.

A power wash is usually the only way to clean this off, and the action of the power-wash could in turn loosen the gravel, resulting in regular displacements.

Resin Bonded Problem No.3: Decreased Drainage

One of the big advantages of the resin bound system is that there are gaps between the stones, to allow rainwater to drain effectively. Resin bonded driveways do not have this. The base is entirely coated with resin, resulting in all manner of problems.

The primary challenge with its composition is that water can pool on the driveway surface, making it dirty or hard to use. The driveway base needs to be sloped to allow water run-off, or channels added to allow water to drain away. In the winter these pools of water can freeze, making your driveway dangerous to use.

What Are The Main Resin Bond Driveway Problems

Dips and undulations can make your driveway look hilly and uneven, leading to worn and unworn patches that will appear discoloured over time

Resin Bonded Problem No.4: Reflective Cracking

If the base that you have used for your resin bonded driveway cracks or moves, the resin will also crack in the same place. Because the new resin surface is only around 4-6mm thick, it will then start to lift, and ultimately peel away.

You may find that your guarantee does not cover you for this type of cracking, as it relates to the original base, rather than the work itself. The only fix for this type of cracking is to start again with a new replacement base layer.

Resin Bonded Problem No.5: Dips And Undulations

If the base below your driveway has any dips, these will show in the new driveway. This is because the coating of resin is very thin, and cannot be built up to make your new driveway flat. This may not be a huge problem unless it causes water puddles, due to the lack of drainage.

However, these dips can make the driveway look hilly and uneven, and can lead to worn and unworn patches that will cause it to look discoloured over time.

Resin Bonded Problem No.6: Rust Spotting

If the aggregate that is used for the driveway contains iron oxide, you may experience rust spotting over time. This often happens when water runs over the patches, and starts to oxidise the iron-rich aggregate.

If your contractor does not carefully choose the type of stone used, this could be a problem that is very hard to fix. Relaying the driveway may be the only option.

What Are The Main Resin Bond Driveway Problems

Resin bond problems pushing your buttons? Resin bound surfacing offers a superior solution-and is much easier to maintain long-term

Resin Bonded Problem No.7: Discolouring

Because of the way that resin interacts with some types of stone, the colour of the finished driveway may not be as expected, or it may discolour over time.

Your contractor should use a UV-resistant resin that will not be affected by the sun. In particular, this can be a problem with lighter coloured stones.

Resin Bonded Problem No.8: Requires Professional Laying

The majority of the issues above can be rectified by choosing a professional and experienced company to lay your resin bonded driveway for you. Choosing the right professional is essential – there are many “cowboys” out there.

Your other option is to choose a resin bound driveway for a similar look, but a more hard wearing finish.

What Are The Main Resin Bond Driveway Problems

Seeking a superior surfacing solution? Resin bound material is the ultimate caped crusader, coming to the aide of driveways in need of a revamp!

Why Resin Bound Surfacing Offers A Superior Solution

A resin bound driveway can alleviate many of the concerns above. In particular, the fact it is porous, and allows for free drainage of water, means that you will avoid rusting and dirt.

A resin bound driveway can be pressure washed, and will not break up due to the depth of application; in fact, this improves the dips and undulations in the surface as well. Both systems require a good base layer, and any good contractor will ensure that this is in place.

But what else does this multi-purpose material offer? Take a look at the benefits below and see for yourself:

Benefit No.1: It's Incredibly Easy To Maintain

A simple power wash is all that's needed to keep your brand new bound driveway looking beautiful; this will help to remove any built up dirt and debris, keeping the area consistently clean.

One word of warning: refrain from using chemical cleaners. Not only will these spoil the surface of your driveway; they can also be hazardous to pets and children if ingested.

Benefit No.2: It Offers A Stunningly Smooth Finish For Years

Unlike resin bonded material, (which has a coarse texture and appearance), a resin bound driveway offers a stunningly smooth finish for your driveway, creating a focal point for your home.

And the best part? As the years go by, such aesthetics will remain intact for more than 25 years, due to the material's increased longevity.

What Are The Main Resin Bond Driveway Problems

From its stunningly smooth surface, to its SUDs compliant composition, this thoroughly modern material addresses age-old problems with ease!

Benefit No.3: It's Fully SUDs Compliant

Unfortunately, it doesn't just rain in Britain-it pours, washing away your hopes for a puddle-free surface in an instant.

Thankfully, a resin bound driveway can assist in this respect as well. The material is fully SUDs compliant, adhering to the very latest government regulations in terms of effective drainage.

Benefit No.4: It Prevents Pesky Stone Displacements

Stone displacements don't only affect the overall aesthetics; they can also cause wanton weed growth to run amok.

The great thing about resin bound driveways is that during construction, the resin is applied to both sides of the stone, ensuring that the aggregates remain set in the surface. 

Benefit No.5: It's Extremely Hard-Wearing

As a delightfully durable material, resin bound surfacing is more than capable of standing the weight of heavy vehicles, with its multi-purpose composition providing the necessary structural support.

This is particularly beneficial for properties with more than one vehicle, or for those that need to store a heavy, load-bearing vehicle on the surface. Sorted!

Desperately seeking a driveway of utmost distinction? Installing resin bound surfacing enables you to achieve exactly that. Take the first step to upgrading your existing surfacing today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!

Take the first step to upgrading your existing surfacing today, by simply clicking the button below!