A Quick Guide to Driveway Resin – All you need to know
A Quick Guide to Driveway Resin.
Resin drives are fast becoming a popular choice for home owners looking for a more contemporary look.
Many people contact us regarding resin driveways and ask which driveway resin is best.
We can all see this popular driveway surfacing product is taking the UK by storm…is this surprising when you look at some of the amazing installations out there!
Simplistically, resin drives are just aggregates (stone) and resin.
Technological improvements with resin mean a permeable surface can be created allowing surface water to drain – with no requirement for drainage installation.
A lighter stone resin bound driveway
But is all driveway resin equal?
Do you know your Aliphatic from your Aromatic…your Epoxy from Polyurethane?
First of all lets just be clear about some terminology regarding resin driveway installations in general.
Resin Bound – This type of driveway installation is where resin and aggregate (stone) are mixed together.
Resin Bonded – This is where aggregate (stone) is ‘scattered’ onto a resin surface.
For a contemporary modern look, a resin bound driveway is an excellent choice
Driveway Resin – Installation
Resin drives are generally installed on top of a newly installed sub base (and this is always most recommended).
However, resin can also be overlaid on top of existing (permeable) tarmacadam or on existing concrete with sufficient drainage.
If you are considering an overlay (because of affordability issues) then it’s imperative to ensure the existing surface is suitable.
This cannot be emphasised enough!
A professional resin installer will have sufficient knowledge to advise you.
In terms of new installations gravel grids can be very useful especially if there is no natural ‘run off’ for water to bedding areas.
Keep in mind most resin installations are for light vehicular usage.
So if you’ve invested in a Tesla you’ll not only benefit from a lighter car but also avoid oil leaks and the like!
Gravel grids are not a substitute for a well installed sub base but can provide an important structural part if necessary.
Choosing Driveway Resin
There are differing opinions regarding whether one type of resin is suitable for both types of resin driveway installation.
This is something you need to discuss with your chosen installer/contractor (before installation!)
Now we’re no chemistry experts but we do appreciate that there is a whole load of molecular bonding involved with using a resin that binds stone together.
This must offer excellent load bearing capacity….and of course leave an installation that looks great.
To us, it seems that resin is all about the bonding.
There are two main driveway resin types on the market.
- Epoxy resin
- Polyurethane resin
Epoxy is rarely used in the driveway installation market now.
In comparison to Polyurethane it does not offer the same load bearing and resistance.
Polyurethane resin specifications for the driveway market include the use of polymers to increase strength.
Other advantages of using Polyurethane include:
- Excellent bonding properties and high load bearing
capacity. This is important for both tension and compression resistance.
- Excellent abrasion and impact resistance mean resistance to scuffing and damage.
Chemical resistance ensures that oil and petrol spills do not cause lasting damage;
However, it’s always advisable to clean up any spills on any driveway surfacing product as quickly as possible.
Strong resistance to extreme temperatures means that whether it’s shivering down to -10 or the sun is making temperatures boil up off the scale Polyurethane will be resilient.
Following on with the sun…..UV protection.
Without UV protection some lighter aggregate colours will appear to darken. Aggregate doesn’t darken of course…but resin that is not formulated to be UV resistant can.
If an area is always shaded UV protection is of little importance.
But most driveway areas get exposure to the sun so polyurethane resin offering UV protection is best.
Due to the differing opinions of which difficulties arise for customers to be able to check out technical specifications to be able to make an informed decision.
To compound matters there is some disagreement within between those active with commercial installations (shopping precincts, parks and seaside promenades) as to the suitability whatsoever of resin for domestic use!
Putting all that aside.
Other resins that may be suitable include Aliphatic and Aromatic.
On the basis that resin bound driveways are the surface of choice in the UK, getting the right resin that offers the strength, durability, longevity and of course all important look is the number 1 priority.
Are Resin Drives a DIY option?
A competent DIY-er can lay a straight forward area of 20 metres square or less.
Full preparation and organisation is needed, as resin sets very quickly (in 7 to 10 minutes). Therefor, the time pressure associated with resin installation is similar to pattern imprinted concrete.
As such whilst resin DIY kits are available an istallation is best completed on a warm day by skilled and experienced installers.
The KEY point here is experienced installers using the best type of resin.
Resin Drives – Cost
The cost of a resin drive is hugely impacted by whether or not a complete new sub-base is necessary.
As mentioned earlier, if an overlay is possible, a resin driveway can be one of the most cost efficient options. But to reiterate an overlay is only suitable if the existing surface is suitable.
The gravel type chosen will influence the cost and so will the edging.
Block paving as edgins is an option as is using metal such as Aluminium or even Iron.
Iron edging is especially good if you’re seeking a minimalist cubist (don’t want to do any gardening) type of look.
As with any driveway and patio surfacing the cost really depends on the size of the existing area, preparations (inclusive of utilities and drainage) and optional extras such as security, walling, gates and of course the all important lighting.
Read more on Resin Driveway costs in our Cost Guide here
We hope you have found this guide to driveway resin helpful.
Find more driveway resin articles here.
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