Resin and Aggregate Driveways require a sound existing sub-base on which they are applied, such as concrete or tarmacadam, with no major cracks or pot holes.
The sub-base should be cleaned of all loose debris and organic material with a fungicidal solution and a power wash before being rinsed with clean water. The existing sub-base surface must then be thoroughly dried prior to application of the resin bonded or resin bound aggregate material.
Neither resin bonded nor resin bound aggregate surfaces should not be applied to concrete block paving or concrete slabs as the surface layer of resin and aggregate will crack along the lines of the joints between the individual blocks or paving flags. This is referred to as reflective cracking and although the resin based aggregate surfaces are tough, when a load is applied to the blocks below, any slight movement will result in cracking of the upper surface layer.
In fact, where a resin bound aggregate surface is applied to a concrete sub-base which has contraction or movement joints cut into it, the joint should be continued through the surface layer along the line in the concrete.
Any subsequent movement in the concrete sub-base will be dealt with by the new joint in the resin bound aggregate layer rather than it causing random cracking.
Advantages of Resin and Aggregate Driveways
The extremely wide choice of coloured natural aggregates means that resin and aggregate surfaces provide an ideal decorative paving alternative to concrete block paving, tarmacadam and pattern imprinted concrete.
Blending natural and specially coloured gravels can provide hundreds of colour combinations. Resin and aggregate products can be suitable for all manner of domestic paved areas such as driveways, patio areas and footpaths as well as for commercial applications. The aggregate surfaces provide a functional and durable, relatively maintenance free skid resistant surface and can even be designed to suit corporate branded colours and logos.
Disadvantages of Resin and Aggregate Driveways
As with many types of paving however, the disadvantages associated with resin and aggregate surfaces are largely attributable to poor workmanship and / or a poor sub-base.
Unsuitable sub-bases which are not repaired or resurfaced, or not properly primed, can result in the resin not bonding, and ultimately delaminating. Unscrupulous contractors can also skimp on the amount of resin and aggregate used leaving a patchy surface, or even dilute the resin so that a proper bond is not achieved.
Prices for resin and aggregate driveways and patio areas vary tremendously, though the average cost seems to be between £40 and £60 per square metre, with minimum charges for small areas.
One of the major disadvantages however, can be the cost of preparing a suitable sub-base if the existing surface is unsatisfactory. Resin and aggregate driveways are fairly economical as long as there is an existing, suitable sub-base but for new areas where virgin land is the starting point, the cost of a concrete or tarmacadam driveway in addition to the cost of a resin and aggregate surface over it, can be prohibitive.