If the front of your property could do with a bit of a spruce up then installing a new driveway is a great way to change the overall aesthetic. Moreover, a driveway serves as a practical space for parking and accessing the property, not to mention the increase in value of your home when the job is done correctly.
But if you have ever looked into this kind of work, you will have quickly seen the number of choices available. This can feel dizzying at times but working out the pros and cons of each type of driveway may help you to make a clear and informed decision.
Resin bound driveways have become a very popular choice and offer both visual and practical benefits. But before you shout ‘Eureka!’ and settle on a resin bound driveway, let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of this type of driveway.
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What Is A Resin Bound Driveway?
You may have heard the resin bound driveway being referred to as a stone carpet which is a very adept description. This type of surface is a mixture created from resin and aggregates. The two are combined in a forced action mixer to create something that can then be laid onto the driveway resulting in a smooth, flat surface.
It is important not to confuse resin bound driveways with resin bonded driveways. While both are similar in design, there is a very clear difference. Rather than the aggregate being mixed with the resin prior to application like resin bound, resin bonding requires the resin to be laid onto the surface and the aggregates are added afterwards.
Resin bound driveways have a few more plus points mainly in that they are more permeable and resistant to frost where resin bonded driveways would struggle here.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Resin Bound Driveway?
There are many reasons that a resin bound driveway might suit your needs and it is important to consider these before making a commitment. Let’s first take a look at the advantages of a resin bound driveway.
Pros Of A Resin Bound Driveway
SUDS Compliant And Permeable
Provided that your resin bound driveway is laid over the top of a porous base, it will be SUDS compliant. We hear you; what is SUDS compliant and what does it mean for your driveway? In the UK, there are the Sustainable Urban Drainage System standards, or SUDS. Any driveway that complies with these standards will gradually allow surface water to filter through to the porous base as opposed to running directly off into drainage systems, and potentially over-burdening them, especially in periods of heavy rainfall.
Where resin bound driveways are concerned, they are, by design, incredibly porous. But this isn’t to do with the materials that are used, rather the way they are bound together. As we mentioned, resin bound driveways are a blend of resin and aggregates. Naturally, these aggregates are not porous, especially if they are tightly compacted.
However, in a resin bound driveway, tiny holes are left between each stone meaning that water can more effectively drain through to the ground below. Not only is this excellent news in terms of flooding but it will also mean that less water will pool on your driveway making it more practical to walk over; no more wet socks!
Even when it does rain, the texture of a resin bound driveway means that you won’t have to worry about accidents. These drives are non-slip and this makes them great for homes with children or people who might not be as steady on their feet.
We are all eager to create a home that we can be proud of. An Englishman’s home is his castle, so they say, so it is little wonder that so many people around the UK are clamouring for a beautiful new driveway.
There are a wealth of options out there but resin bound driveways have a design that easily stands out from the rest. While they are a very modern option, this type of driveway is contemporary and so will stand the test of time where appearance and style is concerned.
Moreover, there are so many choices when it comes to resin bound driveways. You can choose a colour that allows you to create a statement driveway or something a little more muted that will blend in. Just because a driveway is a practical element of the home, that isn’t to say that you can’t use it to show off your personality.
Another reason that this type of driveway is incredibly popular is for the seamless aesthetic. While stone driveways can look incredible, there is a clear definition between each component. Where resin bound driveways are concerned, it is one clean ‘sheet’ that is continuous and offers a neat, uniform look. Even better, resin bound driveways won’t fade over time, meaning that you will have that stunning ‘new driveway look’ for longer.
Easy And Convenient To Install
We’d be lying if we said that we would be happy to wait weeks for a new driveway. In modern society, nobody wants to be hanging around for anything and even big jobs like installing a new driveway need to be done quickly and conveniently.
The great thing about resin bound driveways is that they are very easy to install. Unlike other types of driveway, they can be effectively laid over the top of an existing surface. Of course, you should keep in mind that if you want the driveway to comply with SUDS standards, you will need to lay it on an already porous surface.
Where there is an amount of work to be done, this still doesn’t mean that the driveway will take a long time to complete. For the most part, including any base work, a resin bound driveway can be completed in less than a week.
The last thing that anybody wants is a driveway that has weeds popping up and requires a lot of heavy maintenance. We want to enjoy our homes and as such, a resin bound driveway makes an ideal choice. Not only are they easy to install, but once down, you won’t need to lift a finger; almost.
Because of the way that a resin bound driveway is structured, weeds and other unwanted plants will not be able to penetrate the surface. Moreover, provided that the driveway is kept clean, you shouldn’t have any issues with moss or algae forming, leaving you with something that looks continually pristine. Where cleaning is concerned, working with a jet washer will provide you with excellent results.
What’s more, these driveways are pretty resistant for low traffic areas. Some driveways are prone to frost damage. When winter sets in and water in and around the driveway freezes and thaws, this can cause cracking and noticeable damage. But this is not the case with resin bound driveways. Even better, most resin bound driveways won’t become slippery even with a thin layer of ice on top. Although, owing to the porous nature of the drive, it isn’t often that ice will have a chance to form anyway.
The cost of a new driveway, in some cases, can be eye-watering and this is something that puts many people off. But creating a stunning outdoor space like this doesn’t need to cost the earth and despite having a lot of advantages, resin bound driveways won’t break the bank.
For a basic resin bound driveway that doesn’t include any extras, you would expect to pay up to £80 per square metre. Compare this to block paving which could be up to £100 per square metre or imprinted concrete that could go as high as £130 per square metre and it isn’t difficult to see why more and more people are opting for resin bound driveways.
Cons And Issues To Consider When Installing A Resin Bound Driveway
While the resin bound driveway is an excellent choice for a lot of people, there are a few considerations that you should pay attention to before deciding if this is the right surface for your property.
Lack Of Regulations
The building trade in the UK is often closely monitored and as such, your rights as a consumer are very well protected. But there is something of a grey area where resin bound driveways are concerned and this can result in homeowners ending up with substandard driveway that are not what they had envisaged.
The problem is that this type of driveway surface is one of the newest out there. Having only been introduced in the 1990s, there is still quite a way to go with regulating this type of surface. Even back then, this type of paving was generally reserved for commercial settings and it was even more recently that resin bound driveways became popular for domestic properties. If you look back to new homes built in the early to mid 2000s, you will recall many resin bound driveways being installed as standard. Today, however, they are frequently seen all over the country.
But don’t let this put you off, there are a lot of reputable tradespeople out there who will do an excellent job of creating a beautiful resin bound driveway for your home. The best way to approach this is to carefully vet any potential contractor and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. You may also ask to see examples of previous work and check out whether they have any online reviews. These will usually tell you a lot about a tradesperson and if they can be found on independent websites rather than the company website, this is even more convincing.
Certain Aggregates Won’t Allow For Sufficient Drainage
When using smaller stones in the resin mix, this poses a problem since they will not allow the water to permeate through quite as easily. This isn’t typically an issue if the driveway is being laid over an already porous surface or one that has a drainage system, but over concrete and other solid surfaces, it can be problematic.
The solution here is to ensure that you always opt for a larger aggregate if you are laying the driveway over an impermeable surface. This will allow water to drain through much more easily and will leave you with fewer pooling problems.
If you are going to use resin bound surfaces, it is always best to have the relevant groundwork done beforehand. Of course, not everyone has the budget for this and so ensuring that there are no cracks; big or small, in the surface of the driveway will limit issues.
Problems With Moss
We talked earlier about the fact that resin bound driveways will not be susceptible to moss or algae growth if they are well maintained, and this is true. However, with this does come a degree of responsibility.
While this type of driveway is largely low maintenance, you will need to ensure that you stay on top of keeping it clean. If you cannot commit to this then it might be worth considering a different type of driveway. That said, cleaning every few months, especially in dry weather will be more than enough which perfectly demonstrates how little maintenance is needed.
Durability Can Be Compromised By Overuse
Resin bound driveways look incredible and they will remain this way for many years if they are taken care of. However, one of the major downsides of this type of drive is that they are not designed for heavy duty use. If you have a lot of traffic coming on and off the drive, it might be a wise idea to think about using another solution.
Cars turning or reversing can be a particular problem and over time, this action is likely to cause the resin layer to lift which can look unsightly.
Not Using The Right Type Of Resin Can Cause Problems
Once your new driveway is installed, we appreciate that you won’t want to have to perform high levels of maintenance or worry about the condition of the driveway diminishing any time soon. The problem is that too many homeowners opt for the wrong kind of resin and this can result in lifting and fading in certain areas.
The culprit is the UV rays produced by the sun which can cause discolouration to resin that does not feature UV protection. Resin bound driveways that are darker in colour are generally less prone to UV related problems but those that are lighter or that sit in direct sunlight will deteriorate more quickly.
Since the introduction of the resin bound driveway back in the 90s, this type of surface has become increasingly popular. Not only do these driveways add a wonderful visual appeal to a property but they are practical, easy to install and affordable.
However, while there are a lot of plus points, it is also important to think about some of the downsides of resin bound driveways to help you make a decision as to whether this is the right surface for your home.