13th April 2023
Much of the beauty of a resin driveway comes from the smooth and seamless surface it provides, making it suitable for both vehicles and people alike. That’s why resin bound surfaces are ideal for use as driveways or footpaths.
However, as much as we talk about the finished result, it’s often easy to forget about what’s going on underneath. Every resin driveway needs a base to be laid on top of, and as is so often the case with many home improvements, the finished result will only ever be as good as the preparation work beneath.
A poor base can lead to cracking and potentially even the resin breaking up. But a good base will mean your resin driveway looks fantastic and performs faultlessly for many years, requiring virtually no maintenance other than the occasional jet wash.
And that leads both installers and homeowners to ask: ‘what makes a good base for a resin driveway?’ So, that’s what we’ll discuss in this blog. Let’s take a closer look…
When it comes to bases for resin driveways, there are only two realistic options: porous concrete, or tarmac/asphalt.
But let’s drill down again and ask: what lies under the tarmac? Assuming it’s laid on a suitable sub-base such as MOT type 3 and it’s of good depth, resin driveways can be installed on top of the tarmac or asphalt, which will be strong and stable enough to support the required weight.
On the other side of things, you have porous concrete. If it’s a new base, you’ll need to allow seven days for the concrete to cure, but if you’re installing a resin driveway over an existing concrete base of a good age you will need to ensure it’s been fully cleaned.
For non porous concrete bases, the surface will also need to be prepared with a primer prior to the resin driveway being laid on. This is vital to getting the two surfaces to adhere to one another, otherwise, it won’t take proper effect.
Unlike concrete and tarmac, block and brick paving isn’t suitable because it doesn’t provide the same solid base, and therefore isn’t safe as a foundation for a resin driveway. The uneven nature of brick paving driveways means that if you did lay a resin driveway over the top, it is highly likely to start showing cracking almost immediately.
Paving slabs have a similar issue where too much movement can cause cracking. As the resin bound surface is a dressing, usually installed at 18mm thickness for a driveway, it is essential the substrate is as solid as possible and offers no movement.
One of the many advantages of a resin bound driveway is the fact it is porous and allows water to freely drain through the surface itself and remain fully compliant with current SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System) regulations. When installed correctly, our resin bound driveways can drain as much as 850 litres of water per square meter per minute, thanks to the permeable nature of the material.
However, that only works if the base beneath the resin surface can also handle the water drainage. To achieve SUDS compliance, the base needs to be able to process the water too. This can be done using a specialist blend of porous concrete or open grade, laid over Type 3 MOT aggregate that allows water to drain through and into the ground beneath.
While resin bound surfaces are SUDS compliant, resin bonded surfaces are not. This is because the resin is applied directly to the base layer and forms an impermeable barrier between the finished surface and the base layer. Any base layer that isn’t SUDS-compliant will mean the whole installation is non-compliant.
Achieving SUDS compliance is important, as it means you can install a driveway of any size without the need for planning permission. A non-compliant installation may be subject to planning permission to ensure it has adequate drainage.
If you’re looking to install a resin driveway over an existing concrete, Tarmac, Bitmac or asphalt driveway and want to enjoy a smoother, more attractive surface, or you want to replace a maintenance-heavy block paving driveway in favour of a lower maintenance resin surface, get in touch with our experts today. The Resin Mill is well-equipped to provide you with everything you need to know about installing the perfect resin driveway, including our fantastic resin training.
You’ll find the answers to most of the commonly asked questions on our FAQs page, but to find out more, give us a call on 01484 213437 or get in touch with us via email or by completing our online form.