How to Look After Resin Driveways
- Essential resin driveway maintenance
- What resin driveways cost on average
- Information about resin driveway kits
A resin driveway can cost a pretty penny, so you’ll want to make sure it lasts for many years to come. While both resin bound and resin bonded drives are low maintenance, they will still require a little bit of work to keep them looking pristine. Fortunately, as they are resistant to weed growth, this cuts down on how much you need to maintain them.
This article will look at why resin driveways are easy to look after and will detail how to maintain them effectively. It will also detail how much they can cost and how you might make use of resin driveway kits. If you’ve got the necessary skills, you could lay a resin drive yourself, but it’s not an easy job for the average DIYer.
Resin Driveway Structure
A resin drive comes in two types: bound and bonded. Resin bound driveways are fully permeable, which allows water to run through. The stone aggregate is mixed with the resin before it’s laid, creating a smooth, level surface. This means resin bound surfaces are unaffected by frost and thawing damage. In terms of maintenance, this is the easier surface to look after.
Bonded resin driveways are loose stones laid on top of resin, so it doesn’t allow water through. The surface has the appearance of loose gravel without the constant shifting associated with it. As bonded resin surfaces don’t permit water through, they are weed resistant but not frost-proof. This kind of surface can have stones become loose more easily, making it slightly harder in terms of maintenance.
General Care for Resin Driveways
Sweeping and Hosing
For a standard clean, resin driveways should be swept occasionally. A stiff bristle brush can be used to get rid of any loose dirt and debris. For any dried on marks, such as mud, you can use a hose to wash down the surface. The most common and trustworthy cleaning you can perform on your resin drive is with both a brush and hose. Just be careful with resin bonded drives as the water will not drain.
You are able to use a pressure washer with a resin driveway, but it’s important that you don’t damage the surface during use. The safest way to clean with a pressure washer is to use a maximum of 150 bar and to make use of a fan setting at least 20cm away from the surface. Bonded resin is more susceptible to becoming loose after using a pressure washer as not all the aggregate is stuck to the resin. Further care should be taken with bonded resin.
Weeds and Moss
Resistance to weeds makes it harder for them to grow, but it isn’t impossible. Likewise, moss can start to grow on resin driveways if moist conditions persist. Seedlings can drop on the drive and get stuck in between the gaps, potentially starting to take root. This is one of the reasons why regular brushing is useful as it can limit the amount of weeds that could start to pop up.
Weedkiller can be used to treat any areas, but it will need to be watered down. Strong substances can discolour the resin driveway surface, which isn’t ideal. If seedlings are fresh, you may be able to pick them out by hand. For moss, it’s easiest to use a pressure washer to remove it from the surface. If it lingers, it will create a slip hazard.
Vehicle Stains and Scuffs
Engine oil, brake fluid and tyre marks can do more than upset the uniform finish of your resin driveway. Brake fluid can be corrosive to the finish, so this should be rinsed away as quickly as possible. Engine oil can be removed with regular detergent and warm water. Persistent stains can be lifted with white spirit.
When it comes to tyre marks on a resin surface, these are best removed with white spirit and a spray down with a pressure washer. You can limit the appearance of tyre marks by not turning your steering wheel when stationary. This can also cause undue stress to the surface underneath and force aggregate to come loose, creating more problems.
How to Use Your Resin Drive Effectively
Even though resin driveways are fairly robust, there are weight limits depending on how they were laid. A minimum depth of 20mm is usually required for particularly heavy loads, but this is up to 7.5 tonnes. As such, they’re only designed for pedestrians and light vehicles. If you do need to put heavy loads on them, such as skips, these should be placed on wooden planks to help distribute the load more evenly.
Metal objects can be sharp and have the potential to scratch any kind of resin drive. Car jacks, motorbike stands and other machinery or equipment can easily scratch the surface. You should be careful when you use them. Never drag any heavy or sharp object across resin driveways.
What to Avoid With Resin Drives
When cleaning a resin drive, it’s important that cold or warm water can be used safely. In icy weather or with stubborn stains, it could be tempting to try boiling water, but this can wreak havoc with the resin. Boiling water can break down the composition of the resin and destroy your drive. It can create holes in your otherwise pristine drive as well.
When it comes to sweeping your drive, you can use nylon or natural fibre brushes. You should avoid wire and metal brushes though as these can seriously damage the resin surface. This will either scratch or displace some of the aggregate.
Leaving Spills to Settle
Spills should be cleaned as quickly as possible to make the job easier. Anything left for a longer period of time can set in, cause discolouration or be more difficult to remove without any damage. Products containing oil or that are strongly acidic or alkaline should be removed as quickly as possible. It could be useful to use kitchen paper to absorb as much of the spillage as possible first.
Ice can be less of an issue with resin bound surfaces as water drains through, but it can cause problems for bonded resin. Rock salt is useful for preventing ice. Once the cold weather passes, this can then be removed with a pressure washer as normal. In snowy conditions, plastic shovels should be used to remove heavy snowfall. Any metal implements can scratch the surface.
Resin bonded drives are more susceptible to bare patches if the care and maintenance advice isn’t followed. As only one side of the aggregate is attached to the resin surface, it can be displaced more easily. Constantly rotating vehicle tyres while stationary can do this over time, as can overzealous brushing. Some loose stone is normal, but bare batches will make your new resin drive look dated and out of place.
Resin Driveway Cost
Both types of resin drive come with their own benefits and drawbacks, which affects the price you pay. It’s also worth noting that unless you have a suitable sub-base already, you will need to make sure this is done first. Without proper foundations, a strong, level surface and proper drainage, the finished resin driveway will not be effective.
On average, a resin drive will cost £40 per m², but the size of your drive and the finish you opt for will affect this cost. Generally, the bigger the drive, the cheaper the cost per square metre. This cost is only for the laying of the surface. For the removal of your current drive and excavation for proper groundworks, the cost can rise to £110 per m².
There are many factors that affect the cost of a resin driveway as it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
Resin Driveway Kits
You might be tempted to have a look at installing a resin drive yourself using a home kit. It may sound like the perfect idea, but it can come with drawbacks. Unless you’re well versed in laying resin driveways, it’s best to leave this to the professionals, especially for bigger areas like drives.
The kits themselves come with enough material for a specified area. Without training or expertise, it can cost you a lot more than simply hiring a professional company to do it for you. Resin driveway kits can be useful for patch repairs, but this should only be done if you’re confident in your abilities. A UV-stable resin and aggregate should be used to prevent any colour mismatching and the area should be kept dry until the resin has properly cured.
The dangers of using kits for resin driveways is that you may not have all the correct tools to make it work. If you’re after a resin bound surface, you may not be able to compress and spread the mixture to the same level, leaving you with a bumpy surface that is jarring to the eye.