Simply put, a decorative resin surface is a combination of resin and decorative aggregate laid on top of a concrete or tarmac surface to provide an attractive finish.
2)Are there different types and quality products?
Yes. There are two types of resin surface which are rather confusingly referred to as ‘Bound’ and ‘Bonded’. The difference between the two system types is that a bound system is applied as a screed in which the aggregate and a clear resin are mixed together before being trowel applied at a depth exceeding 15mm producing a glossy flat surface unlike other forms of surfacing.
A bonded system is a thin layer of coloured resin which is applied at a depth exceeding 1mm and then coated with a small decorative aggregate. This produces a natural looking gravel driveway appearance but without the problems associated with a gravel driveway such as aggregate migration, trapped rubbish and the unsuitability for use on a slope.
3)Is there a difference in cost between bound and bonded surfacing?
Yes. Assuming the use of good quality materials and a qualified installer a resin bound system can cost between £40m² and £80m² where as a resin bonded system is significantly cheaper and can cost between £20m² and £40m². It should be noted that these figures do not include any groundwork’s, preparation or other costs and it should always be made perfectly clear exactly what is and what is not included in a quote.
4)Are there good and bad resin surfacing products available?
Yes. There are four basic types of bound surfacing resins available and three types of bonded surfacing resins.
The four types of bound system are:
Aliphatic: The best choice due to its high performance, UV resistant qualities.
Aromatic: A cheap system that discolours (turns a mucky brown) and is less flexible than aliphatic systems making it prone to reflective cracking.
Epoxy: Rarely used and superseded by aliphatic resins due to its history of problems.
Aspartic: A relatively new development in resin surfacing and very much in its infancy. Current costs exclude this from being a competitive system.
The three types of bonded system are:
Polyurethane: The best choice due to its extremely high performance, polyurethanes are used by most skilled installers due to the fast cure time.
Polyurea: Very similar performance to polyurethane systems however a slower cure time makes this product ideal for use in hot weather.
Epoxy: Rarely used and superseded by aliphatic resins due to its history of problems and difficulty of use.
5)What is SUDS compliance?
Sustainable Urban drainage systems (SUDS) are systems of drainage that provide an alternative to the direct channelling of surface water to drains. Since October 2008 any changes or repairs to a driveway, or installation of a new driveway must be SUDS compliant or have planning permission. These regulations only apply to driveways and paths installed in your front garden, which means the area between the front of your house and the public highway or footpath, so anything to the rear of your house is not affected.
6)Is a resin bound surface SUDS compliant?
No. Despite what many manufacturers or installers may claim neither a resin bound or bonded surface is SUDS compliant within itself. As with ANY form of surfacing, resin bound and bonded surfaces can be used as part of a SUDS compliant installation. For a porous resin bound surface to be SUDS compliant it must be installed onto a surface that is itself porous or as with a resin bonded surface it can be SUDS compliant if water is directed to a lawn or border rather than a drain.
7)Can I use any aggregate?
No. Aggregates used in both bound and bonded systems must be approved decorative aggregates that are dry, dust-free and a suitable size for the selected application. We only recommend the use of aggregates supplied by Long Rake Spar.
8)Can I install a resin driveway myself?
Without previous experience we would not advise that anyone attempts to install a decorative resin surface. The systems used in decorative resins surfacing applications are not DIY products and a specific set of skills are required to achieve a good quality, long lasting finish.
9)How long will a resin driveway last?
Star Uretech would expect a resin bound installation to last in excess of 10 years and a resin bonded system to last in excess of 20 years however this is very dependent on the quality of the resin, skill of application and desired end use. Many manufacturers provide guarantees in excess of 15 years however most guarantees only cover product failure and when scrutinised the guarantees are rarely what they seem and exclude damage caused by excessive usage, deformation, reflective cracking, tree roots, stress point cracking, frost heave, staining caused by chemicals, fuels, mineralogical variations in the stone and changes due to natural weathering. In reality any decorative resin surface system is only as good as the installer.
A cheap, low quality aromatic resin system installed at a minimum 15mm depth by un-trained applicators is guaranteed to fail whilst a good quality aliphatic resin laid at a 25mm depth by a skilled applicator can last in excess of 20 years.
10) Still have questions?
Please do not hesitate to speak with us. We are always happy to answer any questions.
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