Wondering whether a resin driveway is the right choice for your home? You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we discuss what a resin driveway is and its pros and cons.
Note that we focus on resin bound (not bonded) driveways. But we’ll also talk a bit about resin bonded driveways and how they compare to resin bound paving.
What You'll Learn Today
- What Is A Resin Bound Driveway?
- How Is A Resin Driveway Installed?
- Advantages Of A Resin Driveway
- Issues & Limitations of Resin Bound Driveways
- Resin Bound vs. Resin Bonded Driveway: Which One Is Better?
- Final Thoughts: Is A Resin Driveway Worth It?
What Is A Resin Bound Driveway?
A resin driveway is one that’s made with resin-bound paving. This is a mixture of aggregate and resin that’s poured over a base of concrete or asphalt.
The resin binds the aggregate together, creating a hard and durable driveway surface.
We are going to talk about the advantages of a resin driveway shortly, but the main reason homeowners opt for it is that it solves many of the problems associated with conventional driveways.
If you use the right kind of resin and if it’s installed properly, a resin driveway can withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, sun and snow without the cracking, spalling or breaking you often see on asphalt and concrete driveways.
Resin bound paving also makes cleaning and maintaining the driveway a lot easier.
How Is A Resin Driveway Installed?
A resin driveway requires a prepared base of concrete, asphalt or tarmac.
The resin and aggregate arrive at the worksite separately. They cannot be pre-mixed because the mixture starts hardening within minutes.
Once the driveway surface is ready, resin and aggregate are mixed in specific ratios then poured over the driveway. The mixture is spread and smoothed, then left to cure.
A resin driveway is usually ready to walk on in 24 hours and drive on in 48 hours.
Note: If you have a freshly built concrete or asphalt base, you have to wait for it to completely cure before pouring resin bound paving on it. For concrete, you need to wait 28 days.
Asphalt takes a lot longer to completely cure. You should wait 3-6 months before adding resin on top.
Here’s a video showing the installation of a resin bound driveway.
Advantages Of A Resin Driveway
Here are the biggest reasons to consider installing a resin driveway.
1. Long Lasting
Like any other type of driveway, the longevity of a resin bound driveway depends on several factors. The quality of the resin and aggregate, how well the paving is laid and the quality of the base underneath all affect how long the resin driveway will last.
Generally, resin driveways last between 10 and 25 years. If you do everything right – good base, proper installation etc. – your resin driveway will keep its look and shape for two decades or longer.
Laying resin bound paving on top of an existing driveway can extend the life of the driveway by many more years.
2. Easy To Maintain
A resin driveway cures into a hard and smooth surface that’s super easy to maintain. It doesn’t have loose rocks like a gravel driveway or a resin bonded driveway.
This makes the driveway easy to clean and maintain. Regular brushing and pressure washing is enough to keep the driveway clean.
Since a resin driveway is resistant to chemicals and stains, you usually don’t need any harsh or special detergents. Regular liquid dish soap is enough to keep it free of dirt.
A resin driveway is also highly resistant to weeds, so you don’t have to worry about spraying or uprooting them.
3. Cures Quickly
Because a resin driveway is laid on top of a concrete or asphalt base, it can be installed in a day for average size driveways. There’s no excavation or compacting needed.
A resin driveway also cures quickly. In many cases, it’s ready to walk on within 24 hours, and you can drive on it after just 48 hours.
And unlike a concrete driveway, you don’t need to water it or do anything else during the curing process.
Permeability has recently become a big issue when it comes to driveways and other paved surfaces in homes.
Governments are encouraging, and in some cases requiring, homeowners to use permeable materials that soak up rain water. This prevents runoff and flooding.
A resin bound driveway is a great choice if you want a permeable driveway. Of course, you also need to make sure the base underneath is also permeable.
If you are building a driveway from scratch, including the sub-base and base, consider using highly porous asphalt or concrete.
5. Great For Aesthetics
Many homeowners love the sleek and stylish look of a resin driveway. It can improve your home’s curb appeal.
Furthermore, resin driveways are available in a wide range of colors, so you can choose the one that matches well with the house.
Issues & Limitations of Resin Bound Driveways
As great as they are, resin driveways have their problems. Here are the main ones that you should expect.
The average cost of installing a resin bound driveway is between $8 and $18 depending on your location, the quality of materials and how much prep work needs to be done.
It can cost about the same or even more as building a new blacktop or concrete driveway from scratch.
It might be a cheaper option to sealcoat your driveway instead. It costs less than $2 per square foot to seal a concrete or asphalt driveway.
If the driveway is in really bad shape, it’s still cheaper to resurface it compared to installing a resin driveway on top.
The advantage of a resin driveway is that it’s a one and done process. You’ll spend quite a bit of money on it, but it’ll last for 10-25 years.
In contrast, you need to seal your driveway every three years. You may also need to resurface it again after a few years.
If you don’t mind spending more money upfront on a resin driveway, it saves you more money in the long term.
Requires Professional Installation
Laying a rescind driveway is not an easy project that you can DIY. If you are thinking you’ll save costs by mixing and pouring the paving yourself, forget it.
It’s a minimum 3-person job that requires strict coordination between mixing, pouring and spreading. That’s part of the reason installing a resin driveway is a bit expensive.
You may also need to spend money preparing the current driveway so that it’s ready for the resin paving.
Can Only Be Installed On Specific Bases
Resin paving can only be poured on specific bases. Specifically, it only works with asphalt, tarmac and concrete. This ensures it is stable, strong and long lasting.
If you have any other type of driveway such as gravel, paver, or stone, you cannot install a resin driveway.
It’s Only As Strong as the Base
A resin driveway is only as strong as the base underneath it. If your current driveway has a poor quality sub-base, this will affect the strength and quality of the resin driveway. It can cause cracking and other kinds of damage.
It Can Be Slippery
The smooth finish of a resin driveway looks great, but it can be too slippery when it snows or rains. This can be an especially big problem if your driveway is on a slope.
The best way to avoid this is to ask the contractor to add traction additives to the resin mix. They should also add crushed glass or sand onto the driveway while it is curing.
Regular resin paving fades over time because of exposure to UV rays. This leads to fading and discoloration.
To avoid this, make sure you use a UV stable resin that doesn’t discolor or fade.
Resin Bound vs. Resin Bonded Driveway: Which One Is Better?
The biggest difference between a resin bound and resin bonded driveway is how they are prepared and installed.
With a resin bound driveway, the contractor will thoroughly mix aggregate and resin and then pour the wet mixture onto the driveway. This creates a hard and smooth finish with no loose stones.
With a resin bonded driveway, the resin is first applied onto the driveway then aggregate is spread on top and sticks onto the resin.
A resin bonded driveway is cheaper, but it doesn’t have the same beautiful finish as a resin bound driveway. It also doesn’t last long since the rocks start to loosen and come free.
Unlike a resin bound driveway that allows water through, a resin bonded driveway is impermeable and can create runoff and drainage problems.
If your budget allows it, get a resin bound driveway.
Final Thoughts: Is A Resin Driveway Worth It?
Overall, we think a resin driveway is worth it. It’s a bit pricey, but its longevity, style and ease of maintenance makes it a worthwhile option for homeowners.
To ensure your money doesn’t go to waste, we recommend hiring contractors who are experienced in installing resin driveways. Also, make sure you repair and prep the current driveway to ensure the new resin driveway is strong and lasts a long time without problems.