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Can a Resin Driveway Crack?

Do Resin Driveways Crack? (Problems & Solutions Explained)

The answer is, yes, resin bound surfacing (and bonded options) can crack and for various reasons. Sometimes, it’s down to how well-installed the surface actually is – but other issues such as weather, maintenance and aggregate ratios can cause headaches, too.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at whether or not your resin-bound driveway (or resin bonded driveway) is likely to crack.

Resin-bound driveways look fantastic and, more often than not, give you years of durability. 

However, it’s reasonable to wonder do resin driveways crack?

Keep reading to learn more about this driveway material.

3 Reasons Cracks Appear In A Resin Surface

1. It’s not measured correctly.

A resin-bound system or resin bound surface relies on a careful mixture of aggregates, such as gravel. With this surface layer, you will need to make sure there is an equal ratio of aggregate to the resin itself.

With resin bonded material, you are adhering the aggregate or stone directly to the resin. It’s important you consider the cost factors for resin driveway surfaces before you start so you get the right amount of supplies, rather than having to adapt as you build the driveway.

2. It’s damaged by metal tools.

Once your driveway is laid and it’s fully cured, it is, of course, yours to do with as you wish. However, you may experience cracking if, for example, you are a little too heavy with spades and shovels over the years to come. For example, you may start to create cracks in the surface if you shovel snow or dirt a little too hard, not taking into account the surface underneath.

This isn’t so much a common problem in parts of the UK where there’s little to no snowfall. However, it still pays to be careful with any resin surfacing. Just because it has an attractive finish to start with doesn’t mean you can’t expect it to take care of itself.

3. There are problems with the sub-base.

For any resin surface installation to remain stable, balanced and supportive, you always need a reliable sub-base. Depending on what you lay your resin on top of, you may experience expansion or contraction of the base in certain temperatures. Movement in the sub-base can cause structural damage in resin-bound surfacing which can lead to cracking.

However, providing your bases are measured and laid properly, there’s no reason why this should ever happen.

5 Other Common Resin Bonded Driveways Problems

Resin drives can have a lot of issues, and that’s why we put together this guide on all the resin driveway disadvantages, so if you experience any problems, this article may be able to help you identify and resolve them without spending a fortune.

1. Dips and discolouration

Unlike resin-bound surfacing, a resin bonded surface simply sees you adding aggregates to the top of a basic resin layer, onto which it adheres. This means that, over time, you may find that the thin layer of resin starts to wear down in spots or starts to undulate.

When applied correctly, there are a few reasons for this type of problem to affect resin bonded surfaces. However, it is an issue that may occur to your resin long after installation. It’s more of an aesthetic problem, as it can lead to discolouration, with some white patches occurring.

To avoid encountering this kind of problem in the first instance, always make sure to have your resin bonded driveway installed by an expert with years in the trade.

2. Drainage problems

Unlike resin bound driveways, a resin bonded surface does not benefit from the same permeability of drainage. That means you could find there are water pooling problems, potentially growing into flooding risks.

In winter, too, if water doesn’t drain properly, it runs the risk of freezing, making your resin driveway extremely dangerous to use. Some customers ask if a resin bonded aggregates a slippery surface and the answer is yes depending on the circumstances.

Similar to other surfaces, if the water is unable to drain properly, it sits on the drive and freezes over, this can be a major issue for cars and humans using the drive.

That’s why it’s important to consider water runoff with a resin bonded surface or to consider setting up proper drainage channels. This is something a contractor or installer can help with before aggregates or stones are laid. A poor installation will see water pool up, freeze and cause general damage to the surface time and time again.

This short video shows how quickly water should drain from your resin-bound surface

3. cracking

Reflective cracking can be an absolute nightmare in resin bonded driveway installations; however, the root cause is an issue that can affect all resin surfaces. That’s because these problems arise on the surface when there’s movement in the base or sub-base layer.

Ultimately, if the base moves, then your resin bonded surface will move with it. That’s because this layer is often extremely thin and will only adhere, providing the layer underneath is flat and stable.

There’s no quick fix for this kind of problem. The exposed area will need to be completely removed, as well the affected area (or areas) beneath. The only real recovery option for reflective cracking is to remove the base entirely and to lay new foundations. A concrete base, for example, can cause headaches if improperly installed, no matter how carefully compact the stones are on top.

4. Loose stones

A key difference between resin bonded and resin bound is that resin bonded surfaces will sometimes suffer from stone loosening. Empty patches and spots can emerge in what appears to be a carefully laid mix of aggregates for a simple reason – the bonding hasn’t been effective.

This may have occurred due to problems with the stones themselves, or it may be that the stone layer hasn’t been evenly compacted with the resin. Or, there may even be an issue with the adherence of the resin itself. In any case, remedial action is a little simpler here than what you’d expect with reflective cracks.

Filling up patches in a resin bonded surface may be as simple as applying more resin and scattering in more stones. It’ll pay to have a few leftover aggregates from the installation if this ever becomes an issue. Otherwise, you may have to start all over again to get a consistent look.

5. Rust spots

If your bonded surface starts to develop rust spots, it may not be your fault – unless you’ve been careless choosing the right stones. Unsuitable aggregates for a bonded surface will react with water and start to spot with rust. It’s all to do with the iron oxide content in the aggregates in play.

This is one of the rarer resin drive problems in this list; however, it’s all the more important to choose the right stones and ensure you plan ahead with a reliable contractor. Otherwise, you may be left with unsightly rust spots all across your driveway long after curing.

How To Avoid Resin Bound Driveway Issues

Rule number one – never get your resin mixture wet. Laying any kind of resin-bound surface in the rain will prevent it from curing properly, and therefore, you’ll end up with a driveway that needs fixing sooner rather than later.

If rain starts during the laying, set up a gazebo and cover the driveway area with a tarpaulin. Where possible, check a reliable weather app for the forecast ahead before you start – the mix needs to be completely dry.

Rule number two – always stock up with around 15% more product than you need. That’s driveway aggregate and resin. You never know when you might run out, and if you do, it’s a nightmare to remedy.

Rule number three – never let your resin cure too quickly. On a hot day, you could end up curing your resin-bound surface in a matter of minutes. As such, you need to keep an eye out for high temperatures and relative humidity. If the relative humidity in the air is higher than 85% or lower than 30%, cancel the job. The same applies if the operating temperature (as well as the surface temperature and measured air temperature) reaches more than 30 degrees C or lower than 10 degrees C.

Your surface temperature also needs to be 3 degrees C higher than the air temperature’s dew point. Complex, but worth it to save your surface. A good rule of thumb may be to simply keep your resin cool, start work early, and keep everything out of sunlight.

How To Repair A Crack In A Resin Drive?

Cracks provide some of the biggest problems with resin bound driveways – bonded surfaces, too.

In some cases, there’s a neat line between having to completely redo the driveway installation and base laying or to break into the cracks and smooth things over. Most cracks should be easy to repair, providing you work with an expert contractor.

With resin bound driveway cracks, you may be able to carefully chisel and leave the stones with rough edges. You can then simply pour in more mix to bridge the gap and interlock. That’s simply not possible with bonded options, though you may be able to add more resin and stones to smooth over.

If you ever experience resin-bound driveway problems or cracks in a bonded surface, the best thing to do is to contact a professional. These are delicate surfaces – and it pays to book the best care possible.

Last Word

Yes, your resin driveway can crack, but no, it’s not the end of the world. While cracks in other driveway systems such as block paving may seem easier to fix, there are things you can do to get back on track. Preparation and form are essential, of course – working in dry conditions (but not at the warmest part of the day) tends to be a good start.

Cracks in the surface can mean different courses of action for bound resin and bonded surfaces, so do always check which to take. If all else fails, it makes sense to contact an expert in driveway laying who can advise on what to do next.

The course of action to take for your driveway depends on what’s causing the problem. Is the base the correct depth, and is it level? Was there too much moisture in the air when you created your stone and resin mix? What was the ambient air temperature? Additionally – are you being as careful as you can with your driveway?

Don’t worry – resin still works brilliantly on concrete, with gravel and more – but always make sure it’s laid and installed correctly in the first place to avoid cracking concerns.

About The Author

John, owner of Easigrass North East for seven years, has lived and breathed landscaping. He evolved from running a leading paving and landscaping business to influencing the industry through online publishing. His real-world experience and hands-on background inform his genuine, insightful guidance for others navigating this space.

Meet The Author - John

The former owner of Easigrass North East, a significant landscaping player known for leading successful paving and garden companies, is now sharing his expert insights.

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