Resin Bound Gravel Installation Guide
Resin bound gravel driveways have been the latest craze in the world of driveway paving options. With their multiple benefits like high durability, excellent porosity and drainage, low maintenance and a wide range of colours to choose from; resin bound gravel is definitely a clear winner amongst the materials used for paving. Other benefits of a Resin Bound Gravel pavings are listed below:
1) Decorative Natural Appearance
2) Wide choice of finishes
3) Hard wearing and resilient
4) Low Maintenance
5) Fixed Surfaces
6) Anti-slip Surface
7) Application to numerous surfaces
Apart from the above mentioned benefits, Resin bound gravel is also extremely easy to install and gives you a ready to walk project area within a few hours of installation. That said, there are some exact specifications to be followed when laying the material and these specifications may change depending on different brands and manufacturers. The article here will aim to provide some basic installation guidelines.
Preparation of existing surface
One of the most important steps towards installing a new surface is to prepare the existing surface. In most cases, the work done on preparing the existing surface is directly related to the success of the installation project.
In the cases where a new sub base is installed, it is recommended to fix the edgings using sand and cement which will keep the area framed and keep the mixture in place. Ensure that the edging height is more than the sub base and exceeds by over 15 to 20 mm so as to give suitable space for the resin bound mixture to settle.
The sub base is made up of 150mm MOT type 1 which is further rolled using a vibrator plate/roller for the base to settle and create a level surface.
MOT type 1 is then topped up either with concrete or tarmac layer. While concrete is best recommended for cases where high strength is needed, tarmac is a better option for places which are prone to flooding since it gives high permeability. The recommended thickness for concrete is 125mm whereas that for tarmac coating is 75mm. Ensure that the cracks, if any in the pre existing surface are widened sufficiently to fill in the base material. Additionally, make sure that the surface is completely dry, free of weeds, algae, and debris.
The next step is to procure the material from the market. Choosing the material is a tricky process considering that there is a wide variety of colours and shades to choose from. That said, before choosing the colour, one must decide on the aggregate size required depending on the site requirements. Once the required size is decided, it is safe to proceed to the colour selection process. Aggregates used for resin bound gravel come in a wide range of colours from subtle shades to bright ones. One may also go for choosing multiple colours and play with them to create different combinations. It is hence required to estimate your material requirement based on the kind of design you want to create. Various colour shades are available on the web and customers can easily look through them to select the shades of their choice.
The third step after deciding the aggregate size and selecting the colour that is needed is to select the resin type that is best suited for the project requirements. Resins mostly come in two variations: standard and a UV stable variety. While standard resins allow for some fading in colour over a period of few years, the UV resistant ones keep giving you the original shade year after year. Resins which are UV stable provide a protective shield to the material which keeps it protected from intense radiations. There will hence be no shade change between covered and exposed areas which will give your driveway, or patio an even look for years to come. This is a highly important criterion when it comes to selecting shades like Black, Beige, and Silver since these shades have a tendency to yellow down faster than the other colours.
Once you have carefully considered all the above mentioned criteria, all you need is to calculate the exact area where you need to lay down the material, the depth at which you need to lay it down and hence the total quantity of aggregate material that you will need to cover up your area. Make sure that you purchase some extra quantity to allow for some wastage during installation.
Keep the tools ready
Before you start with the actual mixing and laying jobs, you do need to ensure that you are well equipped for all the tasks that may be needed as a part of the project. Keeping all tools handy before hand is a good idea. One of the key equipment you will need is a forced action mixer which can hold around 100 kg of aggregates. Plasterer paddle and drill are other pieces of equipment that you may need for mixing the resin along with the hardener. Keep some other common tools like a bucket, a wheelbarrow, plasterers float, and a pair or two of gloves arranged, and the project is ready to be taken up.
Preparing the mixture
Taking out the purchased aggregates out of their packages is the next step. It is recommended to lay down piles of aggregates in the proportions that they are needed for adding to the resin kits. Each resin kit takes up around four 25kg bags of aggregate. These may be of different sizes like three bags of 2-5 mm particle size and one bag of 1 -3 mm particle size. It is advisable to pile up the aggregates as four separate bag stacks to save any mistakes while mixing.
Resins generally come in two parts. The two portions are mixed together in a bucket and whisked for a minute or so till the mixture gets a uniform texture and turns creamy. Add the aggregates in a mixer and let the mixer go for around 20 seconds to a minute for the aggregates to shed any dirt particles and get free of debris. Add the prepared resin mixture into the mixer and let the entire stuff mix for some time for all the aggregate particles to get covered with the resin. Add 2kg of dried sand once the resin is added to the mixture to give it some additional strength.
For UV stable resins, an additional catalyst is provided in the kit. This is added to the first part of the resin in the suggested quantities before mixing it with the second part of the resin.
For every preparation of your aggregate and resin mixture, keep a standard time for mixing at each level so as to get a uniform colour all the time.
Once the mixture is prepared, pour it into a wheelbarrow and then on the project surface.
Laying down the material
Once the material is poured on the surface, immediately spread it out even using a rake. Start at one end and work out the spreading towards the other end. At an average, a mixture laid down at a depth of 15mm will cover an area of four square meters. You will see your trowel covered with the sticky mix every once in a while making it difficult to use. Wipe it every some time using white spirit to take out the sticky material.
After spreading the mixture evenly, the mixture immediately starts to cure. The curing time is generally dependent on the ambient temperature. For pleasant temperatures, you can easily get 20 to 30 minutes of time for spreading and working o every mixture before it starts to dry out. For high temperature zones, you might need to speed up the work or employ more labour since the mixture will start to cure within 10 minutes. Another important step after the mixture is trowelled down and just before it starts to cure is add a small amount of crushed glass which adds some friction to the surface making it anti skid.
The mixture is generally sufficiently cured within 6 hours for it to be walked over and is ready in 24 hours for any kind of vehicular traffic.
Cleaning the mixture post usage is a relatively easy task. Add some dry aggregates into the mixer along with some white spirit and let the mixer run for some time (a few minutes). Take out the material, and the mixer will be sufficiently clean for next usage. For any residual mixture still sticking to the surface, take a wire brush and scrub the surface using the same and some white spirit. Make sure to wash all your tools with white spirit after the project is completed to keep them in good condition for future usage.
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Every Resin Bound Gravel project is backed by a comprehensive 10 year guarantee, providing assurance against loose stones; cracking; oil damage; UV degradation; colour change; frost damage and workmanship (when installed by an Approved Installer).