Why choose us and how to look out for rogue traders
We are going to more and more resin driveways/paths/patios which have failed because they have not been properly installed. Preparation is key to a resin driveway/path/patio. Resin only gets laid between 18mm and 20mm thick even though it is stronger than concrete. Resin has to be laid on top of a solid base such as concrete or tarmac, both concrete and tarmac have different advantages.
The Advantages Of Having A Tarmac Base
Firstly tarmac, if you are having what we call a ‘dig out’ the tarmac base is laid on top of MOT/Hardcore. Then the tarmac is applied, the stone size used is between 14mm to 20mm this allows water to run through it so you will not get any puddles. This is the same idea as block paving, the only problem with this is, because water can penetrate underneath your driveway/path/patio if you have large weights sitting on your surfaces eg. cars, vans, or skips the ground will move after time just like block paving. You will usually get 3 years out of your driveway before it starts to fail. If you are overlaying resin onto an existing tarmac driveway it is totally diffrent, this is because the tarmac has got what we call a ‘top coat of tarmac’ and the stones in this are between 1mm to 6mm and they are rolled together. This creates a solid surface which water can not penetrate through and this layer sits on top of the base coat tarmac. This uses 14mm to 20mm stone, water cannot get under your driveway with this there and there is no chance of your driveway sinking. The only problem with this is that you have to put additional drainage in such as an acon drain which will run to a manhole making sure water gets away properly.
The Advantages Of Having A Concrete Base
A concrete base will never warp in the sun like tarmac does and it will never sink, dip or crack if fitted properly. The reason for this is that water cannot get underneath the surface, making this a permanent resin surface. The concrete base has to be angled right for the water to run of it and into the gullies or arco drains. Theses may have to be fitted if there are none already fitted to your property. When we lay the concrete we put an MOT/hard core base down, once compacted we lay a dpc tray out and then we put reinforcing re-bar on top raised up so when we pour the concrete the re-bar is in the middle of the concrete base. As we have put re-bar in the concrete it cannot snap, bend or move unlike tarmac. Most competitors like to use tarmac because their staff/contractors are not city and guilds qualified and skill is needed to ensure all angles are right for your water drain off points.
Preparation For Overlaying
This applies to both existing concrete and tarmac, both surfaces need to be pressure washed first to get all the grime up and any moss off. We then need to apply a ground killer to kill any moss or weed to ensure that they do not grow through. If we are over laying on top of concrete, we have to apply a primer this ensures the resin will stick the best it can.
Mixing the Resin and Stone
When we are mixing our resin it is basically 4 bags of dried stone that we put into a forced mixer. We mix our resin separately, it is a two part epoxy resin which we mix with a plasterers whisk to ensure it is mixed through. We then add it into the forced mixer, once mixed for a few minutes it is ready for laying.
How To Spot A Rogue Trader
- If they lay resin straight on top of your concrete/tarmac drive without power washing and not spraying ground killer.
- If they are using an everyday power washer for example something like Karcher that you can just pick up at B and Q. This is just not up to the job, an everyday power washer is made for cleaning and not made to take a top layer of concrete or tarmac up. A standard top end DIY’s power washer will only let out 360 liters of water a hour and a maximum pressure bar of 100.
The pressure washer we use, reaches 900 litres of water a hour and has a pressure bar of 300. This is a massive difference, so much so we have to carry a tank of water with us because a water feed from a hose pipe it would not be able to keep up with the demand of water needed to keep it running.
- If they are mixing in a cement mixer and not a forced action mixer this is is a no, no. There are many reasons resin needs to be mixed in a forced action mixer, the main one is to ensure the consistency is right, without you driveway will look patchy and unequal. Another reason a cement mixer should not be used is that it puts air into the mix so the resin will not be as strong. If air gets into the resin you may only get two years out of your driveway before it starts to break up.
- If you see them putting half mixes into the mixer (so only two bags of stone), they will only guess how much resin to put in. You can only buy resin in four metre kits, which is four bags of dried stone the resin is measured properly at the factory and you can’t split the resin as it expands and contracts with diffrent temperatures so you will never get this right and your drive will be weak and will fail over time all the resin has to be the same consistency for it to stay strong.
- If they lay resin on a wet ground surface it will not stick properly, you will be lucky to get a year out of your drive.
- If it is forecast to rain and they are willing to go ahead and lay the resin. The problem with this is that the rain will wash the resin of the stone and the stone will be come loose and fail. This may make you more likely to get white patches in your drive and you will be lucky to get a year out of your drive.