Resin bound stone surfacing is a low maintenance, durable product that has the potential to last in excess of 20 years – that being said, there have been a number of occasions that we have been approached by individuals looking to either renew or repair their existing installations that have become tired, faded or cracked.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to any issues that may occur with this system however it is down to the client to decide which would best suit their needs.
As aforementioned, the maintenance required for resin bound stone surfacing is relatively minimal. It is recommended that the area is swept every 6-12 weeks using a hard bristled (but not metal) brush. Doing this can prevent excess build-up of dirt and keep the surface looking fresh throughout – in circumstances when this is not enough the alternative would be to use a regular household detergent diluted with water and subsequently brush it away. A jet-wash can be used however it is recommended to use a fan setting at least 200mm from the surface using cold water only.
There are occasions in which specialist products may be required. This is most likely to be on surfaces that have suffered as a result of tyre marks. A heavy duty de-greaser used in conjunction with a pressure washer should make light work of these stains.
The steps for how this is done are fairly straight forward. Initially the surface will be vacuumed in order to de-clog any ingress of dirt from the gaps, jet-washed and de-greased with the appropriate chemicals to get it as clean as possible. It is essential that the entire installation is bone dry following this (throughout, not just the surface) following the application of a thin coating of resin using a roller.
The process of re-sealing resin bound stone has a number of benefits. Most resin bound stone installations will include a scattering of either crushed glass or very fine aggregate which contributes to its fantastic anti-slip properties, over time this can wear off and make the surface not only slippery but slightly dull. The effect of sealing the surface can restore it to its original shiny, fresh appearance.
Resin bound stone is a porous, flexible material that has the capacity to withstand a certain level of movement (hence why it is advisable to have a tarmac sub-base). The result of this is that this particular system can cope better with movement in the base and is therefore less prone to cracks as opposed to other options. That said, on the rare occasion cracks can form within the surface but these are relatively easy to repair and any reputable resin bound stone company will return free of charge to complete this work for you.
The best way to repair a crack is to chisel it out and break the stones into a rough edge. It is essential that the matrix of the stones is left intact. A new mixture of resin bound stone will then be packed in tightly to the gap. It is advisable to use a plastic trowel to prevent burnishing. The new mix will then interlock with the edges to create a seamless surface.
Patch repairs are generally used on much older installations or those that have formed more than a crack’s worth of damage. For some, this option is ideal as it restores the functionality of the surfaces and prevents any further crumbling – the main benefit is that this type of repair keeps the cost low hence why many clients opt for it however, as the name implies, a patch repair is nine out of ten times going to be noticeable. This is fundamentally due to mineralogical variations in the stone since it is naturally sourced, in addition to the build-up of dirt on the remainder of the surface.
For those that aren’t keen on the idea of a patch repair or where the majority of the surface has failed, the ideal solution is to overlay the existing resin. Many shy away from this as they believe that the costs involved will be too great but fear not – an overlay does not strictly mean starting totally afresh and in some instances, it is more cost effective to renew the resin bound stone in this way.
The process itself is fairly quick and in most instances can be completed within a day. The resin is chiselled out around the edges and scraped back from the overall surface. Following this, a new layer of resin bound stone is trowelled on to the base and feathered down to the edges so that it remains flush with the trim.
In overlaying the resin bound stone, it essentially becomes a new surface that should prevent any additional cracking or breakage.
For more information on any of these options, please get in touch on 0800 970 2190 or send us some images of your problem driveway to firstname.lastname@example.org for some free advice.