Problems with Resin Drives?

resin drive problems patching resin driveways
Resin drive problems, patching in front of garage.

6 Common Resin Drive Problems

Resin drive problems usually stem from unprofessional and/or inexperienced installers.

Here is a list of 6 common problems, and how to avoid them. We also made a brief introductory video to resin so make sure you watch it.

1. Resin Drives Problems – Getting the Right Depth

Generally the following depths are sufficient for a resin drive:

  • 3mm aggregate – 12mm depth
  • 6mm aggregate – 16mm depth
  • 10mm aggregate – 22mm depth

Any less than this and problems may occur with patches of resin coming up and/or cracks appearing on the resin surface. As a resin drive is hand laid there may be slight variations but there should be no variance of more than 1mm. For a patio or pathway the depth can be 12mm (minimum) as these areas will not have any vehicular traffic.

2. Movement of Sub Base

If the resin drive has been laid on top of tarmac or concrete, attention should be paid to where control joints have been cut (for concrete only). This is because concrete moves due to temperature changes. If resin is laid on top and the concrete moves, so will the resin surface and a crack will appear. If a resin driveway is laid on top of neither…(and this happens) expect to get finished work that looks like this…..

resin-drive-lifting
No Base Installation? Think Icing on a Cake!

Resin is popular as an overlay driveway/patio surface. As long as an existing area is structurally sound this shouldn’t be a problem. Again, the experience of your chosen installer is important here. Most of the decent ones we know will always recommend a complete installation from start to finish, as they then know that everything has been done to achieve the perfect finish.

3. Cracks on a Resin Drive

If the incorrect mixture is used when making resin this may cause cracking in the surface. The problem can also occur if the incorrect amount of aggregate (stone) is used during the mixing process. Suppliers of resin and aggregate usually specify the proportions to mix resin and the amount of aggregate to use.

Any guarantees will be in accordance with manufacturers specifications. Therefore it’s important to establish which manufacturer is being used and to make sure you read (and understand) the specification sheets.

4. Resin Drive Problems – Colour

Resins are either Ultra Violet (UV) stable or non-UV stable. These are also known as ‘Aromatic’ or ‘Aliphatic’ resins. Always opt for UV stable unless there is no sunlight reaching the paving surface.

The colour of stone (aggregates) does not change but depending on which colour of aggregate is used will affect the final finished look. When resin is mixed it has a slight beige colour.

RESIN GRAVEL DRIVEWAY – Creating a Beautiful Look

5. Resin drive problems – Streaking

It is important to maintain consistency with the mixture of resin used to prevent ‘streaking.

Firstly, all stone (aggregate) should be dust free when delivered.

Secondly, as a precaution it should be mixed for a minute or so, to remove any dust particles.

Finally, when resin is mixed with aggregate is should always be mixed for 3 mins. If mixed any longer than this, it may cause the stones to absorb resin. And this may result with a streaking appearance or stripes.

So timing is everything with mixing resin and stone!

resin drive problems white patches
White Patches on Resin Driveway

6. The Dreaded White Patch

It’s always best to lay a resin driveway on a dry day. The difference in resin setting times can vary depending whether in the summer or winter (but only by around 7-8 minutes).

During the preparation stage it’s important that the surface to be laid on (concrete, tarmac or grid) is completely dry. If there’s any chance of rain it’s best to postpone installation.

It has been known for risk taking installers to go ahead anyway and install on the basis of doing small area at a time and having a sheet to cover if rain comes. This is highly unprofessional. The sheet may stick to the resin and it is impossible to know beforehand how heavy and for how long rain will fall.

Another cause of ‘patching’ is the use of damp stone. As long as a decent supplier is used this will not be a problem. If a bulk delivery is taking place it is important that the stone is covered properly.

As you can see there are numerous resin drive problems that can be encountered. Whilst the product is incredibly easy to install, experience really goes a long way. As long as measures are taken to avoid the problems above – a good installation can be achieved.

The Biggest Problem with Resin Drives

In our experience the biggest problem in terms of resin drive problems are those consumers that want ‘cheap’. If you’re one of these type of consumer you should consider turfing a driveway area or simply leaving it as it is.

By opting cheap you’ll pay twice. So just don’t do it!

A professional and inspiring resin driveway surface doesn’t come cheap. Prices are in the region of £120 – £150 per square metre. An overlay will cost less, a lot less. But an existing surface must be structurally sound. If in doubt ensure you opt for a complete excavation and sub base installation.

If you use sub standard resin and/or don’t use a driveway specialist you really have no cause to complain if things turn out badly.

Stunning Driveway Designs


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6 Comments

  1. Had a resin bound drive installed 2 days ago already have an obvious white patch, the edges between the main colour and the black border are untidy the drain covers have been resined over the joints, and it isn’t level.. when putting a straight edge on the surface there are 3cm gaps under the straight edge… the level of resin doesn’t come up to the top of the metal trim and the trim is exposed by 2 cm in places and there are float marks all over … the builder wasn’t even going to dig foundations he intended putting tarmac straight on top of soil until we rumbled him and made him do it.. unfortunately we paid 1260 upfront and knew we wouldn’t see this again if we backed out so had no choice but to continue… once the tarmac went down it was lumpy wasn’t rolled flat we questioned this and were told it was fine .. I really don’t know what I can do I’m heart broken

    • Hi Jill
      Thanks for reaching out and we’re real sorry to hear your story. Without photographs we’re unable to provide a full assessment but from your description it sounds like you’ve had an awful experience and encountered extensive problems. You were obviously apprehensive from the start and had doubts about the integrity of the ‘builder’ you chose. Our assumption is the ‘builder’ is not a resin driveway specialist and we’ve concluded this from the details you’ve provided which we’ve summarised below:

      Incorrect mixture
      Poor levelling
      Drain covers sealed
      Float marks over the job
      Suggesting laying tarmacdam on soil?

      A professional installer would not have made such errors.

      Unfortunately, it sounds very unlikely any of the problems you have described can be ‘put right’. As mentioned above, if you send some photos we will be able to assess in more detail.

      Resin driveways look beautiful when installed by professional and experienced installers. A professionally installed resin driveway enhances the appearance of any house. It’s always best to use a reputable company/installer with a proven portfolio of installed work (both recent and jobs that were installed 2-5 years ago).

  2. Had a resin drive laid on friday looked really good then on sunday we noticed what i can only say looked like float marks we got in touch with them and 3 days later the excuse thay have given is its due to the weather wind and rain and there is nothing we can do ????

    • Hi Alan,
      It’s good practice to use a ‘power float’ (hover trowel) to produce a better finish on resin than just using handheld floats.

  3. We had a resin drive laid approximately 12 months ago and have noticed there are 2 long cracks showing. We have contacted our contractor who fitted the drive and he has blamed last year’s hot summer for the cracks. We are not satisfied with this explanation as we expected the drive to last in excess of 10 years. Is there anywhere I can find advice on where we stand as we paid a lot of money for the drive. Thank you

    • Hi Jenny,
      A common cause of cracking is if resin is ‘layed’ over the top of existing concrete. If there are any weaknesses or cracks underneath these may impact the resin. It’s good practice to ensure a ‘scope of works’ is agreed before the commencement of any work. If any guarantees have been offered these must be supported by documentation. Unfortunately, there is no agreed framework for resin and both the quality and cost vary considerably. It’s difficult to provide ‘advice’ in the absence of knowing the full background, preparation, installation and type of resin used. I’m sorry we can’t be of much help but do continue to pursue the contractor to put things right, if possible.

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