With a name like Guardian Resin, you might think that we are biased when it comes to resin patios! And while there might be some truth to this, there's a good reason for our enthusiasm.
Join us as we go through the positive points of resin patios, and by the end of the article, we are confident that you'll feel the same way. We'll also examine any potential downsides, as we want to give the full picture and help you to draw your own conclusions.
Resin surfaces have become enormously popular of late, with thousands of people replacing their traditional driveways, garden paths, patios, and other outdoor spaces with this amazing material.
But what exactly is a resin surface?
The quick answer is that aggregates (gravel) are combined with polyurethane resin to form a hard-wearing layer that looks fantastic and lasts for years. The gravel is usually washed and kiln-dried.
However, there are two systems to choose from...
Did you know that there's a difference? Don't worry if not - many people get these mixed up, even some contractors!
Despite the similar-sounding names, they are very different:
With this system, the gravel is thoroughly mixed in with the resin and laid by hand using a trowel. The stones and resin form a solid, durable layer with a smooth finish.
The resin layer is applied to the sub-base, and the loose stones are scattered over the top before being pressed in, leaving them exposed to the elements.
Of the two options, a resin-bound surface is definitely the best choice in most cases, which is why we have leaned towards these when highlighting the many benefits of resin patios. Let's take a look at these now!
There's really no argument: resin-bound patios look amazing. They are available in an impressive variety of colours and can be customised to suit the individual customer, unlike most other materials like block paving, concrete, or tarmac.
Using different aggregate sizes and colours, you can create the design of your choice. Contrasting colours look fantastic, or you can choose a classic, understated look - it's up to you.
Surprisingly, resin-bound surfacing sets are extremely hard while retaining their flexibility, making them ideal for any functional outdoor living space, driveway, or paved area.
This is one area where resin-bonded surfaces have the edge, as they can withstand heavier traffic (making them suitable for car parks), although this shouldn't be an issue for a patio area. Either way, both are highly durable and will last for many years.
Unlike some other materials, a resin-bound patio is low maintenance and doesn't need a lot of care. Simply sweep away debris and dirt with a stiff brush once a week or so, and maybe wash the surface down with a pressure washer or hose to discourage moss growth.
You won't need to worry about unsightly weeds as they can't find a way through!
Now, this heading comes with some caveats:
Although a resin-bound patio is permeable, allowing surface water to soak through and drain away naturally at a rate of 850 litres per square metre per minute, the sub-base must also be permeable. This means that it must have a suitable base, like tarmac, asphalt, or an eco-grid. If it is laid over a concrete base, then it is not permeable.
On the other hand, resin-bonded surfaces are not porous, and rainwater will flow away into the drains.
Why Is this important?
Modern development and ongoing urbanisation have increased the problem of localised flooding. Our drainage systems can't cope with the surface water run-off from all the roads, driveways, and other hard surfaces.
Depending on your location, your new resin patio area (or resin driveway) may be subject to planning permission under the government's SuDS scheme. This stands for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems and was introduced to lessen the risk of local floods.
Although a resin surface can become slippery in winter, professional resin paving companies will add finely crushed glass or sand to provide slip resistance. Always check this with your contractors!
UV rays constantly blast the surface layer of any materials, bleaching colours and discolouring some materials. Certain resins will turn cloudy and yellow after a while unless they are UV-stable.
When installing resin-bound patios, the contractor should offer you a choice of whether to have UV-stable resin or not. It's always better to have UV-resistant resin, as this will protect your patio against discolouring.
In most cases, a medium-sized patio can be laid in a day.
However, this depends on whether the resin is installed on a prepared surface with a pre-existing base.
If the installer has to prepare a suitable sub-base by excavating soil and grass, then the process will take a couple of days, maybe more.
In a word, no. We won't dive into the details here; suffice it to say that it will most likely ruin your patio pretty soon. And the same applies to block paving, crazy paving, or any similar material.
If you want to know more, you can check out our other article "Can You Put Resin Over Patio Slabs".
If we're talking about block paving, a then resin-bound patio is typically cheaper, although it depends on the size and the complexity of the design.
They're also a better choice in terms of colours and design options, as you can create more patterns and personalise your outdoor space. You can also check out our post "Is A Resin Patio Cheaper Than Slabs, Tiles, Block Paving", for more additional insights.
Most resin-bound patios come with a ten or twenty-year guarantee, although your new patio is very likely to last for much longer. It's always worth checking what the guarantee covers, as they generally don't include accidental damage or problems caused by neglect and abuse. However, they usually cover issues with loose stones, although these are only typically encountered with resin-bonded surfaces. For more information, we recommend checking out our post titled "How Long Do Resin Patios Last".
As promised, we'll now talk about the downsides of resin-bound patios to show that we're fair-minded!
So, here they are:
These are the main problems, although all of them are completely avoidable or easy to fix.
Reflective cracking only occurs when resin bound patios are laid over flagstones or individual pavers, or when the sub-base hasn't been properly prepared, and the same applies to poor drainage and surface detachment.
Iron spotting can be avoided by using different aggregates, and it can usually be treated with oxalic acid.
Discolouring won't be an issue if you ensure that your contractor uses UV-stable resin.
And as for moss and algae, you can play your part by keeping the surface clean.
So, with a bit of planning and a small amount of effort, you can make sure that these problems never arise! The first step is to use a trusted, reputable resin paving specialist, like Guardian Resin.
The answer to our question is, yes - resin is a great choice for patios!
If you want your outside space to be a place that you, your family, and your friends love to spend time in, then a resin-bound patio is your best option.
Whether you go for a resin-bound patio or the bonded resin type is up to you, although the benefits of the former outweigh the latter in some way. You also might need planning permission with a bonded resin system, so bear that in mind.
While you are here why not dive into our blog section and read up on our post on how much is a resin patio.