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Do Resin Driveways Crack

Resin-bound driveways are fast becoming popular for homeowners all over the UK. They are quick to install and have a wide variety of colour and style options. They can also be UV-, stain-, and slip-resistant. Plus they will last for decades. As long as they are installed correctly, that is. The most common reason for a resin-bound driveway to crack is due to improper installation. Cracks appearing isn't common when your driveway is installed by properly trained professionals.

What Is A Resin-Bound Driveway?

There are two types of resin driveway: resin bonded and resin bound. A resin-bonded driveway is created by applying a layer of resin and then pouring onto it an aggregate of small stones, gravel, and other materials.

Resin-bound surfacing, on the other hand, is created by mixing the clear resin and aggregate before applying it to the substrate. A resin-bound surface creates a more durable driveway than a resin-bonded material.

How Are Resin-Bound Driveways Installed And What Can Cause Cracks?

Installing a resin-bound system is not a DIY job. Many factors need to be taken into account before, during, and after installation to ensure that the resin surfacing is properly applied and will last for a long time. Generally speaking, a small team of at least three people is needed to lay resin-bound paving correctly: someone to mix, someone to pour, and someone to trowel.


The sub-base is the most important element of laying a resin driveway surface to get right. Most cracks come from the substrate not being stable enough. The resin-bound surface can be laid on top of an existing surface layer, as long as it is made of a stable and flat material. Suitable materials include a Tarmac, asphalt, or concrete base (as long as the concrete is one continuous layer).

If your current driveway surface is block paving, grass, or loose stones then this will be unsuitable for overlaying a resin surface and a new sub-base made of Tarmac or a specialised grid will likely be needed. For more learnings, you can also check out our article "Are Resin Driveways Better Than Tarmac?".

How This Can Lead To Cracks

If the substrate isn't stable then this can lead to reflective cracking. Movement of the base layer can shift the surface layer of resin which will cause cracks to appear. These cracks aren't just an eyesore, they are also a safety hazard so will need to be dealt with quickly.

Another way in which the substrate can cause cracks is when a resin-bound paving surface is laid on top of two different substrate materials. These materials can behave differently under conditions like heat or a heavy load which can cause movement in the resin-bound surface layer.


The conditions in which a resin-bound driveway can be laid are also very specific. Many resin-bound driveway problems come from the surface being laid in the wrong conditions.

  • Weather - the weather has to be dry. A reliable weather app is an important tool and laying resin surfaces should be avoided if rain is forecast within four hours of the proposed installation time.
  • Ambient air temperature - this should also be measured. The warmer the ambient temperature, the faster the resin will cure. If it cures too fast, then this can lead to cracks. A temperature between 5 and 25 degrees Celsius is usually suitable. If the measured air temperature is low, then an accelerator can be used to speed up the curing process.
  • Surface temperature - the surface temperature of the substrate needs to be tested and should be at least 3 degrees higher than the dew point. If it isn't, this could lead to condensation which will cause the resin-bound surface not to bond to the substrate properly.
  • Relative humidity - to avoid encountering moisture on the substrate, the relative humidity should be below 80% before laying a resin driveway.

How This Can Lead To Cracks

Getting the conditions wrong when laying a resin surface can cause it not to adhere properly to the substrate beneath. And when this happens, it can cause the resin layer to lift which can cause cracking.


The ratio of resin to aggregate and sand needs to be very precise. Some of the most common problems with resin-bound driveways come from incorrect mixing of the aggregate and resin. If there isn't enough resin to aggregate, then the aggregate can chip away leading to loose stones and holes.

How This Can Lead To Cracks

Loose stones and holes will mean that the resin surface is no longer a complete layer and the extra stress on the damaged parts of the surface can cause cracks to appear.

Considering Angles

It is important to plan ahead in terms of how the resin-bound driveway will sit if it isn't a simple rectangular shape. One of the many benefits of a resin-bound driveway is that it can conform to a wide variety of shapes, angles, and curves which makes it a versatile driveway surfacing system.

If there are sharp angles that will jut into the resin-bound surface, from steps for example, then careful planning needs to be made.

How This Can Cause Cracks

Any sharp angles protruding into the resin surface can lead to re-entrant cracking. This looks different from reflective cracking and is caused by issues with the resin-bound surface rather than the substrate underneath.

It occurs because an acute angle causes stress forces to be concentrated on a small area which leads to stress cracks. This can be avoided by laying joints that will help to spread the load of the force over a wider area.

Can Resin-Bound Driveway Cracks Be Fixed?

There are a few reasons why cracks may appear in your new driveway some of these driveway problems are relatively easy to fix and some aren't.

Reflective cracking is a serious problem brought on by poor installation of the foundation of the driveway. In this instance, the problem isn't fixable without completely digging up the resin-bound driveway, excavating, and installing a new substrate. If you are dealing with reflective cracks, these should be dealt with quickly before they become a safety issue.

Cracking that stems from the resin-bound surface itself, rather than the sub-base, can often be fixed without tearing up the whole thing. Using an epoxy mortar, cracks can be patch repaired and then sealed. A fibre reinforcement mesh can be used to strengthen the area where the cracks occurred which can prevent them from happening again.

The affected area that has been repaired and the rest of the resin-bound driveway will often be starkly different colours at first, which can interfere with the attractive finish but over time, they should start to blend. For more information, you can check out our post "Can You Repair Resin Driveways".

Do Resin Driveways Crack

Other Resin-Bound Driveway Problems

Cracking isn't the only issue possible with resin-bound driveways. Other problems can include:

  • Discolouration - discolouration is a normal part of the sun interacting with the aggregate and is especially common with lighter-coloured stones. If you don't want your driveway to get discoloured, using a UV-resistant resin-bound surface can prevent it.
  • Rust spotting - this is another common issue and is caused by the iron oxide present in some of the aggregates to rust when in contact with moisture. These rust spots can be unsightly but remedial action is possible and they can be removed through specific cleaning methods.
  • Bumps - bumps in resin driveways are caused by the same issues as reflective cracking. Movement in the substrate has caused movement in the surface. Again, redoing the driveway is often the only option when the problem stems from the base.

If You Have Cracks In Your Resin Driveway Or Need A Resin Driveway Installed

If you are experiencing resin-bound driveway problems such as cracking then our team can help. We have a wealth of experience in investigating and tackling problems with resin-bound driveways. We will keep you in the loop every step of the way and work with you to develop a plan of action for how to move forward with your driveway surface.

Alternatively, if you need a resin-bound driveway installed and you want to make sure that you won't encounter cracking, it is always best to approach an established professional company. Our highly trained team of experienced installers will always ensure that your driveway is installed correctly so that it will last for years to come. If you're interested in learning more, feel free to check our article on "How Long Do Resin Driveways Last".

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