With more people wanting a gravel effect to the outside area of their homes, it has become easy, quick and inexpensive to undertake your own gravel installation, laying it down yourself for paths or driveways. This is especially true if you compare how much it costs to have paving stones installed. Despite the simplicity of applying your DIY kit, however, many still run into errors and it's important that you know how to identify resin bound gravel problems. Here, we take a look at a few DIY mistakes, with some tips on how they can be avoided.
1.The ground underneath your gravel is too 'spongy'
Before actually considering how to lay resin bound gravel, you need to look at what the ground is like underneath. If, for instance, your topsoil could be described as 'spongy', it needs to be removed. The surface on which you lay your gravel should be solid and be free from dust, detritus, grass or leaves. have no weeds, grass or leaves. This results in a sturdy platform for your resin bound gravel to be placed.
2. Insufficient drainage in your foundations
Another problem you can easily avoid is the omission of a geotextile fabric between your subsoil and your first layer of gravel. When undertaking gravel installation, missing this out could result in inadequate drainage for your path or driveway, consequently leading to a lack of adhesion in your resin bound gravel. It will eventually give your surface an unwelcome marshy quality.
3. Making your foundations too shallow
The depth in which your foundations can go should be measured accurately before laying anything down. Between 6-8 inches is the recommended depth for each layer of gravel. Should you fail to dig deep enough, your path or driveway may sink, crack or appear bumpy and uneven.
4. Failing to use suitable edging
As well as how deep you are placing your resin bound gravel, you must consider how wide your drive or path is going to be. A concrete or brick border is strongly recommended in order to prevent your resin bound gravel from spilling outwards from all angles. As well as this being one of the simplest DIY mistakes to make, it's also one of the simplest to avoid. With careful planning, your driveway will turn out immaculately and will not need regular maintenance to the surrounding edge.
5. Not providing yourself with sufficient working time and conditions
As keen as you may be to lay a new path or patio, it would be wise to hold off until you have the right amount of time and that the weather conditions are suitable. Your willingness to demonstrate how to mix and how to lay resin bound gravel depends on it.
As well as ensuring you know how to mix resin bound gravel, you must provide yourself with plenty of time to do so (10 minutes is the suggested length of time to mix materials), as well as approximately 30 minutes working time. It's also best to keep an eye on the temperature for the day. For instance, anything higher than 20oC might mean you will have to lay your path down a little quicker. Don’t forget, the gravel will cure quicker if the temperature rises to a high degree, limiting your time to get the job done.
6. Using the incorrect gravel
Depending on how many layers of gravel you need to lay down, the size and shape of it needs to be appropriate so it can take the weight of vehicles or pedestrians. Make sure you know how to mix resin bound gravel correctly and that the base foundations, are approximately three or four inches in depth. If not, your driveway will sink under the weight of your car.
The aggregate used for base should have angular, sharp edges, as round, smooth gravel will be not be able to interlock potentially resulting in an unstable base. The top layer of your surface should be no shallower than 12mm
7. Failing to compact base layers
As previously mentioned, the base layer needs to be a crushed gravel – pointed and sharp. It must also be compact and tight, otherwise your driveway will lose its form. As well as each layer being the appropriate thickness. Using a machine or hand-roller, you should compact each individual layer throughout the gravel installation process
8. Being too impatient
Like with any other large project (concerning either the interior or exterior of the house), it is easy to get excited about how it might add a new look (or, perhaps, a new value) to your home. However, being too keen, impatient and hasty to use your driveway can lead to a completely avoidable DIY mistake.
Once you have spent the time and effort to apply your DIY kit and lay your resin bound gravel down, you must leave it alone. Some professionals suggest you do not walk or drive a car onto your newly-laid surface for up to eight hours, in order to let the gravel set, but it is probably best to leave your surface for 24 hours before use.