Avoiding common problems
When applied correctly, Resin Bound systems give a long lasting, attractive finish that requires little to no maintenance. The bond between the resin and base is critical to the success of any job. Always hire a reputable and approved contractor for the task, which will eliminate most of the common issues experienced with Resin Bound systems.
Rain and resin does not mix well. In the event of rain during or up to 4 hours after installation, it is likely that the surface will be damaged.
There are, however, some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of permanent damage.
- Erect a good quality 3 metre gazebo.
- Ensure resins and hardener are mixed in the dry.
- Ensure the forced action mixer is underneath the gazebo.
- Cover ALL stone with tarpaulins.
These steps can be taken if the installation is nearing completion. If the job isn’t near completion or the rain is heavy and prolonged; it is advisable to terminate the edge of the last laid mix to a neat line, laid and finished at the correct depth and return the following day to complete. A ‘day joint’ is likely to be visible.
It is likely that you will have to relay the surface.
Tip: Get a good weather app for your phone.
Mix curing too quickly – Higher than anticipated temperatures
In the height of summer, surfaces can be up to twice the level of the ambient air temperature – This is especially the case for black surfaces such as Asphalt; as a result, the resin can cure in as little as 10 minutes.
If laying to tarmac surfaces during a hot spell, start early before the temperature reaches its height and keep resins in the shade, but do not store in a van. Leaving resin tubs in direct sunlight can significantly reduce cure times. It is also advisable to keep the aggregates out of the sun as the stone will also heat up and increase the temperature of the mix.
Running out of stock
Coverage rates can vary according to stone type and accuracy in the depth of laying. Installers should always carry at least 20% more stock than the coverage rates stated. It is a good idea to mark out the surface (with line marker paint) every 10 square metres or so. Regularly checking the usage versus the marked lines will give you an opportunity early on in the installation to anticipate product shortage which could possibly give you the opportunity to source more product before it is needed or to correct the over usage.
This is when the top surface detaches itself from the sub base. This is usually caused by frost or moisture if the surface has not been sealed correctly and the base it was applied to was unsuitable. This can be repaired, however, as with tarmac or concrete it cannot be done invisibly and would most likely require a patch being cut out and replacing. Taking into account the ageing of the original surface, the colour variation would be impossible to hide.
This cannot be rectified after the resin has cured so it is critical that each stone type (if using multiple stone colours) is from the same batch.
Shading can also occur if mixes are prepared inconsistently, such as being left in the machine (or the wheelbarrow) for different lengths of time. It is important to process each mix for exactly the same time, every time.
This can also be caused by an inconsistent trowelling action and pressure, especially towards the end of the day when tiredness sets in. It is important that everyone looks at the surface from different angles to unsure there are no inconsistencies.
Someone walks on the surface after it has been laid
If this happens shortly after the surface has been laid (within 2 hours) and the damaged area is accessible without causing more damage, it should be possible to re-trowel the affected area flat.
If this cannot be rectified and the surface has fully cured, carefully chisel out the affected area (do not mechanically cut). Mix up a small amount of stone and resin/hardener (use syringes to measure out correct quantity of resin/hardener and postal scales to weigh out the correct amount of stone. Carefully compact the new mix into the exposed area.
Clearly marking the area with cones and warning tape will help prevent people inadvertently walking on the surface. It is a good idea to take some photos of the area with the cones and tape in place.
Beware of cats - these are the worst culprits.
This is when the surface develops cracks over time due the base moving. If the base has moved and you have installed the base, then you will have to repair it. However, you should make it clear to the customer that if you have not put the base down then you aren’t responsible for any subsequent cracking.
It is important to ensure that all of the mixes used on site are equal. All products are in pre-weighed bags of varying sizes to eliminate the on-site weighing of products. This can lead to having variations between the mixes and can give a stripy or patchy finish. One of the ways to avoid this is to mix up the bags off various pallets.
This potential problem needs addressing prior to the installation; the best way of dealing with them is by discussing with the customer and understanding their preferences.
Tree roots will always win in the end, so if it is decided that they are to be worked over, the customer needs to be aware that they will eventually cause disruption in the surface.
Some of the aggregates contain a natural occurring element of iron. If this is released from the mix it can cause a dark stain. There are, however, two different types of stains that can occur and require different methods to resolve. Seek advice from the aggregate manufacture in the first instance. They will help identify the cause and remedial action needed.
One of the ways to avoid this is either not to use the aggregate concerned or to ensure that a higher than normal resin content is used, as it has been found that in surfaces where a high resin content has been used then problems of this nature seldom occur.
This can be caused by moisture dropping onto the surface before it is cured, as well as humidity. This moisture can include rain, white spirit, spilled drinks and even sweat. Avoid the rain as previously recommended, and wear a headband. It is better not to lay if the humidity is above 80%. Use a Hydrometer if in doubt.
You cannot remove these stains after the resin has cured so prevention is paramount.
This can be caused by poorly mixed aggregates where insufficient resin has coated the stone, thereby causing the stone to not adhere to the mix and come loose.
Ensure that ALL the mixes are mixed in the same manner for the same amount of time. If in doubt, use a stopwatch.