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Can you overlay onto Block paving?

Do you overlay on top of a block paving drive or do you carry out a full dig out?

This is something that very much divides Resin Bound Stone companies across the land. Depending on what they say to the block paving question, it can show you their competency to do the job properly.

Overlay is cheaper by far but fraught with potential problems further down the line.

As the saying goes, it all comes down to the preparation. The Resin is usually the third layer needed on any surface:

  1. Good, compacted sub-base
  2. Tarmac, concrete middle layer or our Resin trays
  3. Resin Bound Stone

If the sub-base and tarmac/concrete isn’t solid enough, it may move underneath the Resin Bound Stone in time, when vehicles go over it. This may in turn cause cracks to appear in the Resin surface. It is reparable but not straightforward.

It is so important to get it right first time.

All good tarmac/concrete surfaces should already have a suitable sub-base down so it is fairly ease to decide whether we can overlay or not. If the tarmac/concrete is in a solid enough condition or only needs minor repairs, it would make sense to finish off with a Resin Bound Stone overlay. This is by far the easiest and cheapest option. The decision to overlay is therefore straightforward as you know that the surface underneath is solid enough and isn’t likely to cause cracking.

Block paving is a very different beast altogether. If you look down any street, you will always find a high percentage of block paving driveways. They do look nice, so are popular. Unfortunately, if the ground underneath the block paving surface has not been prepared properly or if, like where I live, the blocks are put down on a sand base, this could potentially cause movement slightly over the years. Add any jet washing to rid yourself of green moss which can also undermine the block paving and you will almost certainly have problems in time.

Some Resin companies will automatically go over the top of the block paving, without knowing what is underneath. This is a very short term view as although it may look solid on the surface, it could move at any stage and for any reason.

It is very easy for customers to take the cheaper option.

If one supplier is half the price of another and telling you that you can safely overlay on top of block paving, then it is very difficult to ignore. We all want to save some money where we can, right? The problem may come if there is a problem at some later stage. Can you get hold of the supplier again? Will they be willing to make the repairs or re-lay the surface, and more importantly at their expense.

Be very, very wary if a Resin company says they can go straight over the top of block paving or slabs. No-one knows for sure what is under the surface, whatever they say. They can only make assumptions on how well they think it has been prepared and hope that it will last. There will be some companies who won’t care as they have no intention of coming back in the future. They can more or less say what they like to get the sale. By all means, if you want to go with these companies, you certainly can, but “buyer beware”. Do your homework and research who you want to use. If you go for a dig out of your block paving, as long as reputable companies are involved with the preparation, there shouldn’t be this risk in the future.

So what is best?

Almost always, the most sensible course of action where block paving is concerned is to remove them totally, make sure that 150mm of sub-base is down, then lay down either tarmac or our Resin Trays for the Resin Bound Stone to go over the top of. Granted, it is more expensive than an overlay but at least you have peace of mind that the job is going to be carried out professionally. You will only be paying for it once and not once now and once when you need the supplier to come back and they can’t be found.

Contact our friendly staff now for more information.

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