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Driveway Resurfacing | A Guide to The Different Types

Driveway Resurfacing | A Guide to The Different Types

If your driveway is displaying cracks, exposed aggregate and potholes, then it’s time to resurface it. Driveway resurfacing is the middle ground between minor repairs and a complete overhaul. Resurfacing your driveway can solve widespread damage without the expense and inconvenience of demolishing and replacing it. Axtell Surfacing & Groundworks, experts at driveway resurfacing in Surrey, explain the range of resurfacing materials you can choose from and the benefits of each type of driveway.

What are the Different Driveway Types?

Whether your driveway is cracked, chipped, worn down to the aggregate, or stained from years of use and exposure to the elements, resurfacing is the best long-term solution. Once you’ve decided to resurface your driveway, you need to choose which type of material to use.

To prevent problems from occurring with your driveway, it’s best to opt for a durable material. Fortunately, many of the hardiest materials have excellent curb appeal. It’s also possible to resurface a concrete or asphalt driveway with some different types of material as a top layer. Below, we’ve listed the most popular types of driveways and the benefits associated with the material.

brick driveway

Tarmac (Asphalt) Driveways

Known for its dark, textured appearance, tarmac (asphalt) also known as tarmacadam driveways are a common sight on the UK’s roads. It is also one of the most popular materials for driveways due to its durability. Axtell specialises in resurfacing tarmac driveways in Surrey by using hot-rolled asphalt, bituminous macadam and an extra durable ‘SMA’ surface.

The Benefit:

Tarmacadam driveways are a cheaper alternative as it’s an exceptionally strong and durable material. Its smooth appearance is more likely to match the adjoining road. Despite its sleek look, it is skid-resistant – a quality that also prevents it from accumulating too much snow and ice. Although asphalt lacks colour options, it is resistant to the sun so won’t fade over time.

Since asphalt is a better budget option, it suits larger driveways where there is more surface to cover. Resurfacing tarmac driveways gives them a lifespan of around 12-15 years. If you use a high-quality sealant the longevity of your tarmac driveway can reach approximately 20 years, but it will also reduce its permeability.


Resin-Bound Driveways

Resin-bound driveways are the most decorative choice as they have a natural finish that mimics the appearance of gravel. Each stone is coated in resin for maximum structural stability, incorporating minuscule voids that allow water to drain through and prevent puddles from forming. They have good natural filtration capabilities, which makes them a practical and sustainable option. They can potentially last up to 25 years when well-maintained, otherwise they have staying power of around 10–20 years.

The Benefit:

Resin-bound driveways offer a range of colour choices and flexibility. They are water permeable, while still providing a suitably hard surface for driving and parking on. Resin-bound driveways are also weather-proof year-round and won’t fade in the sunlight. Although they can be more difficult to repair if a problem does develop, resin-bound driveways are an appealingly low-maintenance option. Discover our wide range of resin-bound colour swatches available for your driveway.


Gravel (Loose Shingle) Driveways

Gravel (also known as loose shingle) is a low-cost solution for driveway surfacing that is particularly common on larger rural properties. Each piece of gravel measures around 10-20mm in width. Higher quality gravel costs more because of the improved consistency in size, shape, texture and colour. The gravel is laid in up to four layers of stones, each rolled and then left for a day between coats. Edgings help to keep the gravel in place, but the final result depends on the quality of the hardcore beneath.

The Benefit:

The major benefit of gravel is that it is the cheapest driveway resurfacing option, but you’ll need to top up the levels occasionally. Gravel is loud when you drive or walk over it so it’s a good choice for security. It is an environmentally friendly and naturally permeable material, making it great for drainage. However, if it is laid directly on the ground, you’ll need to maintain it with herbicides to prevent weeds and grass from growing. Because of its low cost, gravel is best for long driveways.


Block Paving Driveways

Block paving driveways comprise flags, slabs, or small concrete blocks placed on top of a compressed hardcore and sand bed. They can be laid in different colours and patterns, making them an adaptable option. Because of the precise nature of some patterns, more intricate arrangements can be time-consuming and expensive to install.

The Benefit:

Resurfacing block paving driveways gives you a huge range of design options when it comes to colour, shape and style. It’s the most colourful option and you can match the style to complement your property. Correctly laid block paving looks neat while being extremely durable and low maintenance. You also have the option of different price points depending on the slabs or bricks you select.


Tar & Chip Driveways

Tar and chip driveways look similar to their tarmac counterparts but are cheaper to install, making them a popular choice for rural buildings with long driveways. They are resurfaced by covering hot bitumen with stone aggregate. Tar and chip is an impermeable combination, so you must ensure a drainage provision – either naturally into a stream or a garden, or by incorporating a drainage system. It is a hard-wearing, low maintenance option for budget-conscious homeowners.

The Benefit:

Tar and chip driveways are a viable alternative to tarmac since they are cheaper and quicker to install. The rough surface of tar and chip driveways helps to improve traction for vehicles. Although they have a limited life span, they can last for up to 10 years. If you have a large driveway, this is a solid option.


How to Know Which Driveway Type is Suitable for Your Home?

There are several factors you’ll need to consider when choosing a driveway type for your home. The first thing you should consider is your budget and the size of your driveway, as these two factors help narrow your options down. Of course, aesthetics and functionality are important, but you should also think about how much time you will need to spend maintaining it.

Keep local regulations in min, just in case you need planning permission, although this isn’t always required – a surfacing company should be able to advise you. Also, consider the purpose of your driveway and whether it’s purely for your convenience or as a way to add value to your property.

What to Consider When Resurfacing Your Driveway

If you’re resurfacing your driveway, you need to consider the climate. In the UK, driveways struggle with flooding and water damage, so think about how your driveway will cope with rainwater. The government introduced Sustainable Drainage Systems (or SuDS) in 2008 to combat the flash flooding caused by the prevalence of non-permeable concrete and tarmac. Resin-bound, porous asphalt and gravel driveways are SuDS compliant. Concrete block permeable paving has been developed to meet SuDS compliance by allowing water to pass through gaps between concrete blocks into the underlying permeable sub-base.

A secure free-draining earth base beneath the sub-base is essential. The sub-base must also be free from cracks to prevent issues with the surface’s structural integrity.

Get a Quote Today for Driveway Resurfacing in Surrey

Axtell Surfacing has more than two decades of experience in concrete driveway resurfacing in Surrey. We help with maximising the space, visual impact and usability of our customers’ driveways. We offer advice and assistance with everything from regulations to choosing the best materials for your driveway. Whatever the size and type of driveway, you can rely on Axtell Surfacing & Groundworks to help with new constructions and resurfacing projects.

Looking to resurface your driveway? Explore our driveway resurfacing services and get a quote, or call us on 01483 203177 to discuss your project requirements today.