Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates was established in 1984 as a supplier of aggregates to local merchants. Over 30 years later, the company has grown to become one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of dried aggregates to a variety of sectors.
As Reginald Perrin’s boss always said “we didn’t get where we are today by not taking risks” And that’s true – so why is one of the industry’s most exciting current opportunities causing me the odd sleepless night…
It’s raining…buckets. Drains are full. Roads are waterlogged. Climate change and increased urban expansion have put unbearable strain on drainage systems that were simply not designed to deal with the increased loads they face today.
The government reacted with legislation. The Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) encourages land developers to decrease flow rates. One of its key measures is the promotion of permeable surfaces and so all new driveways now need to comply with SUDS regulations when it comes to tackling surface runoff. In brief, unless you are installing a permeable driveway solution, you will require planning permission.
For the last 5 years, resin bound has been the fastest growing surfacing solution in the UK. By combining aggregates of varying colours and sizes, resin bound delivers a smooth, very attractive and highly permeable surface. As well as being SUDS compliant, it also ticks a number of boxes regarding practicality – it is low maintenance, it is weed and frost resistant, it is resistant to oil spillages…
No wonder sales are rising. One brave homeowner takes the plunge and before long, every person along the street wants their driveway done too.
So as the manufacturer and supplier of Daltex dried aggregates and Daltex UVR resin, why am I worrying?
Well, like most good bandwagons, a number of potential newcomers are jumping onto the opportunity. And it’s important they have the skills and knowledge to deliver excellent results. Anything less and the ‘word of mouth’ cycle is broken with the future growth of resin bound put at risk.
At this early stage, most homeowners know little, if anything, about resin bound so contractors have scope to guide them in their decisions. But when one business is quoting against another, decisions may be taken which affect not only the cost of the project but also its finished quality.
For example, work required to the base, the depth of aggregate used, the type of resin (especially whether it is UVR or non –UV stable resin) – all make the job cheaper but will not necessarily deliver the very best result.
Add to this the huge variety of factors which can affect the appearance and durability of the surface during installation – eg rain, consistency of mix, accuracy in timing, trowelling techniques – and the chance to get the job wrong increases dramatically. Mistakes are not easy or cheap to rectify. More often that not, a complete re-laying of the driveway is the only solution.
So I want to see resin bound materials in safe, knowledgeable hands –that means new entrants need guidance.
At Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates, we take this so seriously, we have built a dedicated training centre and employed an independent training contractor. One free place is offered to every company to help promote the highest standards of resin bound installation.
It’s good to see that experienced resin bound contractors are also seeing the bigger picture by welcoming newcomers to the industry and sharing advice and the tricks of their trade through social media sites.
Of course, an industry standard to help protect contractors and consumers would be ideal. There have been moves by all the main players in the resin bound industry to work towards this and I look towards the resin bound committee within Ferfar and hope that this will not be too far away.
Until then, my message to every potential newcomer to resin bound is take all the advice you can – from every reputable source available; research, train, practice and then, don’t be scared, go out and make the most of this amazing opportunity.
This article first appeared in the July issue of Landscape Insight