What is Permeable Paving?

Property Resources

What is Permeable Paving?

Posted by All Metro Service Companies LLC
7 years ago | May 17, 2017

If you ask yourself, “what is permeable paving?” then you are not alone…

Used as an eco-friendly paving option, permeable paving is a porous, sustainable material. It consists of a top base and a sub base. The pavement still acts as a structural surface like normal paving. The difference is, it also provides stormwater infiltration by allowing water to be drained and filtered. There are many different options for permeable pavement. Pervious concrete, porous asphalt, paving stones and concrete or plastic pavers, are a few examples.

Permeable paving can be installed anywhere you want pavement. For example, the University of Minnesota recently installed a parking lot that was made entirely of permeable pavers. Homeowners and business owners who are concerned about water runoff and drainage may find that permeable pavement is a good replacement for their parking lots, walkways, or driveways.

Benefits of Permeable Paving 

When you start a large project, it’s important to understand everything first. There are many variables to take into account before deciding on installation. Cost, care, and environmental impact are several factors to take into account before deciding.

  • There are two large benefits when installing permeable paving. They are the positive environmental impact and the reduction of stormwater runoff. Permeable pavers are not only designed to help absorb water. They also to filter the water before it returns to a larger body of water which helps prevent water pollution. If erosion issues are a concern on your property, this could also be a solution to help fix troubled areas. 
  • Although initial costs are high, it alleviates the need (and cost) for larger stormwater BMP’s (best management practices).  These would be things such as curb and gutter conveyance systems or stormwater retention ponds. 
  • Another benefit of permeable paving is the impervious surface law that some cities follow. Depending on where you live, there are regulations that will permit you from having a certain percentage of pervious surface on your lot. Your home or business, driveways, and sidewalks all count as pervious surfaces. Permeable paving is a solution to this law. For example, if you want a patio installed but are restricted by this law, you can use permeable paving instead or an impervious paver. 
  • Permeable pavers retain ground heat better so ice and frost formation occurs less. This reduces the need to use salt or sand on permeable paving. 

Cons of Permeable Paving

What are the cons to permeable paving? 

  • The cost of a project is the main concern for most people. We know how important it is to stay within your budget!  As with all projects, the number of materials used, preparation of land area, and types of materials used, are all factors when it comes to calculating costs. Still, it’s impossible to give an estimate without seeing the area first.  Overall, the cost of materials is more expensive. In addition, installation of permeable paving is more labor intensive and requires more man-hours to finish the job.  
  • The other main concern for permeable paving maintenance is clogging. Keep in mind, the amount of maintenance varies depending on the type of material used. Materials like rocks and gravel have a tendency to get stuck in the pores of the paving. When this occurs, the surface occasionally needs vacuuming with an industrial vacuum. In cold climates, such as Minnesota, winter sanding is advised against, due to clogging. 

If you are considering the installing permeable pavers, give us a call and one of our experienced technicians can come to your home or business today!

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