A Practical Guide to Permeable Pavers in 2022

Permeable pavers have been gaining in popularity over the past few years. A big reason for this is that municipalities are starting to crack down on stormwater runoff, which leads to a lot of pollution. Permeable pavers can help mitigate this issue by allowing water to seep through the surface and into the ground below. If you're thinking about installing permeable pavers on your property, read on for our practical guide!

A Practical Guide to Permeable Pavers in 2022

What is Permeable Pavement?

Permeable pavement is a type of pavement with a porous surface that allows water to drain through it. The pores are created by leaving spaces between the pavers or by using special types of pavers that have holes in them. This type of pavement is also sometimes called "permeable asphalt" or "permeable concrete."


Permeable pavement can be used for sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and other types of surfaces where water needs to be drained away. It is an environmentally friendly way to manage stormwater because it helps reduce runoff and prevent flooding.


Traditional pavers and permeable pavers differ in a number of significant ways. Here's a look at some of the key areas in which they differ:

  • Installation: Traditional pavers are installed using mortar, while permeable pavers are installed without mortar. This makes the installation of permeable pavers much easier and less time-consuming.

  • Cost: Permeable pavers typically cost more than traditional pavers. However, they offer significant long-term benefits in terms of stormwater management and water conservation.

  • Maintenance: Permeable pavers require less maintenance than traditional pavers, due to their ability to filter and clean stormwater runoff.


How Does It Work?

Permeable pavement systems allow water to infiltrate the ground, rather than running off the surface and picking up pollutants. They are an important tool in stormwater management for reducing runoff, recharging groundwater, and improving water quality.


There are two types of permeable pavements: previous (also called porous) and semi-permeable. Pervious pavements have high void content and allow water to drain quickly through them. Semi-permeable pavements have a lower void content and allow water to drain more slowly.


Pervious concrete is made with little or no fine materials, such as sand. The large spaces between the gravel or other coarse aggregate particles allow water to pass through easily. Pervious asphalt is made with little or no fine materials and has voids that are filled with coarse aggregate. The spaces between the aggregate particles allow water to pass through.


Semi-permeable pavements have a higher void content than impervious pavements but are not as high as pervious pavements. They allow water to drain more slowly than pervious pavements, but more quickly than impervious pavements.


There are several benefits to using permeable pavement systems:

  • Reduced stormwater runoff

  • Recharged groundwater aquifers

  • Improved water quality

  • Reduced flooding

  • Cooler temperatures (because they absorb less heat)


A big challenge with the permeable pavement is that it can clog over time if not properly maintained. A regular cleaning and inspection schedule is essential to keeping the pavement in good working condition.


If you are thinking about using the permeable pavement on your property, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The type of soil on your property

  • The amount of traffic the pavement will need to withstand

  • Your budget


The Different Types of Permeable Pavers

There are many types of permeable pavers available on the market. The type of paver you choose will depend on your needs and budget. Here is a rundown of the most popular types of permeable pavers:


Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers

Concrete interlocking bricks leave a few tiny spaces between them so that water can drain. Even while the paving grid's interlocking design makes the concrete itself impermeable, the open spaces can nevertheless absorb some water before eventually becoming clogged. The costly price, deteriorating permeability with time, and utilization in only limited residential or commercial applications are some of this system's drawbacks.


Porous Asphalt

Asphalt is not often a porous pavement material, like concrete. To allow rainfall to drain into the soil beneath, it can be made porous and placed on top of a stone storage bed. The small pore size of porous asphalt can soon cause significant clogging, frequent maintenance needs, poor strength, and fragility, which can lead to potholes and ruts, despite its ability when new for rainfall to infiltrate and not pool or run off.


Plastic grid pavers

When filled with gravel or even grass, these semi-flexible cells give the surface a highly natural appearance. A high-performance surface for roads and lots with heavy traffic or weight, such as a loading dock, drive-through, or pickup zone, this technology adjusts to the uneven ground instead of cracking as conventional surfaces would.


Rigid Plastic Pavers

Some of the least expensive pavers are made of rigid plastic. However, under heavy use, they may become uneven or crack since they are rigid. They are not advised for commercial paving that must frequently withstand heavy loads or strong traffic. The final product will demonstrate that these are intended for do-it-yourselfers.


Permeable Concrete

Compared to standard concrete pavements, concrete that has been blended with stone and poured without a sand or gravel subbase is more permeable. Although it has a coarser appearance than regular concrete, permeable concrete has the capacity to slowly absorb water, hence minimizing runoff. However, this type of paving is more fragile than regular concrete, which leads to cracks and potholes, has a limited capacity for water drainage, regularly needs maintenance, and is expensive to build.


Rolled Plastic Pavers

Plastic paving solutions may be easily stored and shipped while maintaining improved flexibility. The cells' tiny size and lack of jointing results in a modest load strength for commercial applications as a compromise to enable rolling. These are mostly utilized for foot traffic and lightweight applications for grass- or gravel-filled situations. The expense of installation is raised by the need for staking in these systems.


No matter which type of permeable paver you choose, it is important to make sure that it is installed correctly. A professional contractor will be able to install your permeable pavers properly so that they last for many years to come.

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