Driveways are a part of the home that don't always get the consideration they deserve. They can affect your home's curb appeal and your car's safety. You want a nice driveway that is protected from problems like poor drainage, which can lead to cracks and pits in the surface.
Instead of choosing a material and still needing a drainage system, consider permeable pavers, which provide an attractive, durable surface and adequate driveway drainage without requiring additional products.
What Are Permeable Pavers?
Permeable pavers are an aesthetically pleasing, sustainable alternative to traditional pavers that also serve as an alternative drainage solution. They use an interlocking grid system, which creates gaps that water runoff can seep into, slowly trickling into the ground below. The purpose of permeable pavers is to help filter out unwanted contaminants while also reducing the overall amount of water runoff from rain, melting snow, and other sources.
How Do They Work?
The shape and construction of permeable driveway pavers create larger gaps between stones. The gaps allow water to drain through the surface and into the gravel base of the paved area, which serves as a filtration system that filters out pollutants. The runoff is naturally reabsorbed into the water table through the soil beneath the gravel layer.
Advantages of a Permeable Paver Driveway
Choosing to go with a permeable paver driveway has many benefits worth considering:
1. Reduced Stormwater
Drainage is important, and permeable pavers help to provide effective drainage by catching the water and allowing it to slowly drain into the soil and back into the water table. The pavers help minimize ground erosion and water treatment costs by eliminating puddles.
2. They Are Sustainable
Permeable pavers are environmentally friendly. The grids typically use recycled materials in order to reduce waste and the energy needed to create new materials. When it comes time to replace the pavers, they can be recycled into new products, which further helps reduce the carbon footprint. This sustainability can also mean tax credits in certain states and communities
3. Easy to Install
When it comes to installing permeable paver driveway tiles, installation is extremely easy. Once the driveway area is clear of vegetation and properly graded, a crushed rock or gravel layer is installed and compacted. Then, the interlocking permeable paver grids can go on top, and the pavers are installed in the desired pattern. After that, all that is left is to fill and tamp the joints.
4. Minimize Water Pollutants
As water runoff moves along the ground, it collects various harmful pollutants. The construction and installation of permeable pavers can act as a natural filtration system that removes much of these pollutants as the water passes through the various layers and back into the soil. Pollutants are eliminated in different ways, including:
- Physically: Pollutants become trapped in the various layers before reaching the water table.
- Chemically: Pollutants are broken down by different toxin-consuming bacteria and microorganisms.
5. Reduce Urban Heat Islands
Typically, in large towns and cities, many surfaces are concrete or asphalt, which absorbs heat and can raise the temperatures in those areas. Hot asphalt and concrete can also damage a car's tires, by raising tire pressure, which can lead to a blowout.
Permeable pavers help to eliminate hot spots and lower the temperatures by allowing the ground below to breathe
6. Better Energy Efficiency
The heat reduction that permeable paver materials provide also increases energy efficiency. By keeping temperatures down, the HVAC systems of surrounding buildings will not be forced to work as hard to keep internal temperatures cool.
7. Better Air Quality
When water runoff goes through water treatment plants, it creates air pollution and CO2 emissions. Water runoff that passes through permeable pavers goes to the water table, minimizing the amount of work a water treatment has, which can reduce pollution and CO2 levels.
How Do They Compare to Other Driveway Paver Options?
While many driveway material options exist, concrete and asphalt are most common. Here is what you should know about these more traditional options compared to permeable paver driveway materials:
Asphalt is a popular driveway option and one of the more economical materials available. Despite the higher cost of permeable paver driveway materials, they provide more durability than asphalt. When considering cost, you must also look at the maintenance requirements for the different materials; asphalt requires more maintenance, which brings additional costs. Asphalt must be sealed within six months of installation, with a new coat applied each year to avoid cracking from moisture. Other cost factors include the size of the driveway, location, and whether it is a new driveway or not.
There are differences to consider when comparing asphalt and permeable paver driveway installation processes. With asphalt, you must wait at least 24 hours before walking on or parking any vehicles on the driveway to ensure the asphalt is cooled and hardened.
There are two possible driveway options with concrete: a concrete slab or concrete pavers. Concrete is a durable option, but concrete pavers still offer more durability than a traditional slab. It is also a more expensive option to install, especially if you customize the look. There are also maintenance costs to consider.
Concrete pavers allow for immediate use of the driveway like a permeable paver driveway installation does, but they have a seven-day curing period. Slabs are also more prone to cracking than pavers and are more difficult to repair once cracks occur.
Permeable Pavers: Aesthetics and Drainage in A Single Package
If you are constructing a new driveway or replacing an old one, consider permeable pavers over more traditional options. There are countless benefits to choosing a permeable paver driveway; the reasons we’ve discussed are just some of the many.
Aspire Pavers has numerous color and design possibilities that are certain to create a beautiful, stand-out driveway that will last for years, with minimal maintenance necessary.