There are everyday decisions we make that have significant environmental impacts. Key among them is deciding the design of our outdoor spaces such as walkways and car parking spaces. What does your pavement look like, what is it made of, does it retain or let rainwater seep away? These are all outdoor décor decisions that can have catastrophic consequences if not well thought out.
The drainage system is a significant consideration when designing outdoors. It is best to have a sustainable and well-balanced driveway design. In the meantime, you want to retain a level of style that befits the value of your property. In any case, using permeable pavers can help you achieve both.
What are Permeable Pavers?
They are a range of construction materials for a sustainable permeable patio, walkway or driveway with a base and subbase. Permeable pavers utilize techniques and materials that allow stormwater to move through the surface. In effect, they reduce runoff on the surface of your patio, which is characteristic of the traditional asphalt or concrete driveways.
Beneath the surface of permeable pavers, a structure is a base layer that can accommodate vast quantities of water depending on the system’s design. Some people collect this water and use it to irrigate their gardens or wash cars with it.
The design of permeable pavers also lets them effectively trap suspended solids and filter pollutants from the water as it seeps underneath.
Overall, permeable pavers mimic the way land naturally absorbs water. So the surface can be perfectly flat without the slightest effect on functionality. You simply have to contour the stone reservoir to direct water wherever it needs to go. Any rainwater that falls on the surface of the patio, driveway or walkway seeps down into the ground or a nearby storm drain.
Besides their practical functionality, permeable pavers are also always beautiful and can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoors. A patio made of these materials can significantly increase the value and curb appeal of the property.
Just how do you get permeable pavers for your property?
You can install the pavers yourself if you are looking for something simple. Alternatively, you may hire a professional to install it for you if you desire a great look and the best of functionality.
Here are the general steps involved in installing permeable pavers.
Soil testing and excavation
To start off, you will have your underground utilities checked. Percolation test then usually follows to establish the rate at which the soil absorbs water. Your local Cooperative Extension office should help you on this. Once this is done, removal of the existing pavement and excavation of earth to the recommended depth follows as the final phase in this step.
Prepping of base layers
This involves covering the excavation often with a 6-inch layer of washed crushed stone. The stones ideally have sharp edges to knit together. You then compact it with a plate compactor, by going over it twice, lengthwise and crosswise. Finally, you top it with a layer of washed crushed stone, which you compact as well.
Installing the bedding layer
This is the flatbed for setting the pavers. It also comprises the edging made of concrete or hard-plastic that keeps the pavers from shifting.
Placing the layers
It involves setting the pavers on the bedding layer starting at the lowest corner, tight to one another and the edging. Drainage gaps remain automatically from the nibs on the sides of the pavers.
Filling the joints
Once your pavers are in place, the next step is to fill the joints by sprinkling stone on the surface and sweeping it into the gaps with a push broom (wide). It is important to angle the brush well, taking care not to dislodge the stones that are already in the joints.
This is the final step where you sweep clean the surface, then diagonally run a plate compactor diagonally over the full length of the driveway. The purpose of the machine is to pack the pavers firmly into the bedding layer, locking them in place with its vibrations. You may have to refill the joints that have settled deeply, after which you have to compact the layer again.
With this kind of structure in place, and especially when it is done correctly, there are several benefits it has to the property owner and the community as a whole. These include beautiful exterior spaces. Some great aesthetics that permeable pavers carry are a great win for property owners. There would be no better way to put it; surfaces with permeable pavers just look beautiful. Compared to the traditional concrete or the typically high maintenance asphalt, permeable surfaces are far better looking. This is something we all would go for any day.
Better surface water management
Here again, goes the desired word “better.” Permeable pavers are a lifesaver during heavy rains. This is the main theory behind them anyway. While their concrete and asphalt cousins normally do little to ensure the ground benefits from the natural irrigation of torrential rains, permeable pavers do the opposite. They ensure the ground can capture every water instead of allowing its runoff. The permeable surfaces absorb all the water and even clean it in the process, for the benefit of the ground (and you!)
There is a reduced need for irrigation overall
When you allow water to seep naturally into the ground, the immediate surrounding no longer needs irrigating. There is sufficient water in the subsurface to keep the adjacent flora healthy and well-watered.
Soil erosion is significant aftermath of water drainage during heavy rains. Since permeable pavers do not allow water runoff, an occurrence of corrosion is significantly reduced. This means that the landscape can remain unaffected and retain its good features.
No stagnant waters, no mosquitoes
Mosquitoes tend to breed where there are stagnant waters following heavy rainfall. Since permeable pavers eliminate standing water, chances of wild mosquitoes breeding around your property are minimal.
Permeable pavers have been found to last far longer than concrete or asphalt surfaces. This is great news for homeowners who would like to save on maintenance costs in the long run.
When deciding your outdoors décor, you will realize that you often have to sacrifice practicality for prettiness, or the other way around. To achieve both, you may at times have to shell out lots of your hard earned dough. Permeable pavers benefit you in all three areas, so you do not have to sacrifice anything.