Permeable Pavers and Their Maintenance – A Guide
Permeable pavers are known for their longevity and durability. But even these robust paving systems need to be cared for. Permeable pavers require very little maintenance, and they don't require maintenance very often. Most systems will only require your attention once every five years or so. Still, it is crucial to take some action every five years to ensure that you get the most long-term performance of your permeable pavement during its overall operation life. (The "operation life" refers to the period in which the system filters water through the pavers and into the ground beneath).
When we start talking about pavement maintenance, the most frequently cited problem that we hear about is surface clogging of the pavers caused by organic matter and sediment filtering into the cracks between the pavers.
With that above point in mind, let's talk about what you, the owner, can do from the point of preventative maintenance. We need to look at what you can do to ensure that clogging and a reduction in the function of your permeable pavers does not happen. Porous paver maintenance is as simple as keeping the cracks between the pavers clear of various water-blocking objects (ice-melt, salt, sand, dirt, plant matter, etc.)
Maintaining Permeable Pavers
Here are some key points to remember when cleaning and maintaining your permeable paver driveway, parking lot, patio, walking path, entryway, sidewalk, drive-through, etc.
- Scheduled Vacuuming. Vacuuming is the most critical aspect of permeable paver maintenance. As mentioned earlier, the cracks between permeable pavers tend to fill up with sediment and plant life. That severely reduces a pavement's permeability. The key to always having a functioning, porous pavement is to use an industrial vacuum sweeper during maintenance. One must use such a tool to sweep/suck all of the sediment, weeds, dirt, sand, and other refuse up out of the cracks between each paver. It might seem strange, the concept of going outside and vacuuming one's driveway. But this simple task is exactly how permeable pavements are kept functioning for years on end.
- Replace the Fine-Grit Stone Between Each Paver. Once vacuuming is complete and all of the particles and refuse has been swept up and out of the cracks between the pavers, now it's time to refill those cracks with a fine-grit stone. Be sure to use the same type of stone that was used when your pervious paver system was first installed. The stones used for this purpose are so tiny that they will fill the cracks between each paver while still allowing rainwater and stormwater to flow through them. The best way to replace the fine-grit stone is to pour bags of it onto the paver surface and then to broom the fine-grit stones into the cracks between each paver.
- Heavy Rain Fall Regions. As a side note, if you live in a region where you receive abundant precipitation each year, or if your property is subjected to frequent flooding or stormwater, you may want to perform scheduled vacuuming and maintenance more frequently.
- Ongoing Care. To get the most out of your porous paver system, be sure to minimize the use of salt and sand when deicing. Permeable pavers already require fewer salt treatments than traditional asphalt and concrete do. The less salt and sand you use, the less salt and sand will ultimately wind up in the cracks between each paver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Curious about permeable pavers? Want to learn more about this fascinating paving technology? Excited about the idea of permeability but want to know how efficient these systems are? Read on to the frequently asked section below, where we answer some of the critical questions about permeable pavers not yet discussed in this article:
- Which paver should I get, Belgard, Aqualine, PaveDrain, Unilock, or Pavestone?
- That depends entirely on your preference. The five leading brands in pervious pavement are all quite excellent in their own way. Each brand offers an entire line of different styles, colors, and shapes of pavers.
- Where can I install pavers?
- Anywhere! Permeable pavers have just about unlimited application. Anywhere you can install pavement, asphalt, or concrete; you can install permeable pavers. Permeable pavers are sometimes more sensible in certain areas (due to space constraints, aesthetic preferences, etc.) than traditional asphalt or cement/concrete is. Permeable pavers can be used on parking lots, driveways, entryways, drive-throughs, patios, decks, porches, sidewalks, walking paths, backyard paths, etc.
- How durable are permeable pavers?
- Extremely durable. The technical name for pervious pavers is "Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers." The fact that such pavers interlock with each other is what makes them so durable. When weight is applied to one section of a paved surface, the pavers operate much like a web. A good deal of the weight is transferred along the "web" of pavers, effectively dispersing the weight and avoiding damage to the pavers under direct pressure.
- Do permeable pavers work in the snow?
- They sure do! Permeable pavers are highly efficient in snow and ice melt. Permeable pavers allow melting snow to permeate through the pavers and into the ground beneath. Such is especially helpful during the "freeze-thaw" period of the late winter and early spring. Rather than having the snow melt into water and then rest upon the surface of non-pervious asphalt or concrete (only to freeze again later that night, creating a slip hazard) permeable pavers allow newly-melted snow to disappear into the ground beneath, just as nature intended. That is why permeable-paved surfaces are always the first to melt, clear off, and stay clear towards the end of winter.
- How long do permeable pavers last?
- Almost indefinitely. Permeable paver systems are easily the most durable and longest-lasting paving system available. These systems are rated to last for decades, and most even outlast their owners!
- How much do permeable pavers cost?
- Permeable paving stones require a degree of upfront investment. These pavers are about 1.5X-2X the cost of traditional asphalt and concrete pavements. However, permeable block paving lasts far longer than conventional asphalt and concrete does. Furthermore, homeowners and business owners who invest in pervious pavers do not then have to build rainwater retention ponds or rain gardens on their property. They would generally have to do this to contend with stormwater and floodwaters. Not having to do so with permeable pavers saves them money on a long-term, continuous basis. Primarily, permeable pavers perform two functions. They serve as a paved surface for foot and vehicle traffic. But they also serve as a storm drain of sorts; except this is a storm drain that directs water back into the ground where it should go.
Permeable Pavers Inc – The Clear Choice in Paving Contractors
Are you ready to take the next step in your paving project? Are you looking for the best paving contractor in your area? Searching the internet for "Paving contractor near me," or "Who lays pavers near me?" or "Best hardscaping contractor near me"? Let Permeable Pavers Inc. help you in your permeable pavement needs.
Permeable paving systems are the best choice for many who want an eco-friendly and long-term paving solution for their home or business. Permeable pavers present the first environmentally-conscious method of paving. With a porous system in place, it's as though there is nothing between the rain and the Earth. Permeable pavers allow water to reconnect with the soil, recharge water tables, and go on feeding the Earth, just as nature intended. Furthermore, these pavers are built to last. They are available in almost endless design patterns. They can be customized and expertly designed into hardscaping that is more artwork than just a paved surface.
Porous pavers and pervious paving systems are the eco-friendly and sensible approach to paving. If you're interested in getting started on your next paving project, call our office today to schedule a free estimate. We can be reached at (615) 266-6360.