Benefits of Permeable Pavers
Elevate customer satisfaction and aid stormwater management systems by installing permeable pavers.
September 14, 2023
Due to industrial growth, cities have increased their impervious surface area and built over natural vegetation. This has disrupted natural water infiltration systems and increased runoff tremendously. As drainage problems become more common, municipalities, customers, and contractors are looking for better stormwater management solutions.
Permeable pavers allow precipitation to percolate through joints; it is slowed and filtered by different layers of aggregate before returning to the soil. According to Unilock, permeable pavers can handle over 100” of stormwater per hour. This improves water quality, helps groundwater recharge, and reduces both runoff and the heat island effect. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes permeable pavers as a best stormwater management practice.
There are many kinds of permeable pavers to choose from depending on client needs. There are plastic-grid pavers with flexible joints, rolled plastic pavers, interlocking concrete grids, and permeable concrete and asphalt pavement. These vary in price and functionality.
Benefits to Customers
Permeable pavers are as attractive as traditional hardscapes, but mimic how natural ground reacts to rain and therefore don’t require the separate drainage system that other hardscapes do. The slow filtering of stormwater reduces the burden on storm drains. When rain hits a surface like traditional concrete or asphalt, it picks up pollutants like oil and gas. The aggregate laid below permeable pavers is conducive to bacteria growth, which help break down the pollutants before the water returns to the ground, keeping water supplies cleaner. Additionally, permeable pavers can help with erosion control on customers’ property.
While costs are dependent on the project, there is typically a higher overhead for permeable products, but over time, homeowners save money with less maintenance and easier repairs. There are numerous styles and patterns to choose from, making permeable pavers a customizable option. With concrete, homeowners will need to wait for it to cure, but permeable pavers can be used immediately after installation. Many cities are now offering rebate programs and credits to homeowners who improve water quality through sustainable landscapes, stormwater management, and/or switching to porous pavement, such as Washington County in Minnesota, Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
As an added benefit, according to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), pavers are twice as strong as traditional concrete, which cracks easily. This extends the life of your driveway or patio.
Benefits to Contractors
Contractors can profit from installing permeable pavers because they reduce the need for specialized installation equipment and curing mixtures. They can also be used to create temporary roads on construction sites, which is especially helpful during the springtime rainy season. On most job sites, you won’t need supplementary irrigation for surrounding plants, minimizing your labor costs. If there’s damage to a customer’s pavers, they are much easier to repair than traditional concrete as you can pull up the problem area, adjust the base, and relay the affected pavers.
Permeable pavers also support the administrative side of the business. Many municipalities impose “cover codes” and limit the percentage impervious surfaces can cover on a lot for both new construction and redevelopment jobs. These pavers allow you to cover more land while adhering to code. If laid properly with the correct fillers and careful installation, they are also ADA compliant.
Regular upkeep on these hardscapes is necessary for maximum performance, which makes recurring business simple. Set up routine maintenance visits with your client to avoid particle buildup in the joints. You can clear out sediment with vacuum sweeping and/or jet washes.
Have Customers Upgrade Today
For more information on the permeable paver installation process, visit your local SiteOne Stone Center for learning opportunities and supplies.