Your hardscape design is crucial to the overall flow and usability of your yard. It creates the blueprint for your space and it helps defines walkways and spaces for entertaining, outdoor cooking, or just relaxing. With that in mind, beautiful, distinguished landscapes tend to use pavers to create and attractive designs. The pavers can be laid in tasteful patterns or unique layouts.
However, water pooling up on your newly installed backyard space or on your walkways is unsightly and damaging to your hardscape over time. To protect your investment and keep your landscape looking amazing well into the future, we suggest using permeable pavers.
Permeable pavers are the top eco-friendly choice and can be used in all the same ways as non-permeable pavers.
What Are Permeable Pavers?
Permeable pavers are designed to allow increased drainage of water. Unlike pervious and porous pavers, which allow some water to seep through the paver, permeable pavers have wider joints between the pavers to allow water to be directed between the pavers and into the permeable layer underneath.
All three, pervious, porous, and permeable, are layered over a deep layer of stone aggregate that collects the excess water before it is either piped away or absorbed into the soil layers. Compact, fully saturated ground cannot always keep up with the amount of rainwater during a storm, so the aggregate acts as a reservoir until it can be dissipated.
How Are Permeable Pavers Different?
Non-permeable pavers are usually molded from concrete and sand creating a smooth surface. Think patio surfaces or around pools. They provide a near even surface makes it easy to slide your chair away from the outdoor patio without getting stuck on an edge. The joints between the pavers tend to be slimmer and filled with sand like Polymeric Sand.
Permeable pavers are made of brick, stone, or concrete, but function by being laid over a properly installed base. As mentioned above, the deep gravel base and wider joints allows for deeper penetration of the water run-off and prevents pooling. Walkways need at least 6-8 inches of gravel or crushed stone underneath, whereas patios and driveways need 12-18 inches. Then, the wider joints are filled with pure sand or pea gravel to smooth the surface.
The permeability of the pavers also reduces the chance of cracking from the winter thaw/freeze process.
Where to Use Permeable Pavers?
Permeable pavers can be used anywhere, but are ideal where you’d have a high level of water run-off or pooling if you had used traditional pavers. Another place to use these pavers is in areas with a minimal slope which results in potential flooding or large puddles.
Permeable paver installation is a little more involved than standard paver installation. And to maintain a flat surface, a proper installation and packing of the sub-layers is essential. It’s best to hire a professional, such as the Rock Solid team to get the right depth and proper leveling.
Why Use Permeable Pavers?
Stormwater management is the main reason!
Permeable pavers limit runoff and downstream erosion. It also helps minimize pollution into our waterway by filtering toxins and pollutants.
Other important reasons to install permeable pavers include:
- Reduce the risk of flooding in your yard
- Speed up the snow melting process. (And who doesn’t want that in our Minnesota spring)
- Safety! They minimize ice build-up on your walkways. Plus, there is a cost saving of using less ice-melt!
- You can reduce your Minneapolis stormwater utility fee by up to 45%. To learn more, visit the City of Minneapolis’s website to read about the stormwater credit and how permeable pavers can be used to apply.
Overall, permeable pavers are the smart, eco-friendly choice. They limit water runoff and pollution right at the source — your yard! And even though they seem easy at first glance to install, the precision needed for the groundwork is best left to a professional.
We’d love to help you design your ideal landscape and reduce your stormwater fee by starting with the right hardscape for your landscape. Contact us to today to get your free quote.