If you spend enough time around your local zoning board, there’s a phrase you’ll hear again and again: pervious pavement.
Also known as “permeable” pavement, this material has become quite popular in the world of municipal planning and housing developments, particularly in communities with older stormwater systems or where flooding is a concern.
Municipal codes often enforce an impervious surface ratio, which sets a limit to the portion of a lot that can be covered by impenetrable materials, such as concrete.
This is a lesson many homeowners learn the hard way, when they apply for a building permit at their local municipality, with the intent of building a new patio or driveway – only to find out their plans violate their community’s rules for impervious surfaces. A new patio of pavers can throw the ratio of your property out of proportion.
This is where permeable backyard pavers can come to your rescue. These pavers allow rainwater and snowmelt to soak into the ground, helping reduce stormwater runoff and pollution.
The environmental benefits of permeable backyard pavers
When we talk about permeable pavers, we’re not referring to the stones themselves, but to the spaces in between them, which allow water to pass through the soil.
A patio or driveway made from asphalt, solid concrete or pavers would have the opposite effect: Rainwater would just bounce off these surfaces and flow directly into storm drains. Stormwater runoff is a contributor to water pollution. When rainwater washes over impervious surfaces, it collects and carries pollutants that ultimately flow into waterways. Rainwater may also form puddles that stain the surface of your patio or driveway.
But when you install permeable pavers, you’re helping the environment, allowing rainwater to soak into the surface and nourish the soil and nearby plants. And the gravel base installed beneath your pavers can act as a filtration system, helping reduce pollutants.
Other benefits of permeable pavers
In addition to providing your landscape with a permeable, environmentally-friendly surface, permeable backyard pavers offer several other benefits:
1. They’re versatile
Pavers come in a range of sizes, shapes and colors, making them one of the more versatile ways you can design a new patio or walkway.
You may also consider using them for your driveway. If you’re thinking about redoing both your driveway and backyard patio, using permeable pavers at least for your driveway will help you meet local zoning requirements.
Snow will tend to melt faster on permeable pavers due to the geothermal effect from the more open sub-base under them.
Just be careful when choosing paver colors. If you know your backyard gets a lot of sun, you may want to go with a more muted color.
2. They’re low maintenance
Paver maintenance typically amounts to sweeping the pavers with a broom or spraying away debris with a garden hose. If the hose knocks any stone out of place from between the pavers, just sweep the stone back into place.
Power washing can get rid of stains that form on your pavers, although many paver makers offer stain-resistant stones. Getting rid of weeds is as simple as lifting a paver to pull the weed out by its roots.
3. They’re durable
While surfaces made from asphalt and concrete can buckle under harsh weather conditions, permeable backyard pavers will hold fast. They are able to withstand freezing weather or errant tree roots without crumbling. Pavers can handle a lot of foot traffic and are typically more slip-resistant than poured concrete.
Still, pavers can crack or chip, which is why you may want to keep a few extra pavers from your original installation to take the place of any pieces that become damaged.
Are you getting ready to install a new patio? Want to avoid the wrath of your local zoning board? Visit Yardville Supply, where we carry an extensive line of permeable backyard pavers from brands like Belgard and Cambridge Pavingstones.
Stop in and see us today. We’re confident that we can find a paver that’s right for your property.