Permeable Pavers vs. Non-Permeable Pavers – What’s the Difference?

When it comes to paving, most contractors are familiar with traditional surfaces such as asphalt and concrete but are still getting familiar with alternatives such as permeable pavers. If you’re wondering about the difference between permeable pavers vs. non-permeable pavers, we break it down below.

What Is Non-Permeable (Aka Impervious) Paving?

Traditional impervious pavers are all around us – in parking lots, on sidewalks, and in playgrounds. They’re hardscaping surfaces that are typically made from water-repellant materials such as concrete or asphalt. This means that in wet, rainy, or muddy conditions such as during a rainstorm, they’re prone to pooling or redirecting stormwater runoff. To help support impervious pavement, stormwater infrastructure such as drains or gutters need to be put in place.

What Is Permeable Paving?

Unlike impervious pavers, permeable paving systems such as Ecoraster allow stormwater to pass through the paving surface and into the aggregate layers and/or soil below. In addition to reducing stormwater runoff, permeable paving systems can trap suspended solids and pollutants before they have the chance to affect nearby water sources. The goal is to control stormwater “where it lands,” reduce runoff and filter out pollutants, thereby improving water quality.

Permeable pavement can take the form of either paver grids or blocks (including pervious concrete) that are specifically designed to allow water to pass through the gaps, cycling back into the ground, where it started. This eliminates the need for more harmful stormwater management solutions, such as catch basins or stormwater pools.

Permeable pavement can be used anywhere that traditional paving materials are currently laid. A few popular applications include permeable parking lots, driveways, eco-friendly sidewalks, access lanes, road shoulders, and heavy-duty industrial spaces.

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Permeable Pavers vs. Non-Permeable Pavers – Which One Comes Out On Top?

Ultimately, no matter the paving project you’re working on, permeable pavers are a clear winner for a number of reasons. Not only are they a cost-effective alternative to traditional paving materials, but they come with a wealth of benefits, including:

  • Instant and effective stormwater management
  • No need for costly stormwater ponds or underground catch basins
  • A focus on sustainability – recycled, recyclable, and reusable materials
  • A significant reduction in maintenance costs
  • Little need for road salt/sand
  • No ruts, cracks, or potholes over time
  • No sun damage or fading
  • A long-lasting solution guaranteed to stay in place for at least 20 years
  • The ability to handle extremely heavy loads and fluctuating temperature changes
  • Full accessibility in accordance with accessibility standards such as ADA and AODA
  • And more!

As these types of surfaces grow in popularity, many municipalities are seeing the benefits. In fact, in areas that are prone to flooding and plagued with heavy storms (such as New Orleans), permeable pavement is not only popular, it’s now mandatory. Clearly, it’s the way of the future!
Interested in learning more about permeable pavement? It’s our passion! Contact Ecoraster North America today.

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