What are Pervious Pavers?

Emily Espinoza

Pervious pavers are paving stones that allow rain water and other liquids to pass through their surface and soak into the ground below them. This reduces the amount of runoff generated by the area during a rain storm or other activity, such as washing cars or watering surrounding vegetation. Pervious pavers can typically be used in the same ways as traditional pavers and provide a durable and relatively easy way to pave an area. They also come in a few different types, which can provide flexibility for design and style. Depending on the type chosen, some maintenance might be required to uphold the look and functionality of the pavers.

The permeable pavers made from special porous cement look very similar to traditional concrete pavers.
The permeable pavers made from special porous cement look very similar to traditional concrete pavers.

Pervious pavers, which can also be referred to as permeable pavers, can be used to create areas for entertaining, walking, or even driving. They are durable and capable of handling large amounts of weight. These pavers also provide a way to pave an area without adding to rainwater runoff that can sometimes strain water drainage systems. This is an important feature in some areas and may be the main consideration when deciding to use pervious pavers. This attribute also makes pervious pavers ideal for the control of erosion in some areas, because they provide durable structure while still allowing water to reach the soil.

The main types of pervious pavers are porous concrete pavers and grass, gravel, or mulch pavers. Porous concrete pavers are manufactured using a special mix of concrete that hardens with small holes or pores in it. These holes do not affect the strength of the concrete, but allow water to pass through the surface.

Grass, gravel, or mulch pavers are created by using a grid-like paver usually made from either concrete or plastic. These pavers are laid out much like any other paver, but the voids in the grid shape are then filled with gravel, mulch, or vegetation such as grass. The structure of the pavers provides the strength and durability of any other type of paver, while the voids filled with permeable substances allow for drainage.

Once installed, pervious pavers are essentially the same as traditional pavers in their use; however, some of the styles might require additional maintenance. Pavers that have been filled with gravel or mulch may need to be cleaned and refilled periodically. Some of the material will naturally be lost over time, and any voids that become filled with extra debris will lose some of their permeability. Similarly, grass pavers will need to be mowed and watered to maintain their appearance and functionality.

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