Concrete and asphalt have served us well over the ages. From parking lots to walkways, driveways, sidewalks, intermediate areas, and more, both asphalt and concrete have gotten the job done when it comes to providing solid surfaces for us to walk and drive on.
Water pooling and runoff have also been an issue with these materials, however. Flooding from impervious surfaces is wreaking havoc contributing to billions of property damage and even deaths. Porous concrete and pervious asphalt were invented to help reduce the costly consequences of impervious surfaces.
Videos of porous asphalt absorbing water have gone viral. Everyone knows that surfaces that absorb water instead of creating runoff and flooding are needed. The problem is- this porosity and ability to absorb water is very short-lived and super expensive. You don’t see that in the video.
Porous concrete and asphalt while better than traditional hardscape aren’t without their own issues, though. In fact, some of the potential problems you might face with porous asphalt or concrete could end up being so serious that it costs you thousands in repairs or remodeling. Many people still aren’t aware of the potential pitfalls of something like a porous concrete driveway or porous asphalt, however.
In order to get you up to speed on the potential issues with these materials, let’s go over how they work, what problems you might face, and what might be a better alternative to porous asphalt or concrete.
A Porous Concrete Driveway Won’t Be Perfect
Obviously, water runoff and collection is a big deal, this is why permeable materials for things like driveways and sidewalks were invented. Porous concrete or asphalt surfaces are made up of a coarse aggregate that is coated in mortar or cement paste. This creates a structure in which there are countless pathways for water to trickle through the surface and down into a collection area or directly into the soil. In theory, this is a great idea. But, there are a variety of ways in which this system can fail you.
First, clogging is the main issue with porous concrete and asphalt. If you’ve got stormwater running over and through your permeable asphalt surface, it’s going to carry particles of dirt and debris that will clog up the interior of a once permeable surface. The pore size is very small by necessity and within a few months, the formerly porous asphalt or concrete will begin to pool water and becomes essentially impervious. This clogging doesn’t allow water to pass through as quickly and will lead to the collection of water inside the permeable surface.
Once clogging has caused water to collect in areas where it’s not supposed to, porous asphalt and concrete become vulnerable to freeze and thaw cycles. Weaker to begin with than traditional hardscape surfaces due to the high gravel content to create porosity, these surfaces are not durable. These cycles cause water trapped inside them to damage the pavement by expanding and contracting ice causing failure.
A couple of other problems with porous asphalt and concrete include sulfate resistance and abrasion resistance. These surfaces are often vulnerable to soil with high levels of sulfate in them. To avoid the degradation of a permeable surface due to high levels of sulfates, a business owner would have to go the extra mile when installing the surface and make sure to only use cement which is sulfate-resistant.
Abrasion resistance is another area to be concerned about when discussing porous asphalt and concrete. Areas subject to high levels of traffic, turning traffic, or snow plows are of particular concern when it comes to this issue. Because of the porous nature of porous concrete and asphalt, they are not typically very resistant to abrasion. This can lead to surface particles unraveling and becoming loose, would mean the early demise of your porous concrete or asphalt surface, no doubt.
While initial installation may be as much as 50 % more than non-porous pavement, maintenance is often the expense. Frequent specialized industrial vacuuming is required to maintain porosity and surface infiltration capabilities.
Porous Asphalt and Concrete Are Not the Solutions
While permeable surfaces will always be in demand, inferior materials like asphalt and concrete are always going to fall short. If you want a surface that is permeable, yet impervious to abrasion or clogging, you’ll need a different solution.
Permeable pavers from TRUEGRID make an excellent alternative to the materials we’ve just discussed. They are interlocking grids made from highly-durable recycled plastic and feature a variety of benefits that permeable concrete and asphalt do not.
You never have to worry about your pavers getting clogged because they use either gravel or crushed limestone as an aggregate, and the spaces between the aggregate are too large for clogging to become an issue. They continue to absorb rainwater after years of heavy traffic and use at a rate of over 1000 inches per hour. In other words, the TRUEGRID pavement drains instantly for the life of the site.
A gravel-filled permeable pavement surface such as this stops gravel migration. The patented design allows for flexibility to eliminate cracks or potholes but has enough strength to handle any load on the road. Snow plowing is not a problem and residual ice or snow melts faster than on asphalt or concrete. The installation process for permeable pavers is also quicker and more cost-effective than with asphalt or concrete.
Permeable pavers require almost no upkeep or maintenance and will serve you better than either traditional or porous asphalt or concrete would, and for much longer. If you’re in need of a permeable surface solution for a parking lot, sidewalk, driveway, or other surfaces, you should look no further than permeable pavers from companies like TRUEGRID and others.
The durability and versatility of this paver system work well for any paved site from driveways to parking lots. Residential, commercial, and industrial needs can all be met by this innovative new product, allowing business owners to spend less and get more for their money as well.