Solving Each of the Problems With Traditional Paving Methods
Concrete, asphalt, and gravel are the most common paving materials today. However, their popularity doesn’t negate their shortcomings, and those shortcomings can have a much greater impact than many people might realize. In addition to the excessive costs of building concrete, maintaining asphalt, or dealing with gravel, these types of paving systems also have devastating effects on stormwater management.
As development spreads and more land is paved over, the materials we cover the ground with dramatically impact its ability to absorb rainfall. The second rain hits these impervious materials, it creates runoff, which typically has to be collected in detention ponds before it can be released back into the waterways. The problem is that water picks up everything that the pavement has collected, including motor oils, pollution, and whatever it absorbs from the pavement material itself.
As the first truly permeable, high-performance pavement material, TRUEGRID Pavers allow for much more efficient and eco-friendly floodwater control. In addition, they are the better option even where floodwaters aren’t typically a concern because they effectively address many of the other challenges that come with traditional paving methods:
• Concrete is too expensive
Concrete is the most common type of paving because it has been around the longest. Yet over the years, it hasn’t become easier or less expensive to use. Installing it is also time- and labor-intensive, which often makes it too cumbersome for anything other than large-scale projects.
Concrete will crack as the ground underneath expands or contracts or as moisture freezes or evaporates on its surface from season to season. Because it’s completely impervious, concrete pavement also requires extensive drainage systems and large detention ponds that are even more costly to maintain.
• Asphalt is too problematic
Asphalt can sometimes be a less costly option than concrete, but it’s also softer and much less durable. Simple exposure to the sun can hasten its erosion, and because asphalt is darker than concrete, it retains heat much longer. In residential areas, asphalt roads and driveways can create heat islands wherein residents have to use more energy to keep their homes cool.
Unlike concrete, asphalt is petroleum-based and is often protected with toxic sealants, which means the runoff it creates sends auto pollutants and other harmful substances into detention ponds and waterways. The frequent potholes, cracks, and entirely destroyed sections of asphalt can make it even more expensive than concrete to maintain long-term.
• Gravel is too unreliable
Although gravel isn’t a popular solution for major roadways or highly developed residential areas, it is a common paving solution for industrial yards, thanks to the relative ease of installing it. Despite that ease and the typically minimal upfront costs, keeping it maintained ends up costing more than any other option.
Gravel is messy. On top of that, it grows less pervious the more it becomes impacted, exacerbating the runoff problem. Gravel migrates and becomes a headache for city roadways, ruts easily, and turns into mud during rain events. These mud-pit parking lots and roadways are often unusable until they dry. In dry weather, compacted gravel lots create dust clouds, which are health and safety hazards to workers or surrounding communities.
TRUEGRID Pavers not only solve many of the problems that conventional paving causes for stormwater management, but also provide added benefits. For commercial, residential, and industrial uses, TRUEGRID’s innovative, permeable pavers are also more affordable, easier to install and maintain, and durable enough for virtually any environment.
To learn how TRUEGRID Pavers can make it easier to improve your best practices for stormwater management, click here to download our whitepaper.