What is Permeable Paving?

Permeable paving is future proof!

Until recent years the word permeable wasn’t even associated with driveways – that all changed after severe flooding in several regions of the UK.

This prompted the government to take action and increasingly this filters down to local councils (with enforcement in mind) to assess all new driveway installations.

Permeable paving is any paving surface that allows water to drain through it, rather than having separate drainage installed.

As a result, this takes pressure off the public water system.

When you think about it with our insatiable need for more and more cars a consequence has been the mass ‘concreting’ over many front gardens.

Hardly environmentally friendly!

These gardens had previously soaked surface water away from propoerties and public water systems.

In terms of driveway installations non -permeable paving usually needs separate installation of drainage.

Non permeable paving includes concrete and most blocks and most tarmacadam.

As you can imagine this has driven up the demand for potentially permeable driveway surfacing such as resin bound and even gravel driveways.

What are Permeable Paving options?

By far the most popular permeable paving option since the turn of the century is resin bound.

Resin Bound Driveway

This driveway surfacing product looks fantastic and is most suitable for very lightly trafficked driveways.

A wide range of colour combinations are available and both installation and maintenance are easy.

WARNING: Take care when choosing an installer as those out to make a ‘quick buck‘ are targeting this driveway surfacing product.

Use a firm with a proven track record and portfolio of work you can view.

Use our Directory and choose a businesses with an established track record.

What is Permeable Paving? Blocks….seriously

Many people assume block paving allows surface water to drain through.

It doesn’t.

Block paving is made from concrete (or sometimes clay) and in terms of driveways the only difference from a water drainage point of view is some (a tiny amount) drains through the gaps of block paving compared to zero drainage through a concrete slab (like decorative concrete).

But a solution is at hand!

Permeable block paving has been developed by the main manufacturers and  Bradstone’s Infilta is a great example of this.

blocks all allow surface water drainage. Whilst these blocks have been designed to allow more surface water drainage they must be installed on a suitable sub base.

And…..your driveway must be suitable for a permeable block paving installation in the first place.

Check here for permeability suitability!

What is Permeable Paving? It’s all in the sub base

With permeable block paving the installation of a suitable sub base is critical. Come to think of it the installation of a suitable sub base is critical for any driveway, but you knew that already we hope.

How’s the sub base different?

A typical driveway using type 1 MOT (roadstone) as a sub base. This provides stability and compacts beautifully. However, it does not allow much water through. This is due to the finer particles compacting and stopping the flow of water.

So, in terms of a permeable sub base installation for block paving:

  • Use crushed stone (20mm) that has well defined edges and not rounded
  • Installation to a depth of 200mm
  • Compaction is essential
  • Then use 6mm clean crushed stone to depth of 50mm
  • Compact again

What is Permeable Paving? Pass the grass

Increasingly, permeable paving options such as grass grid systems are also becoming popular. If using for a driveway the concrete framed ones are best as they offer the most support. These allow water to drain through, provide a solid driveway base for your vehicle/s and are ‘green‘!

More on grid systems

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