What is permeable paving?

what is permeable paving
Permeable block paving with metal edging

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.

Permeable paving is any paving surface that allows water to drain through it, rather than having separate drainage installed. This takes pressure off the public water system.

Non permeable paving usually needs the separate installation of drainage (see soakaways and channel drainage). Non permeable paving includes concrete (including pattern imprinted concrete), most block paving and most tarmacadam/ashphalt.

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.

Resin bound most asked questions

Resin bound colour choices

Resin compared to pattern imprinted concrete

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.

Contact Us for an professional installation

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 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 pattern imprinted concrete).

But a solution is at hand!

Permeable block paving such as the Priora range from Marshalls, Bradstone’s Infilta or Tobermore’s permeable 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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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your comment about how permeable paving is good for allowing rainwater and any other type of water to be drained. I like how you said that there are many color options when it comes to this type or driveway. My husband and I want to update our home and make it look a little more modern by hiring a contractor to put in permeable paving for our driveway.

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