permeable paving – is it the answer – do we have a choice

September 9th, 2012

permeable paving – is it the answer – do we have a choice?

Permeable paving solutions – current legislation is “promoting” the use of this for homeowners wanting hard standing areas  – not because permeable paving is a must but because the discharge of surface water needs to be addressed.

Water can damage your existing surfaces very much like it does on the roads causing potholes.

According to Nottingham County Council in  March of this year they intended to surface dress ( a low cost treatment of spraying on a coating of bitumen to waterproof followed by one or more layers of stone chippings ) 50 miles of road  to restore skid resistance.

This process prevents the ingress of water which can seep into the road foundation and weaken it reducing the further development of potholes.  They say it is up to ten times cheaper than other methods of restoring the road surfaces.  It provides good resistance to skidding on smooth or slippery roads.

Councillor Richard Jackson, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport says there is a misconception that such works are completed as they cannot afford to do the job properly.  Not so says  the councillor

Back in January of this year a BBC news report stated the freezing weather and snow causes more potholes to appear  in the uk’s roads than usual –  – why –  because

“Potholes are formed by water penetrating the asphalt surface of a road through cracks caused by traffic. When temperatures plunge, the water freezes, expands and causes the surface to rupture. When the ice melts, it leaves a void below the surface, which caves in under the stress of vehicles and eventually forms a pothole”

This situation can be replicated on your driveway.

If however permeable paving replaces a non permeable surface then there is still  the potential for a freeze thaw effect and the feasibility of weeds.

Permeable paving needs to be realistic in the first place  e.g is it a primarily clay area if so could the dissipation of the water be a problem anyway?  The important consideration is the surface water and managing it correctly -but that does not necessarily mean porous paving and surfaces.  Bog gardens and Eco drains together with impermeable surfaces such as Resin Bonded Gravel for example can work well together.  It is all about careful thought before implementation.

I did find whilst on my investigations two websites which you may find useful if you do have major issues in your area with potholes on the road  They are places you can go report problems to.