Question

We have a 400-foot driveway. Can you suggest a permeable or semi-permeable topping?

Asked by Susan Zona
Jacksonville, FL

The ground is very sandy and dusty when dry. The drive goes through trees that drop leaves all year long. We are considering recycled reground cement. It's pretty affordable at $10 per ton. What are the pros and cons of that?

Answer

Reducing the hardscape surfaces around buildings is generally a great idea and has multiple positive effects:

  • More attractive appearance (potential resale value increase)
  • On-site filtration and reduced water runoff (stormwater filtration)
  • Reducing the so-called “Heat Island Effect” in the summer.

There are different approaches you can choose from based on aesthetics and the amount of money you are planning to spend on this project.

  1. One of the most common and traditional installations is a permeable concrete grid paver with grass planted in between. These are affordable and easy to install, and your local building materials store might carry them. Not all clients like the look of this material.
  2. One company specializing in permeable surfaces is Invisible Structures. Their hidden substructure support system is designed for vehicular traffic on top of grass or gravel surfaces. On their website you find many different application images. We have had very positive experiences with their architect support system.
  3. A more attractive concrete grid system is offered by Soil Retention. The company is distributing in the U.S. and should be able to supply you in Florida. I have used this product in the past.
  4. The last option is always to create a custom design which fits your specific site conditions exactly.

Note:  Not all planning and building departments allow you to use permeable/open-grid surfaces for driveways. Check with the building inspector or governmental agency prior to the construction start.

Tagged In: porous pavement, permeable driveway

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