What Is Porous Asphalt Used For?

April 25, 2022

Most local communities have zoning ordinances that determine the types of structures that you can build on your property. Lot coverage is an important part of many communities’ master plans for development. It refers to how much of a property can be covered by a structure and nonporous materials, like asphalt and concrete.

Drainage is very important for reducing urban runoff that often washes pollutants and all kinds of debris into local waterways. Porous or permeable pavement enables rainwater to drain more naturally while preventing runoff that could collect pollutants, like oil that might drip onto a driveway from a vehicle.

How Porous or Permeable Pavement Works

Porous or permeable pavement can assist the natural drainage of your home or another property. That helps to keep local freshwater supplies clean and healthful for continued use. It takes various types of aggregate materials to create porous or permeable pavement.

For example, you might want a porous driveway leading to your garage. You can get it by using crushed stone aggregate material that is made up of stones that are about a half-inch in size. That will work as a top filter course that captures rainwater and enables it to seep into the porous layer. That top layer usually is about 2 inches thick and is bordered by an unpaved edge of stones. The unpaved stones enable total drainage of the rainwater that falls onto the paved surface.

Support Layers Enable Natural Drainage

The porous and paved surface rests atop a thin layer called a choker course, which directs moisture through small holes and into a stone recharge bed that is immediately below it. The stone recharge bed is several inches thick and includes about 40 percent empty space into which water can collect during hard rains.

Beneath the stone recharge bed is an uncompacted subgrade through which rainwater flows down into the earth below. A non-woven geotextile wraps around all of it to enable the placement of the stone beds and porous asphalt or pavement on top.

Benefits of Porous Pavement

Porous pavement does more than help to protect your local freshwater source. It also helps to withstand the freeze and thaw cycles in colder climes. It is less prone to cracking and breaking into smaller pieces like traditional concrete or asphalt. And it is much easier to patch and repair as needed. Porous pavement also helps to ensure your property is within local lot coverage limits.

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