If you are concerned about the sustainability of your home, there are a seemingly endless number of modifications that you can make to your home that will make it better for the environment, including modifications to your driveway. Older methods, such as concrete or asphalt, may not be the best option. These options do not allow for water to pass through. Instead, it is better to look for more permeable options.
Why Permeability Is Essential
Rainwater can carry pollution with it. The key is to send the rainwater into the ground rather than sending it to a storm drain or into the street. Also, traditional forms of pavement are not natural and contribute to the heat island effect. They absorb heat to a much greater degree than natural ground coverings. Fortunately, there are many options for a more permeable driveway, including some that are likely very familiar.
One approach is to have a grass driveway. This doesn't mean that you have cars simply drive on your lawn. Instead, the grass driveway has several layers. It begins with a layer of sand. Over the sand is placed a plastic mesh that has holes in it, which allows for water to pass through. Placed on top of the plastic is grass, which grows through the mesh. The mesh is meant to protect the grass from the weight of the car. The sand filters the water.
These types of pavers have joints that allow for moisture to pass through. Also, some pavers, such as ceramic pavers, are porous and allow for moisture to pass through them. This allows for the gaps between the pavers to be smaller and allows for the pavers to not have to be refilled with aggregate as often. Pavers are especially a good option in colder climates because cracking and heaving are not concerns with this material.
Gravel is another very permeable option since there is no point where the gravel blocks the flow of moisture. A plastic mat is placed at the bottom and is made in the shape of honeycombs. The honeycomb plastic mat allows for moisture to pass through and also provides support for vehicles. Crushed gravel is not the same as stones, which are another option. Stones are very smooth and many find them to be very aesthetically pleasing, but they require a lot of maintenance, since the stones often need to be replaced. But each of these options are much better for the environment than asphalt or non-porous concrete.
For more information about your options for a permeable driveway, contact a residential paving company.