How To Install Permeable Pavers

Installing permeable pavers is a great way to help the environment. The purpose of the permeable pavers is to provide a solid and stable surface that can withstand heavy traffic and load and prevent rainwater from running off to the drainage system. Permeable pavers allow the water to seep through the soil underneath thus preventing pollutants from clogging the drainage system. It recycles rainwater and help replenish groundwater as well as prevent soil erosion. Permeable pavers come in a variety of shapes and color that can add design as well as purpose to a paved surface. Below are tips on how to install permeable pavers.

  • Determine the type of soil that you have in your property. Clay soil retains water longer and will take a long for the water to drain down the other soil layers. If the area that you live in gets a lot of rain, you will need to prepare a deeper base or substrate that will allow the layer to hold the water until the layer beneath can drain it properly. If you live in an arid place where you get very little rain, the substrate can be shallower.
  • Remove the old driveway and dig the area to be paved to the proper depth determined by the type of soil you have. Remove the dirt and compact the soil. You can use a roller or plate compactor for this step.
  • Lay geotextile sheets over the area that will be paved. This will prevent the layer of gravel and rock that you will place over the geotextile from mixing with the subsoil and create an uneven surface later.
  • Pour the mixture of gravel and rock over the geotextile. Spread it evenly over the surface to a thickness of about one half of the depth of the excavation.
  • Compact this layer with a static roller. This will prepare the surface for another layer of about one-fourth of the remaining depth. You must compact this layer once again. The purpose of this layering and the compacting is to prepare the substrate to retain the water before it drains away into the subsoil.
  • Cover the surface with about two inches of pea gravel. This will provide the surface for the final layer of permeable pavers.  
  • Set the pavers one by one in the pattern that you have chosen. Move them around so that it will lay squarely on the surface and maintain an even level with the rest of the stones. This will prevent the stones from moving out of place. Concrete may be used for this. Install the restraints around the perimeter of the paved area. Use guide strings to keep the layer of stones even.
  • Pour pea gravel or sand over the surface and sweep them over the paved surface to cover all the gaps and prevent the stones from moving.
  • Test the area by pouring water over it and check how the water seeps through the permeable pavers. There should be no puddles over the surface and no runoff.

Make sure that you check the soil on your property to determine how it retains water and help you in gauging how deep you have to excavate to prepare your ground for paving. Get some information from contractors on how to test the soil. Choose the size, design and color of the permeable pavers that will complement your garden and the exterior of your home and how much foot and vehicle traffic it will get.


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