Porous Asphalt: What It Is All About

porous asphalt

There are different kinds of materials that you can use for constructing your own pavement. One of them is porous asphalt. If you are looking into constructing your first pavement or re-doing your current one, then you should continue reading this article and consider the use of this versatile material for your driveway.


What It Can Do

This kind of pavement installation is of great interests to road engineers, public-works departments, and site planners. The reason for this is because this material is permeable. It allows storm water to drain through the asphalt into the recharge bed and then to the soil underneath. It promotes infiltration and, in the process, improve water quality. It also eliminates the need of detention basin. Furthermore, the lifespan of this material could last for 20 years with proper care and maintenance. This means that it is not only less costly, but it is of great value to your money.


How It Works

The installation of porous asphalt is quite easy. All you have to remember when constructing is to provide water enough space for it to go through the stone bed. The stone bed should also provide enough space for the water to sip through the soil underneath. The stone bed should also be designed accordingly that storm water will not rise to the level of the asphalt layer. Most of the times, the stone bed is designed to be 18 to 36 inches in depth, which provides a good sub-base for the asphalt layer.


The Cost

A stone bed under the asphalt layer is considered as a special feature, which makes the construction more costly in comparison to regular asphalt construction. However, the cost that you pay is offset by the benefits that it provides in relation to managing storm water. In addition, the cost of having a stone bed installed is lesser than the cost of having a different kind of storm-water management system or having a detention basin.


How It Looks

In comparison to the regular asphalt layer, porous asphalt is coarser and not as smooth. In first glance, it actually will not appear porous. You will only notice its coarser texture if you really focus your eyes on it. In addition, the smoothness of this kind of asphalt installation has passed the requirements set by ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).


Equipment And Skills Needed for Installation

Another advantage of having this kind of asphalt pavement installed is that it does not need any proprietary equipment or a special set of skills to be installed. Only regular machinery and training are needed to have this properly done. It does not also require any special ingredient for it to become porous.


Porous Asphalt and Water Quality

As mentioned above, porous asphalt helps improve water quality. But the questions is “How?”. Studies have been made, although limited, and it shows that an enormous amount of grease, suspended solid, oil, and metals are removed as the water through the porous asphalt to the stone bed and to the soil underneath. It is in this sense that porous asphalt helps in making water quality better.


Other Environmental Benefits

Besides allowing water to sip through underneath making storm-water easy to manage, it provides a cooler setting. The reason for this is because of its porous nature. Another advantage of installing this kind of pavement is that it lessens the demand for the sewer system. This can be good news to some but not as favorable to the sewer industry.