How to Install Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers are used to allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground, rather than run-off into the storm drain system, where it can contaminate local water supplies and interrupt the natural water cycle. Using a permeable or porous paving system has many advantages over and above being environmentally conscious, including durability, stability, and ease of maintenance/repair.

Steps

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    Engineer the depth. Almost all ground has the capability to allow water to seep through down into the groundwater system but different types of soil and different conditions determine how fast the water will seep through. Take into account the soil, how much rain you get in the area and how much traffic goes over the surface. The principle is to place enough rock and gravel that will be able to hold the rainwater load long enough for the soil underneath the rock to absorb the water. Gravel and sandy soil drain water the best or the fastest and clay soil drains the worst or the slowest. So if you have an area with a lot of rain and clay soils, the rock and gravel with have to be very deep to be able to hold the rainwater while it slowly seeps into the soil. If you live in an area where there is little amount of rain and very good draining soil like sand and gravel, the depth of the rock and gravel might be very shallow, only 8 inches (20.3 cm). The next factor to consider is the traffic flow. The more traffic, the deeper the base. If it is a residential driveway used only to park cars, the depth of the base would be far less than a commercial street. There is software program available from Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute that contractors and engineers can use to get the correct depths and stone sizes.
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    Remove the old driveway. This is usually done with a jackhammer to break up the existing driveway, and a bobcat or the like to remove the pieces.
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    Excavate to required depth by removing excess dirt.
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    Compact sub soil using a roller or plate compactor.
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    Install geotextile. The purpose to the geotextile is to keep the soil from mixing with the rock and gravel base. Without the geotextile, the rock would work its way into the sub soil, decreasing the effective depth of the base material.
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    Install the first layer of rock and spread to a depth of no more than 6".
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    Compact the rock using a static roller.
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    Install the next layer of rock in 4” to 6” layers or “lifts” and compact with a static roller.
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    Install 2 inches (5.1 cm) of pea gravel to be used as a bedding layer for the paving stones.
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    Lay the paving stones one at a time.
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    Install the restraints. In this case we are using a concrete bond beam that the border pavers are set into when the concrete is still wet. This prevents lateral movement.
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    Sweep more pea gravel into all the joints.
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    If desired, test the driveway. All water should be absorbed with zero run off.

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