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The Monetary and Environmental Benefits of Porous Asphalt Paving

When it comes to paving materials for roadways, driveways, parking lots, and other surfaces, there are a few options to consider, from the old-school appeal of gravel or pavers to more modern, common, cost-effective, and durable solutions like concrete and asphalt. While there are benefits and drawbacks associated with any form of paving material, you’ll find that asphalt paving tends to come out ahead of other options on almost every level.

The plasticity of asphalt makes for resilient paving that stands up to the elements, as well as abuse from heavy traffic. It’s comfortable to ride on and it reduces noise pollution. It’s also relatively easy and inexpensive to repair and repave, ensuring longevity.

Asphalt paving, in general, is superior to its counterparts, but porous asphalt is particularly beneficial when it comes to both monetary and environmental concerns. Here are just a few desirable advantages to be gained by choosing porous asphalt paving.

What is Porous Asphalt?

Asphalt, in and of itself, holds up well under a wide variety of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold, as well as storm conditions. However, porous asphalt is designed specifically to deal with rain and runoff. This type of asphalt is characterized by holes in the surface meant to allow water to drain away more quickly and easily, helping to avoid pooling and the potential damage that could result.

Porous asphalt can be equally effective for small surfaces like driveways, larger areas like parking lots, and extensive projects like roadways and especially shoulder areas where heavy volumes of water can collect. Water drains into the soil below the asphalt surface, where it seeps into bedrock and naturally makes its way into the ground water supply. This helps to funnel water away from homes, businesses, or roadways.

Monetary Benefits

Asphalt alone is a cost-effective paving surface, but porous asphalt can take these benefits to even greater heights. You might worry that a surface scored by drainage holes wouldn’t hold up as well to other types of wear and tear, such as traffic, but porous asphalt can last just as long as regular asphalt – 20 years or more – without significant cracking or other damage, especially with proper maintenance. This means you won’t have to contend with additional costs like extra repairs or early replacement.

You can also avoid water damage to your property and the expense that comes with it. When water drains properly, there’s far less chance that standing water will backup, pool, and damage surfaces or infiltrate nearby structures. With porous asphalt, you can also avoid shelling out the dough for a retention basin or pond to catch runoff, or alternately, paying fees to the local government to account for runoff going into public sewers.

Environmental Benefits

Porous asphalt is not only a win for your pocketbook, but also for the planet. Environmental benefits of using this porous paving material start with reducing stagnant water, but also include reducing surface temperatures (cutting the urban heat island effect). Creating porous asphalt also requires less energy than other paved surfaces and creates less pollution. Plus, porous asphalt is recyclable and reusable, making it a great green alternative to other types of pavement.