Permeable walkways are walking paths that allow water to quickly drain through the surface to avoid flooding. Maximum safety of pedestrians and other path users are the highest priority when permeable walkways are considered. The benefits of permeable walkways beyond minimising flooding are that water is sent directly into the ground below which can often support the roots of mature trees.
What are the types of permeable walkways?
The most common types of permeable walkways are Permeable Asphalt, Porous Pavers or Permeable Grids backfilled with gravel
Permeable Asphalt: This is the most common type of permeable walkway due to the smooth finish that permeable asphalt creates that make it optimal for walkways. Footpaths are often used for Walking but also for pushing prams or wheelchairs and therefore the surface needs to be easy to move on. Permeable Asphalt are surfaces that allow water to filter through the grains of the permeable concrete solution.
Permeable Pavers: Often used in more domestic settings, permeable pavers are the best type of application for walkways that need to drain a lot of water quickly. Porous pavers often allow gaps between the pavers to allow water to enter the ground below. Permeable pavers make ideal footpaths when you need a walkway that can support a heavy load and dont need to worry about cracking of the surface nor worry about speed of movement.
Permeable Grid: The permeable grid is the most flexible permeable walkway due to the flexibility in what you can backfill the grids with. The most common backfill is gravel and these allow a more firm finish to the walkway without the worry of too much gravel washing away.
Are permeable walkways expensive?
Permeable walkways can often be more cost effective then their impermeable equivalents when you factor in the following cost reductions:
- No need to build a drainage and irrigation solution for water run off
- Can build a permeable walkway with a cost effective grid and gravel instead of concrete
- Less cracking in Permeable Paving and Grid walkways that require less maintenance
Non permeable walkways can be cheaper when you consider how available concrete is to produce a cheap and effective walkway. However they can also be more expensive as they crack and shift height between the concrete panels that require grinding, filling and other maintenance solutions.