Concrete permeable pavers protect lawn grasses, ground covers, garden plants, and trees from flooding. They filter water through the pavers into ground below. They also protect plants in the yard from toxic chemicals that can be carried or washed out by rainwater. In the grand scheme of things, they protect the streets of Houston from flooding, and the streams and rivers of the Gulf Coast from pollutants that would otherwise wash out of storm sewers into natural bodies of water.
The cost of these custom hardscapes does represent an investment on the part of the discriminating Houston homeowner. While it may be tempting to opt for a lower grade of concrete that can be installed at lower cost, in the long run it is much wiser to invest a little more in an eco-friendly form of Houston landscaping that will improve the curb appeal of the property.
If cost seems intimidating regardless of the potential return on investment, consider the fact that there are two types of hardscapes we can build that can be classified as concrete permeable pavers. The first type is an interlocking pattern where the spaces between the pavers themselves act as natural drains. The other type features pavers that are made from pervious concrete that is able to filter water through its mass.
Interlocking paver driveways and motor courts are often built to capture rain water in a crushed gravel foundation over which the pavers are laid. This layer of gravel acts as a catch basin for rainwater. In most concrete permeable paver designs built with interlocking decorative patterns, it is not uncommon for this layer of gravel to successfully retain up to 5 inches of water that then filters harmlessly into the ground.
Since it is the crushed stone base that manages water filtration, it follows that pervious concrete pavers are even more effective than non-pervious interlocking pavers. The entire hardscape can act as a filter when heavy rains strike. Because the entire surface is porous, a hardscape that is pervious throughout can be even more decorative than an interlocking paver equivalent. Individual pieces of concrete can be fitted snugly together like fine, polished blocks of stone. Decorative concrete can also resemble fine tile, or even wooden boards.
Concrete permeable pavers that are made from pervious cement are what we see more in commercial hardscapes where flood prevention and environmental awareness are high priorities. The EPA endorses its use in commercial driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. The effectiveness of this material in the use of residential hardscape construction is no less effective. Driveways and motor courts often collect automobile fluids and dripping oil on their surfaces. Garden patios can collect chemical agents that are good for certain garden plants, but maybe are not so good for the lawn.
Custom hardscapes built from concrete permeable pavers address the need to get rid of these toxic substances before they harm plants, animal life, human life, and natural ecosystems. They filter polluted water into the ground at a rate that is slow enough for bacteria in the soil to biodegrade the toxins before they can harm the root systems of plants or enter aquifers of drinking water.
What results is the perfect union of the manmade with natural processes of ecological self-purification.