Why Is A Permeable Driveway So Important?

Category: Sureset Blog

Posted 29th November 2021 by Y Holloway

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The many advantages and positive impacts offered by permeable driveways make them an important consideration in Britain and further afield. Read on if you’re wondering why you should consider installing a SureSet permeable resin driveway.

Porous Driveway Benefits

In a nutshell, the benefits of a porous driveway include:

  • Combats urban flooding
  • Allows water to drain into soil and aquifers
  • Helps to reduce urban heat island effect
  • Easy installation
  • Durable
  • Cost-effective
  • Can help to prevent soil erosion

The Urban Flooding Problem

One of the most important benefits of a SureSet permeable driveway is the role it can play in combating urban flooding, which is becoming a serious problem in the United Kingdom.

According to Specifier Review, the 2015 Boxing Day floods affected more than 3,000 properties, among which were 1,600 businesses, in the West Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge. The floods caused an estimated £150 million in damages. Three months after the clean-up, almost 40% of affected businesses remained closed, resulting in an estimated £47 million in losses.

In 2008, the Environmental Agency reported that the serious floods in the UK 2007 caused deaths, disrupted people’s daily lives, and resulted in damages of approximately £3 billion. Inadequate drainage contributed to those devastating floods. The old drains in most urban areas were not designed to cope with the amount of rainwater runoff flowing into them.

Before the widespread paving of driveways, front gardens, and other areas, rain was absorbed by the earth. The relatively small number of permeable resin driveways, and the impermeable materials used for paving, meant the rainwater was forced to flow into buildings, roads, and drainage systems that are too small.

More recently, the Committee on Climate Change forecast that the annual cost of dealing with the effects of residential floods in the UK will reach £619 million by 2050. The effects of climate change mean heavy rainfall and urban flooding might happen with increasing frequency in future. The problem with that is the negative effects of impermeable driveways and gardens aren’t limited to the structural damage and disruptions caused by urban flooding.

More Than Flood Damage

Runoff rainwater can wash pollutants such as petrol, oil, and brake dust that collect on hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete into drains, and from there, into streams and rivers.

In some areas with inadequate drainage and a lack of resin driveway permeable paving, runoff rainwater may enter the foul water sewers, causing untreated sewage to overflow into streams and watercourses. More runoff also means less water reaches and soil and natural underground aquifers.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the lack of water entering the ground can create subsidence problems. Dryness can cause soil shrinkage, which can result in houses, pathways, and garden walls cracking, which is another reason to consider SureSet’s porous driveway solutions.

Permeable driveways allow rainwater to pass through the paving and enter the ground below, which can help combat urban flooding and other problems. Rather than being wishful thinking, this has been demonstrated by scientific research.

Resin Bound Gravel Permeable Paving And Flood Risk

A study published in the International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology revealed that solutions such as resin bound gravel permeable paving can reduce surface runoff and flood peak. It can also delay the flood peak time. Ultimately, permeable paving can effectively reduce urban drainage pressures and reduce the risk of stormwater floods. Among the study’s conclusions were that:

  • The drainage surface of a permeable road can reduce part of the surface runoff by more than 10%
  • Permeable pavements can reduce surface runoff by more than 50%

It’s not a far stretch of the imagination to think that SureSet permeable driveways offer similar benefits.

Porous Driveways And Environmental Benefits

The US-based Upper Midwest Water Science Centre pointed out a few other environmental benefits of permeable pavements. Porous driveways would offer similar advantages.

In addition to contributing to the re-establishing of a more natural hydrologic balance and reducing runoff volume, resin bound gravel permeable paving and other water permeable paving solutions can reduce some pollutant concentrations. This can happen physically, by the trapping of those pollutants in the paving or soil, or chemically, by the action of microbes and bacteria that break down some of those substances.

Slowing down runoff can lower the temperature of the water, which reduces the stress and impact it causes when it reaches streams, rivers, and lakes. In cold weather, porous driveway solutions can reduce the need to apply road salt for de-icing. The air trapped in the tiny voids in the paving can store heat and release it to the surface, which contributes to the melting of ice and snow.

The Urban Heat Island Effect

A combination of climate change and increasing urban development and densification means our cities and towns are getting hotter. The urban heat island (UHI) effect can cause London to be 10°C hotter than neighbouring rural areas.

Impermeable paving contributes to UHI, as the lack of moisture in the ground means less water evaporates into the air. This means a reduction in the cooling effect that evaporation offers as well as an increase in local temperatures. Permeable driveways and other paving allow more water to return to the ground, which supports evaporation and contributes to temperature control.

Other Permeable Driveway Benefits

The environmental benefits of permeable driveways are among the most important, given the state of our planet. That said, permeable resin driveways have other advantages.

Let’s take a quick look at them.

Easy installation:

Resin-bound gravel permeable driveways are easy to install. You can do it yourself without any specialised machinery if you enjoy DIY, or you can hire one of SureSet’s Approved Installers to do the job quickly and professionally for you. What’s more, you don’t require planning permission if your driveway area is less than 5sqm.

 Durability

SureSet porous driveways are easy to maintain. Well-maintained, your driveway can be as durable as one paved with concrete. What’s more, resin driveway permeable paving adapts well to soil changes before the surface is affected, which means there’s less chance of buckling. SureSet comes with a 21-year guarantee.

Cost-Effective

While the materials used in permeable driveway installation may be slightly more expensive than those used for concrete or asphalt driveways, the latter may require specialised machinery, more skill, and expensive drainage systems. At SureSet, we strive to keep plastic grid driveway costs affordable. What’s more, a well-installed permeable resin driveway should have lower maintenance costs.

Soil erosion prevention

Excessive rainwater runoff can contribute to aggressive soil erosion. By allowing runoff to soak into the ground, gravel driveway binder and permeable resin can help prevent soil erosion.

Contact Us Today

The many benefits of SureSet permeable driveways make them an excellent choice for your property. Please contact us today if you have any queries or if you would like more information.

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