How Porous Asphalt Is Good For You and the Environment

With climate change being as it is, it is up to everyone to do their part in conserving the environment. One such way is by using environmentally-friendly material like porous asphalt for different projects. So if you are an environmentally-conscious business owner and you want to have your parking lot renovated or installed, you should ask your asphalt contractor for porous asphalt.

How does it work?

Porous asphalt is made of lower concentration particles (fines) than the usual asphalt. These fewer fines are what make the asphalt porous, allowing water to drain through it through small openings that are hard to see with an untrained eye.

Underneath the porous asphalt is a stone recharge bed made up of uniformly screened, clean washed stones. The depth of the stone bed is usually determined by the quantity of stormwater, frost depth during winter and how well the site has been evened out to give a solid foundation. One advantage of having the stone bed is that the porous asphalt has fewer cracks and pothole formations than conventional asphalt.

The bottom of the stone bed is not compacted in order to allow even distribution and infiltration of water from the porous asphalt over the entire area. This water then moves into the soil underneath the water bed and eventually seeps into streams, ponds and lakes in the surrounding area.

Alternatively, the porous asphalt could be put over a conventional, impervious road base, rather than the stone bed. This way, once the water passes through the porous asphalt, it is redirected to the storm drains along the side of the road.

How is it good for the environment?

Rainwater carries along a lot of contaminants from roofs and roads as it comes down. Without any filtration, these contaminants get into the natural waterways, contaminating them and endangering both humans and animals that use these natural water resources. With porous asphalt, the stone bed beneath it acts as a filter. The bed holds the water allowing it to slowly filter into the earth and in the process leaving most of its contaminants behind.

Even without the stone bed, the porous asphalt over a conventional road base greatly improves the water quality in the storm drains so the water can be collected and used for other purposes.

How is it good for you?

Roads tend to be rather slippery after a storm and during winter. Having a porous asphalt pavement eliminates the splash and spray while driving, greatly increasing visibility for you and other drivers in your parking lot.

Porous pavements also need less de-icing and anti-icing practices. Ice and snow melt faster on porous asphalt so you will need less salt to clear your parking lot in the winter, and you and other users will be safer.