Environmentally Green Paving
Did you know that more tons of asphalt pavement are recycled annually in the United States than any other material, including aluminum and paper? Did you know that every bit of asphalt pavement can be recycled? If you were already aware of these facts, you may be wondering how asphalt pavement could possibly be made even more eco-friendly. The answer lies in an environmentally green product known as porous or permeable asphalt pavement.
Environmentally Green Paving – What Are the Differences Between Porous Asphalt Pavement and Traditional Asphalt Pavement?
The primary difference is the way that the two different pavements deal with water. Traditional asphalt pavement is designed to be waterproof. When it rains or when ice and snow melt, the water flows off the pavement and into storm drains. Porous asphalt pavement is designed to have little pores in it that let the water percolate through the pavement. Underneath the pavement, a special drainage system channels the water back into the soil surrounding the pavement.
Why Is the Method of Handling Water Important?
If asphalt pavement were always free from chemicals that could potentially contaminate the lakes or rivers into which storm water flows, the method would be of no consequence. However, all pavements typically have oil spills or other automotive fluid leaks as well as residue from deicing agents. Introducing these chemicals into the water supply is far from ideal for the environment. With porous asphalt pavement, any contaminants are kept in situ.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Porous Asphalt Pavement?
The benefits of porous asphalt pavement include the reduction or elimination of tire splashes, dramatically reduced puddling on the pavement’s surface and the ability to use the water collected to replenish the property’s water table. These benefits are in addition to the environmental issues already discussed.
The biggest disadvantage is that porous asphalt cannot be used if the pavement must support heavy trucks or a high volume of vehicles. As manufacturers improve the product, you may one day find porous asphalt pavement on airport runways, major highways and at truck stops. For now, its use is mostly limited to parking lots for passenger vehicles, walks, residential driveways and similar areas.
Although all asphalt pavements should be cleaned regularly, cleaning is especially important for porous asphalt. Sand, oil, salt or other particles can accumulate in the pores, and if the pores are clogged, water will not drain through them. Porous asphalt pavement can be cleaned with a vacuum or a power washer. Most porous pavements need a professional cleaning every six months.
Contact Dirtworks for All of Your Asphalt Pavement Needs
Dirtworks is a locally owned paving contractor serving the Cape Cod area. We have extensive experience in all areas of paving, excavation and site work. We are dedicated to giving every customer quality results, superior service and reasonable prices. Whether you need a road constructed, a parking lot sealcoated or any other asphalt-related service, we can help. You can submit our online form to request a free quote or call us at 508-240-5541.