Permeable Pavers, The New Solution to Snow and Ice Removal
Winter is a beautiful time of the year. Snow-covered tree branches, cozy nights spent in warm homes, a cool nip to the air that fills the lungs with new life. Winter is a time for family, for merry-making, for warm meals and hot cocoa. Snowmen, snow forts, decorated trees, and dazzlingly lit city streetlights, this is truly a special time of the year. We don't get the four-month winters that the Midwest is known for, but what winter we get here in Nashville, we try to enjoy it,
But it can be a taxing time of year as well, because for all its beauty, snow and cold weather comes with complications and dangers. Snow is slippery, slushy, icy, and hazardous. Snow buildup makes it difficult to drive, hard to walk, and impossible to get around on anything with less than four wheels. In fact, some would even prefer treads over wheels, if they could get them.
It's Not All Warm Fireplaces and Good Food – Winter Time Comes with Snow and Ice Risk
When the winter comes to a close, the grand finale of danger is that iconic “freeze-thaw” period where the snow melts for a bit during the day, then the temperatures fall at night, and the freshly melted snow refreezes, but this time, as ice. Snow and ice throw us off balance, literally. And in Nashville and the middle-south region in general, this freeze-thaw season is a real problem.
As a nation, we’ve been contending with snow and ice for decades now, every year attempting to innovate new and better systems for creating safe city streets, driveways, sidewalks, and walking paths. Finally, with the advent of permeable paving, we have come across the “end-all” in reducing snow and ice risk for good.
How Permeable Pavers Create Safe Roads, Parking Lots, and Walking Paths
So how do permeable pavements, permeable pavers, pervious pavers, porous pavers, and permeable block paving systems help in snow and ice removal? They're certainly not heated, so we can rule that out. To understand this, all it takes is a simple understanding of how permeable pavers work. The rest is logic after that.
To be “permeable” means, by definition, to allow the passage of water or other liquids through the object. Permeable pavers are a highly sensible and advanced method of paving because they allow water to pass through the pavers and into aggregate rock layers installed beneath. This makes them eco-friendly too.
Why We Started Using Permeable Pavers – A Need for Stormwater Management
Permeable paving systems were first innovated as an eco-friendly solution to stormwater runoff issues in highly-developed and “over-paved” urban areas. During major city expansion in the mid-2000s in cities like Atlanta, Buffalo, Orlando, Miami, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Louisville, Memphis, Philadelphia, and Chicago, such cities began to struggle with water problems. These cities and others simply had too much concrete built too quickly, and stormwater simply had nowhere to go. Storm drain systems, water retention ponds, and rain gardens became overpowered, and flooding became a serious issue.
Enter in permeable paving systems, the solution to stormwater and flooding. Permeable pavers are laid on top of an aggregate rock layer, with sand and soil installed beneath that. Water strikes the pavers, flows through them, is filtered by the aggregate rocks below, and then filters once again into the sand and soil beneath, exactly as nature intended. Not only did permeable pavers solve a problem in handling stormwater better, but permeable pavers helped to recharge groundwater, creating a natural and eco-friendly solution to storms, rainwater, and flooding.
Permeable Pavers – An Eco-Friendly Solution, 365 Days a Year
Today, cities in northern climates are scrambling to implement permeable paving solutions for their city roads, parking lots, commercial lots, residential driveways, and sidewalks. Why? Not only do these systems address water runoff, but there is an added bonus that we haven't touched on yet. Permeable pavers are an eco-friendly solution, allowing for snow and ice melt through the pavers, which eliminates the buildup of slippery, hard packed snow or even the far more dangerous black ice.
Most paved surfaces allow for melted snow to refreeze to ice, but permeable pavers do not. When the snow melts, (a process which can be nudged along with deicing), the melted snow passes directly through the pavers and into the earth beneath, eliminating the need for more deicer, and eliminating the chances for more ice buildup too.
An Effective Solution to Snow Removal and Deicing
Cities that are now implementing permeable pavers are noticing up to eighty percent decreases in their salt usage, as the permeable pavers do most of the work for them. This means less rust on cars and less impact from excessive salt use on the local ecosystem as well.
And what better way to not only have peace of mind when walking or driving in the winter-time, but also to avoid pesky lawsuits, injuries, broken bones, and bent fenders? Permeable pavers make for a safer environment. It's just as simple as that. Falls on slippery or uneven surfaces are still one of the top causes of injury in the U.S., and the leading cause of preventable death in seniors, so having safer, slip-free walking and driving surfaces in the winter months is something that we can all get excited about.
No More Slip, No More Lawsuits – The Snow Removal Benefits of Permeable Pavers in the Winter
Wouldn’t it be almost utopian to have better snow removal solutions in the winter months, better snow plow efficiency, better snow cleaning, and easier driveway snow removal? We would enjoy the winter months that much more if this time of year was a little safer, and a little less hazardous.
All of that can be achieved with permeable pavers, due to the simple fact that pavers perform much of our snow removal tasks on their own. Permeable pavers eliminate standing water, so logically, they could also be used to eliminate standing ice. As the ice melts during that annoying freeze-thaw period, the now melted ice seeps through the pavers, as opposed to forming standing water which would ordinarily just freeze again later day or night. Say goodbye to constant slipping and falling, lawsuits, broken bones, and that nagging fear of an accident every time we go for a walk or a drive in the wintertime. Say hello to permeable pavers as everyone’s best snow and ice contingency plan.
Let’s Keep the Snowy Months Risk-Free with Efficient Snow Removal and Deicing Through Permeable Pavers
Are you ready to implement a permeable paving system into your commercial parking lot, residential drive, business entryway or sidewalk, or city path? Smart Scapes LLC is the leading innovator in permeable paving systems, hardscapes, permeable pavement, permeable maintenance and management, and all things eco-friendly and winter-minded. We’ll create a safe and efficient permeable system for you that offers safety benefits, eco-friendly aspects, and peace of mind, all year round. Call our direct line today to get started, (615) 422-5263.
The FAQ – Where Questions Get Answered!
Still have questions? Want to learn more? Checking Google for “Paving contractors near me,” or asking “Who is the best paving contractor in Nashville?” Take a moment to read over our Frequently Asked Questions section to get all of your questions answered right here. And if you still have questions, call our direct line to speak with a live person, a friendly staff member who can get those questions answered for you. We can be reached at (615) 422-5263.
For now, on to the FAQ!
- How much time does it take to get a permeable paving system installed?
- That depends on the size of the project and whether or not we are removing an old driveway or paved space. But our average time frame for most permeable installation projects is 1 to 2 weeks.
- Can you install a permeable system in the wintertime?
- To some degree! As long as the ground has not frozen (making it impossible for our equipment to dig into it) we can install permeable paving systems. However, we encourage our clients to get their permeable systems installed before winter arrives.
- Should I use rock salt on my permeable driveway or walking path?
- It's not recommended. Not only will rock salt damage the permeable pavers themselves, but rock salt is corrosive to cars. Plus, it's harmful to the environment. In our snow removal and deicing services, our team uses potassium/sodium chloride and other eco-friendly deicing agents to take care of snow melt and deicing. We can perform this service for you, or we can recommend the right products to use.
- Can I use a permeable paving system for my commercial building or business location?
- Absolutely, and in fact we encourage it! Many cities (including Nashville) are now offering incentives and encouragement for business owners and homeowners alike to switch over to permeable systems for their paved surfaces. It's better for the environment, and it reduces stress on storm drains.
- Do you offer snow removal services for your permeable-paved surfaces as well?
- We most certainly do. Smart Scapes LLC is a fully-equipped snow and ice removal and snow plowing service. Call our office at (615) 422-5263 for more information, pricing, and to get signed up for snow removal services this winter.
- How is a permeable driveway, parking lot, or road eco-friendly?
- Let's list the ways. No rock salt needed = good for the environment. Rain water and melted snow and ice transfers back into the ground, recharging water tables = very good for the environment. No need for excessive storm drain systems = no more heavy water runoff into ponds, lakes, and streams, which is also very good for the environment. Permeable paving systems create a paving opportunity where, as far as Mother Nature is concerned, it is as though there is no paving material on the ground at all. And that is very good for the environment!
Still have questions? Want to get a free estimate on a paved surface that won't collect ice this winter? Call our direct line at (615) 422-5263 and ask for David. He'll be happy to answer any questions you might have and set up a time for a free estimate. Imagine having a home or business where you, your family, your friends, and your customers can walk about freely without facing slipping hazards. That dream becomes a reality with permeable paving technology.