Houston homeowners know all about flooding. Whether it’s a sudden monsoon or tropical storm, our city gets a lot of rain. Cities and counties in the Houston area are addressing this problem through new regulations requiring new builds, or even home additions and renovations, to account for drainage before the permits are issued.
Fortunately, improvements in pavers and other hardscaping have created a solution to your increased drainage needs. You won’t need to dig out a retention pond or add a basin to your yard, you can simply add a new driveway that will both increase your home’s value and look great while managing the water runoff in your yard.
There are a few types of driveway pavers for water drainage available, but a common one in our area is a permeable paver system.
Permeable Driveway Pavers for Water Drainage
Permeable pavers look like regular pavers and are made of concrete, but they are installed over a trench of gravel or other aggregates that holds the water underneath the stones so it doesn’t run off into the street. The water is then absorbed into the ground beneath the pavers instead of flooding your yard or overflowing into the storm drains.
There are lots of benefits to using permeable pavers to manage stormwater runoff.
- They create sustainable landscapes that reduce erosion from fast-moving streams of water and control the flow of water across your property.
- They allow you to increase the size of your home or building by reducing the amount of the lot that is impervious to drainage.
- Builders using permeable pavers might qualify for LEED credits or other “green building” incentives.
- Permeable pavers are beautiful and come in various colors to add the perfect touch to your home. They add more interest than plain concrete driveways and contribute to an elegant and upscale look.
- They eliminate standing water wherever they are placed in your yard because the water flows down below the pavers. This eliminates mosquito breeding grounds and reduces the amount of spraying that is needed to control them.
- If you live in the City of Houston, you can save money on the drainage fee associated with impermeable surfaces. This Houston drainage fee is 3.2 cents per square foot, and traditional concrete driveways are usually considered impermeable surfaces. An average 2-car driveway is 20×24 (which is 480 square feet of space) can cost almost $185 a year just in extra fees, not counting walkways, patios, and the area covered by your home.
Impervious Lot Calculation: What Is It and Why Should You Care?
Let’s talk about that impermeable surface calculation, sometimes called Impervious Lot Calculation.
When permits are issued for building new homes or building additions, cities and counties require developers to calculate how much of each lot will be covered by surfaces that do not absorb water. These are impervious surfaces and include almost all areas not covered by landscaping or dirt.
This is the area of your property that water will just run off of instead of soaking into the ground, and this calculation helps municipalities determine how many and how big storm drains need to be. During a major flooding event, such as the Tax Day Floods of 2016, these drains can be overwhelmed, but reducing the number of impervious surfaces can help prevent flooding and property damage.
There are new, stricter limits on how much of a lot can be covered in these impervious areas. For example, in Fort Bend County, a ⅙ acre lot (7200 sq. ft.) can only be 55% covered with an impermeable surface. In the City of Houston, homes under 7,500 sq. ft. must provide water detention if more than 65%of the lot is impervious.
Luckily, Houston considers permeable pavers to be green stormwater infrastructure – a best practice in managing water flowing off your property. For best results, permeable driveway pavers for water drainage should be installed by credentialed professionals. Pavertime is certified by ICPI, which you can find out more about here.
Driveway Pavers are Affordable
More and more local municipalities such as the City of Houston, Memorial Villages, Bellaire, and others are starting to increase their water drainage requirements, which can mean installing water retention ponds, basins, area drains, or other infrastructure.
Installation of permeable pavers can cost more than a traditional slab driveway because the area needs to be dug out and a layer of aggregate added to help the water filter down. However, the overall cost could be less than adding a driveway, drainage, and trenches to control the water in your yard. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to use more of your lot because the drainage happens under the pavers.
At Pavertime, we are experts in permeable pavers, and we work with impervious lot calculations to fix drainage issues in Houston quite often. We can give you an expert assessment of your home’s needs and help you determine the best course of action to get the yard of your dreams while taking control of your water flow and flooding prevention.
Give us a call at 832-831-6058 or fill out our form, and let’s talk about your paver project.