The Downsides of Permeable Pavers

the downsides of permeable paversAs an eco-friendly alternative to conventional paving materials, permeable pavers have steadily gained popularity throughout the US. These surfaces permit water to pass through them, diminishing stormwater spillover and advancing groundwater re-energization.

While they offer a few distinct advantages, they’re not perfect. Recognizing the disadvantages of permeable pavers will help you make more informed decisions for your yard, while also giving you a better idea of what to expect from them.


The possibility of clogging is a major concern. Permeable pavers’ inability to effectively drain water can be hindered by accumulating organic matter, sediment, and debris in their joints and voids over time. While you may be tempted to use weed killer to clear out your permeable pavers, it will flow straight through and impact the water table. Therefore, plan on proactive maintenance if investing in permeable pavers.

Limited Suitability for High-traffic Areas

Their limited suitability for high-traffic areas is another disadvantage. Permeable pavers may not endure the steady weight and stress applied by vehicles or high numbers of people walking through. Their permeable nature makes them more vulnerable to high usage, possibly bringing about untimely disintegration and decreased sturdiness.

While they can be supported with extra layers or balancing out materials, such changes might sabotage their permeability and nullify the point of involving them.

High Installation Cost

Another factor to consider is the initial cost of installing permeable pavers. Permeable pavers can be more expensive than conventional pavement materials like concrete or asphalt due to the following:

  • Specialized design
  • Installation requirements
  • Need for additional maintenance

Despite the long-term advantages of reduced stormwater runoff and improved water quality, the initial investment may discourage some individuals or communities from selecting permeable pavers.

Aesthetic Considerations

Permeable pavers are also associated with aesthetic considerations. The extraordinary look of these pavers may not align with everybody’s liking or the ideal stylishness of specific spaces. They may not be as popular or accepted in all settings because some people may find them less visually appealing than traditional paving materials.

The Upside of Permeable Pavers

Despite these drawbacks, permeable pavers have huge natural advantages. These include:

  • Aiding in water infiltration
  • Preserving natural hydrological processes
  • Reducing the heat island effect

In urban areas, permeable pavers can also help in the following:

  • Reduce flooding
  • Filter pollutants from water before they hit the water table
  • Encourage landscaping growth

Viking Pavers encourages individuals and communities to use permeable pavers in light of these considerations. We understand the drawbacks related to these materials; however, we trust that the benefits can offset the disadvantages with appropriate preparation, installation, and upkeep. By collaborating with experienced experts like Viking Pavers, people and networks can guarantee the drawn-out process of permeable paver projects.

Permeable Pavers aren’t Your Only Option

While some cities require the use of permeable pavers for new installations, you often have other options for combining superior drainage with your new paver installation.

One option is to install a cistern or basin below your paver project. Instead of creating a cavity below your entire installation, this option allows you to use traditional drains and drain pipes to carry the water to an underground basin, where it can then safely leech into the soil. There should also be an overflow for water above a certain threshold, at which point it safely flows away.

Another option is the “reverse French drain.” Regular French drains are designed to collect water from the environment and convey it through your landscaping until it can reach street-level drainage. “Reverse” French drains instead absorb water that flows through them so it can dissipate into your soil before it reaches the street drain.

Trust the Experts

If you need help determining which option is for you, consider booking a consultation with a specialist. Our team will be happy to evaluate your landscaping, soil composition, grade, and municipal laws to determine the best options for your unique property.

Viking Pavers has much experience designing and installing permeable pavers that look good, while being good for the environment at the same time. We offer professional direction from material determination to project finish, to guarantee that your permeable paver project meets your particular requirements and objectives. Allow us to assist you with having a constructive effect on the climate while creating delightful and functional open-air spaces.