Environmentally Friendly Grass Pavers and Turf Pavers

 

A major benefit of grass and turf pavers is that they allow the drainage of storm water back into the underground soil. Grass and turf pavers are environmentally friendly, for the storm water runoff is recycled, rather than going into our waterways.

Grass Pavers Grid System

Turf and Grass Pavers Grid System

Turf / Grass pavers are environmentally friendly in another area, which is the grid system. The grid system is made from plastic, and most companies’ use 100% recycled plastic material in the production of the grids. Other grass pavers are made from concrete material.

Protect natural resources

If more and more homeowners, contractors, builders, designers and architects were to use Permeable Pavers for their driveways, street pavements, public grounds, parks and parking lots, then we could help protect our precious natural resources, such as; water, the natural environment and all the flora and fauna that goes into it.

Easy Installation

Another great benefit of using grass pavers and turf pavers for the consumer is that they are easy to assemble and install. The grid system requires no tools for assembly, and can simply be cut into corners.

Also, if your surface is uneven or slopping, you don’t have to do a thing, the grid system will go straight on top of any surface.

Aesthetic Advantage of Grass and Turf Pavers

Grass / turf pavers have an aesthetic advantage as well. Lush green grass will continue onto the driveway for example, hence your front lawns can remain uniform, without being damaged. The grid system will enable you to protect your lawns, even when parking cars on it!

Grass / Turf Pavers Maintenance

After installation of grass / turf pavers, maintenance is very minimal. It should be treated as if it were part of your front lawns. Therefore, you would water and mow the grass pavers system.

When plowing the grass pavers for snow removal, the blades should be lifted so as to clear the grass surface. It is also recommended to fit rollers to your plow machines and have your blades permanently lifted.

Maintenance Schedule

The primary maintenance requirement is to clean the drainage voids surface. When dirt and debris fill up the drainage openings, this can reduce the water flow capacity. By carrying out this cleaning process on a regular basis, you can help to prevent the natural clogging from becoming a serious problem.

Here is a quick maintenance checklist:

  • You should inspect your site on a monthly basis, in the first few months after installation. Then after this the inspection should be done annually.
  • Vacuum sweeping followed by high pressure hosing should ideally be carried out four times a year.
  • Repair cracks and potholes promptly, or replace with new paving systems

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Types of Permeable Pavers

About Permeable or Pervious Pavers

When it rains water hits a road or a pavement that is not permeable and will automatically flow downwards to a low point, normally a drain of some type.

Then this water is transported through pipes and then will flow into rivers, streams and channels.

When there have been heavy storms and rainfall the water will flow through the channels at amazing speeds and will in turn take with them a lot of sediment, pollutants, chemicals and oils into our catchment areas.

Permeable Pavers

 

High speeds of water flow will also increase the risk of flooding, erosion and perhaps even damages to the natural environment. The consequences are serious for both human beings and our natural flora and fauna; storm water runoff can cause grave environmental problems.

Grass Pavers

 

 

Different types of permeable pavers

When choosing the types of permeable paver that’s best for your particular application, there are a few things to consider, like what the area will be used for and how you want the overall appearance to look.

Mulches

 

Mulches are good for areas that will not be used very much at all. They are a good pervious material and are cost effective and readily available, they are also extremely easy to install and do not require the help of a professional. You can purchase mulches such as; pebbles, barks, gravel or sod, it’s up to you.

Mulch

They are also available in a wide range of colors, so there is something for all individual tastes. Mulches do however require regular maintenance and you will also have to top up their levels quite often.

Grass Pavers

Grass Pavers

Grass Pavers are becoming very popular, for they have great permeable qualities. These pavers are made with voids on the pavers, which is where once installed, grass or vegetation is planted inside and allowed to grow through the paver.

The pavers themselves can be made from plastic, concrete or gravel, and can be used in high traffic areas. They allow grass to grow where it would normally not be a possibility.

 

Interlocking Concrete Pavers

There is a range of Interlocking Concrete Pavers that are also Permeable Pavers. These pavers are made to resemble a type of grid, where each paver interlocks into each other but has a void or a hole in the surface.

This is where it is possible to plant vegetation or fill it with other pervious materials like gravel or mulches. These voids allow for the filtration of rain water back into the sub-soils, rather than in our waterways.

Concrete pavers

 

Permeable or Pervious Pavers FAQ's

 

Frequently asked questions about permeable pavers…

Q. What are Permeable Pavers?

 

A. Permeable pavers allow water to filtrate through the surface and down into the ground beneath. Unlike other paving materials where the water hits the surface then naturally flows to the lowest point possible, which is normally a drain, which would mean that this water is transported to our waterways.

Therefore, water is absorbed into the earth rather than flooding and contaminating our waterways.

Grass Pavers

 

Q. Where Can Permeable or Pervious Pavers be Used?

Permeable Driveway

 

A. Permeable pavers are used for many commercial and residential applications. They are commonly used for driveways, emergency access lanes, fire lanes, soil and land stabilization, public parks, parking lots and for landscaping purposes.

 

Q. What Materials are Permeable Pavers made of?

A. Permeable pavers are made from many different materials, and the one that is right for you will depend on the site where they will be installed and what the site will be used for. Here are some of the materials commonly used:

  • There are Grass Pavers, which are made form plastic grids, and have vegetation planted in the holes or voids.
  • All kinds of Mulches can be used to create a permeable surface, such as; sod, gravel and bark.
  • Porous Concrete is also another type of material used to create a permeable surface, for it has pores or small holes, which is formed in the special mixture of concrete.
  • Interlocking Concrete Pavers are a popular choice in permeable paving. They are made to look like concrete grids and are filled in with some sort of pervious material; sand, gravel, mulch.

Interlocking Concrete Pavers

 

Q. Are they more Expensive than Traditional Pavers?

Installing permebale Pavers

 

A. You could say that they are a little more expensive to purchase in the initial stages, than the more traditional types of pavers, however, in the long run they can actually end up saving you money.

The reason is that when installing Permeable pavers you don’t have to spend money on drainage pipes and retention systems, because it’s all automatic. The paved surface will automatically drain most of the water that hits it. Therefore, you will save some money in the installation stage.

 

Q. Are Permeable Pavers strong enough to handle heavy loads and large vehicles?

 

A. What happens is that permeable pavers resist heavy loads and forces by forming an interlock between them. The interlocking method of permeable pavers like the Grass and Concrete pavers allows the forces to be dispersed and transferred to the whole surface.

It is recommended that you consider what the pavement will be used for and make sure that you do the correct research to ensure that your installation is suitable and will last.

Grass Pavers

 

Q. Do Permeable Pavers require a lot of maintenance?

A. In order to get the best performance and drainage capacity from your pavers it is necessary to maintain them. The general requirements are that you sweep them on a regular basis, vacuum them about four times a year, and re-fill in the voids when necessary.

 

Grass and Turf Pavers Installation

 

The following will discuss the installation of a driveway using Grass/ Turf Pavers. They are a type of permeable paver and are very good for irrigation. They are so easy to install, that you can certainly attempt to do it yourself or seek the services of a trained professional.

Plan and Layout

Starts with a Plan

 

As with any installation, it is very important to plan out your proposed project site. It is recommended that you even draw your layout on a piece of paper and draw it to scale as well. This helps you measure out and calculate how much of each material you need to purchase, and it will also assist you in developing a budget.

So if you work out that it will cost too much, you can simply alter the plan, by perhaps reducing the size to cut costs. It also makes it a lot easier to mark out the dimensions of your installation, using your plan as a guide.

 

Materials Needed

Here is a list of the tools and materials that you will need for your Grass/ Turf Pavers installation:

  • Sod Roller
  • Vibrating Plate Compactor
  • Cement Sand
  • Topsoil
  • Power Cutter
  • Handsaw
  • Shovel
  • Crushed Gravel or Stone
  • Spirit Level
  • Grass Pavers
  • Sod or Seedlings
  • Sharp Knife
  • Drainage System

Sod Roller

 

Power Cutter

 

Step One: Grading Your Site

Grading your site is a very important step in the success of your Grass/ Turf installation. You must first of all observe the slope of the existing project site, if it seems like it is too flat, then you will need to incorporate grading into your installation.

The reason for this is that if there is no slope then water will flood the driveway and create puddles, thereby weakening the strength and durability of your driveway. This you definitely do not want!

 

So the idea is to have a slight slope in the installation, in the direction going away from the house. This will enable the water to flow down towards the road and not cause water damage on your driveway now or in the future.

Correct Grading before installing grass pavers

Working out the correct grade of your site is simply. All you need to do is place a level on a long level piece of 2 by 4. As a guide it is recommended that you have a 1% grade, or a ¼ inch of a bead drop on your level. It is important for the slope not to be too steep, but just enough for the rain to run off.

 

Step Two: Drainage

Installing a simple drainage system is a wise move. You can purchase a catch basin and drain from your local hardware store. The best place for this drainage system is at the lowest spot in the driveway. Once you have determined the lowest spot, install the drainage system. The drainage system will connect to an underground pipe that will lead all the rain water to the streets.

 

                                                  Step Three: Ground Preparation

Using a plate compactor

 

To start off with, dig out a trench of about 6 inches deep, for your entire driveway coverage. Once you have done this, it is now time to implement your layer of base material. Create a ¾ of an inch layer of crushed stone or gravel.

It should be spread out evenly and then with the use of a plate compactor, compact the base material. These vibrating plate compactors can be rented from your local equipment and machine hire outlet. Smooth out the base material for a second time and compact it down again.

 

Step Four: Laying Plastic Grid Pavers

 

Now your surface is ready for the laying of the plastic grid grass pavers. They are so easy to install for they are very lightweight and are a honeycomb like, interlocking based system. Grass Pavers are also very cost effective.

They are purchased from any store that caters to irrigation needs. They are made from 100% recycled plastic, however, there is also concrete and clay ones available.

Laying the grass / turf paver plastic grid

It is recommended that you lay the Grass Pavers across the width of your driveway and not by the length of the driveway. So lay the pavers across the entire driveway site, interlocking the sections as you go, and cutting the pieces where necessary, with the use of a power cutter or handsaw. Be gentle and ensure that you do not disturb the hard work you have done with the base material. Now compact the surface area.

 

Step Five: Sand and Soil

Now that the pavers are in place, cover them with a thin layer of coarse cement sand. Followed by, a second layer, consisting of high quality topsoil.

The soil helps to develop the root system of the seedlings or the sod. Seedlings can be planted into the plastic grid grass pavers. It does take a long time for them to reach the desired look.

 

The richer the soil is the more fertile it will be, and this will help maintain a lush green look. For the sod to be a success, the plastic grids pavers should be at least half filled with the cement sand and the top quality fertile soil.

 

Step Six: Sod or Seedlings

As discussed above, the seedlings will take some time to develop, so you can always plant sod. The choice is yours, if you want to wait a little longer for results, by all means plant in the seedlings or young vegetation.

If you decide to use sod, then commence rolling it out in the same direction that you laid the plastic Grass Pavers, and then to reduce the amount of cuts and lines in your sod installation, butt the edges together.

This will help to bind the rows and eliminate browning of the edges. The sod can be cut with a sharp knife if necessary.

 

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