Pervious Concrete Care and Maintenance
Florida has been at the forefront of construction using pervious concrete, especially for pavements, since the 1970s to manage water runoff, flooding and erosion. Numerous pervious concrete pavement projects, as part of carefully designed infiltration system for storm water management, have been successfully finished and is in service statewide, for over a decade now. Today, homeowners and developers are also following sustainable development practices and using pervious concrete to stop erosion and prevent puddling. These permeable pavement surfaces with an underlying reservoir to store surface runoff, requires specific maintenance procedures for maximum efficiency.
Most of the pervious concrete pavements require minimal or no maintenance but often sand, dirt, rocks, leaves and other debris creep into the void structure of the pervious concrete clogging the flow of water. Routine cleaning to catch and remove materials and sediment particles before they get deeper into the concrete matrix can help prevent anything from affecting the pervious concrete’s permeability. Regular dry-sweeping can keep mulch, sand, debris and topsoil from accumulating on the surface. According to a study by University of Central Florida, the standard practices for cleaning pervious concrete should include pressure washing, power blowing and vacuum sweeping. Dry-vacuuming the surface annually with a vacuum sweeper can help dislodge and remove hidden dirt and debris. In some cases, where routine cleaning has been neglected, more aggressive maintenance with pressure washers or power blowers may be required to extricate debris particles from the top surface of the pervious concrete, and restore 80% to 90% of the permeability. Along with routine periodic cleaning, the pavement’s porosity and rate of water percolation should be checked to ensure proper functionality of the pavement and storm water system.
Pervious concrete works well in cold weather climates because of its innate ability to withstand freeze-thaw cycles. The fast drainage of the surface tends to prevent saturation of the voids at the time of freezing thus reducing freezing puddles and black ice formation on the surface. Additionally frost does not impact surface infiltration rate because of open void spaces that allows snow to melt quickly and the nature of permeable concrete which works as a porous medium, even when it freezes. But to prevent damage to the pervious concrete pavement, it is critical to maintain the large voids and prevent saturation for durability through the cold weather conditions.
Ice and snow can be mechanically removed using snowblowers or snowplows but snow piles should not be left to melt over pervious concrete as the sediments can clog the system. The void structure aids in faster thawing of snow on the pavement surface at temperatures modestly below freezing so deicing chemicals and anti-skid materials are not needed as much, and therefore should be used sparingly. Avoid deicing agents that contain fertilizer ingredients such as ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate, as they can wear off the concrete surface. It is better not to apply sand for snow or ice conditions but salt can be used in moderation. There should be a thorough surface cleaning following the winter season.
There should be proper design followed for drainage of all unpaved surrounding areas to be directed away from the pervious concrete pavement so that debris does not flow into the concrete’s voids to affect its durability. Materials like leaves, twigs, dirt, sand and other debris may be dragged to the pervious concrete pavement by wind or traffic which may impact the porosity so periodic cleaning or dry sweeping of the surrounding areas may be necessary too. Landscaping materials such as mulch and topsoil should never be stored on the pervious concrete pavement.
Longevity of pervious concrete pavement is possible through minimal maintenance, which is basically following some preventive measures to stop clogging of the void structure. Properly constructed pervious concrete that is maintained well is highly durable and can last 20 to 40 years because of its natural characteristic capability of handling extreme temperature impact.
Call Davis Concrete today, the experts in supplying pervious concrete that is important for any green-building project.