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Why Choose a Permeable Patio?

January 16, 2024
Inspiration for a patio remodel in Cleveland

Patios are beautiful outdoor spaces that give a sense of openness and comfort at the same time. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. But did you know that they can also be built just about anywhere? You may think that patios can only be built on land that needs to be dry and that doesn’t get swampy, but what about areas that don’t drain water so well? A permeable patio is the solution to such a problem.

Just what is a “permeable patio,” then? Simply put, it is a patio that allows water to pass through it. This type of patio allows water to drain away from it instead of letting the water collect on it and potentially damaging it. Permeable patios are perfect for areas that need to consider an effective water management system in order to preserve the strength and shape of the structure.

This type of system is not only for patios! “Permeable construction” is a method of building that emphasizes water management that has been used in all kinds of structures, such as roadways, walkways, and buildings. This is actually one of the oldest building methods (take Machu Picchu and Petra, for ancient examples) and has proven to be a reliable solution for building solid spaces in both dry and wet areas. Over the years, permeable construction has not changed much, but rather improved upon. There are more modern inventions like perforated drain tile, plastic piping, storm drains, and so on, but the desire to make a plan to manage water in a building project remains unchanged.

You may now be asking what the advantages of such a management system might be. Three major advantages would be:

  • The possibility of building a patio in both wet and dry areas, allowing for more freedom in choosing a location for the project.
  • The added benefit of storm management, where large amounts of water can be redirected with subsurface containment centers and then naturally dissipated into the ground.
  • The permanency of the patio, because a water management system rightly placed will allow such spaces to last a lifetime and longer.

But how do we then utilize this system? When designing and building a patio space, we need to consider these three methods of capturing and draining water:

1. Catch Basins

This method is used when we can identify various low spots, the directional flow of water, and areas where water is naturally collecting.

2. Sheet Flow

This method is used when we can grade a yard or pitch a paver patio in a way that slightly slopes a wide area in the natural direction of the land or to a trench drain or channel drain system located at a low point where water can collect away from the structure.

3. Subsurface Drainage

This method is used most frequently in permeable patio construction, where the drainage system is completely underneath the patio, allowing the entire space to be both a dry area and an effective drain management system for the property. Water is collected and channeled to drain tiles under the patio and then diverted to either the storm system, a dry well, buried water tanks, a leach field, or a safe exit point downhill and away from the house’s foundation.

At this point, a permeable patio certainly seems to be the most advantageous and effective solution to patio construction. This system of water management is not only time-tested, but also long-lasting, bringing peace of mind to the entire project.

Are you considering a patio project for your home or business? We can help! Let’s work together and get started planning your perfect patio space!