Ask About Asphalt: Is Porous or Non-Porous Right for You?

Whether you're looking for a solution for your personal home driveway or for your commercial property's car park, asphalt is an appealing answer. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it's also easy to maintain and looks tidy and professional. You could say it's a perfect choice — but even so, it's not the only choice you'll have to make. There are many different kinds of asphalt available for purchase, but one key decision you'll make to make is whether you'd like your asphalt to be porous or not.

What's the Difference?

Porous asphalt contains tiny holes in it which allow water to drain through it. It's usually installed as a means of preventing flooding, as the holes give the water an 'escape route' through to the ground. By contrast, non-porous asphalt is very solid, and water will sit on top of it without soaking through. Finally, porous asphalt tends to be cooler, as the holes within it allow airflow; non-porous asphalt does not.

Do They Cost the Same?

Porous asphalt is slightly more expensive than its non-porous counterpart. This is largely because it requires the construction of a base layer below the asphalt to collect the water, usually constructed of stone. As such, non-porous asphalt is cheaper — but if you're using porous asphalt instead of a traditional dedicated drainage system, you'll be saving a lot of money.

How are They Maintained?

It's easy to maintain all kinds of asphalt. It's a famously long-lasting material. However, greater care may need to be taken with porous asphalt. This is because it can become clogged if not cleaned correctly, or frequently enough. Pressure washing it occasionally should prevent this issue, but it is worth bearing in mind, especially if you'll be covering a big surface area.

Which is Best for Me?

Of course, it's a personal choice and entirely depends on the location and needs of your property. As a general rule, however, porous asphalt is generally used for commercial enterprises where flooding would constitute a greater problem. If your home driveway is small, and especially if it is elevated, it may not be necessary for you. However, you can always ask an expert contractor for their opinion on your specific property.

Either kind of asphalt will likely serve you well. It's a durable material, capable of resisting heavy usage and requiring little upkeep. However, it's well worth putting some thought into which type will serve your purpose best. It may help you avoid unnecessary headaches in the long run.