How I Came to Love Construction

Choosing Gravel For Your Paver Foundation

by Wade Black

When you're putting in permeable pavers in your yard, you need to build a solid foundation to support them. It's important that the foundation be porous, though. One of the best options for this kind of application is gravel, particularly mixtures made from crushed limestone and similar materials. This type of filler allows for sufficient drainage. Here are some of the different types of gravel you can choose from.

Fine gravel is ideal for stability because it packs in fairly tightly. This reduces the risk of having the pavers shift or crack due to insufficient support. However, that tight packing reduces its drainage ability. This can lead to water pooling up directly under the pavers and may even cause heaving if the temperatures drop below freezing. You'll only want to use fine gravel if you're not particularly worried about heavy or substantial rain.

Medium gravel contains larger pieces than fine gravel. That reduces how tightly it can pack, so you'll have better drainage. It does pack in tight enough to support the pavers, though. It's actually an ideal mixture because it packs tight enough for stability without being so tight that it interferes with drainage. This helps the pavers stand up to traffic without worry of water pooling and causing other damage.

Coarse gravel is best for higher demand areas. If your gravel is going to have to stand up to a lot of traffic and lots of weight, you may want to invest in coarse gravel instead. This gravel consists of larger stone sizes so it offers more support against lots of weight, like that from construction equipment or heavy gear. Coarse gravel also ensures the most drainage because of the larger holes between the stone.

Recycled gravel is another great choice. It's not made from limestone like most gravel products. Instead, it's usually produced from ground-up concrete. It has a similar texture to the traditional gravel products but it's usually more affordable. If you're looking for a more cost-effective choice that is just as effective for your needs, you may want to talk with your supplier about the benefits of recycled gravel for your project.

With so many different options, choosing the right one takes some time. Be objective about what your property really needs in terms of drainage and stability. That way, you can be sure that your pavers will be strong and stable for years to come without concern of water damage.