Permeable Pavers

Permeable interlocking concrete pavement is designed to be as porous as possible, allowing water to adequately flow into an aggregate base, preventing flooding.

Commercial Solutions

We are proud of the reputation we’ve built as one of the leading commercial paving companies operating anywhere in the Carolinas or the surrounding areas today.

Municipal Solutions

Creating an innovative sustainable and ecologically friendly environment through low impact development, reducing major problems such as flooding and erosion.

Residential Solutions

Breathe new life into an outdoor area of your home using pavers, brick, stone, granite or permeables. We’ll guide you through creating the space of your dreams.

Permeable Solutions

Control storm water before, during and after extreme weather events as well as improve overall water quality thanks to the imbedded filtering system with Permeable Solutions.

Value Engineering

During projects, we provide better, more organized processes and procedures in an effort to better eliminate unnecessary costs that are discovered within the industry.

Products

Explore our paver products for concrete pavers, retaining walls, permeable pavers, sealers, joint stabilizers & accessories, clay pavers, natural stone pavers, slab & roof systems & porcelain tiles.

Unit Paving Blog

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The Latest

A Beginner’s Guide to Hardscaping: Permeable Pavers

Permeable Pavers
November 28, 2018

With such a variety of materials available for hardscaping — from slate to river stone, and from concrete to steel, why has Unit Paving chosen to specialize in permeable pavers? Why, for that matter, do so many of our customers […]

Commercial Solutions

A Beginner’s Guide to Hardscaping: Retaining Walls

November 21, 2018

Retaining walls don’t usually draw attention to themselves. As Gardenista notes, “When a retaining wall does it job right, you may not even know it’s there. Think of retaining walls as support hose for sloped terrain: they hold everything in […]

Commercial Solutions

A Beginner’s Guide to Hardscaping: Concrete Pavers

November 14, 2018

If it’s time for hardscape design, it’s time to call Unit Paving. For nearly three decades, we’ve helped homeowners, businesses, and municipalities in North and South Carolina with a range of residential and commercial hardscaping needs. Our clientele know us […]

Residential Solutions

A Beginner’s Guide to Hardscaping: Driveways

November 9, 2018

When we think about curb appeal, many homeowners tend to think about the more obvious things, like green spaces, planting, and the condition of our homes. But there’s something else that can go a long way toward enhancing curb appeal […]

If you’re planning a commercial paving project, we hope you’re thinking long-term. That means looking past immediate concerns of planning and cost, and thinking of future considerations like maintenance, drainage, use, and sustainability. We must also confess to an ulterior […]

Paving projects, whether they’re residential or commercial, aren’t as simple as Unit Paving Inc makes them look. We take as much care in the planning that precedes a project, and the cleanup that follows, as we do with the many […]

Whether you’re a business owner, developer, or city manager planning for a town or city, odds are better than even that you are not working with a limitless budget. When you’re faced with a major project like planning and installing […]

Permeable Pavers

Debunking Permeable Paving Myths

October 9, 2018

Even though Unit Paving Inc specializes in Value Engineering through permeable interlocking pavers, we are well aware of one inescapable fact: like any other product or service, ours will not be for everyone. Residential and commercial paving projects take so […]

Municipal Solutions

Planning for a Municipal Paving Project

September 30, 2018

Running a city is challenging enough on its own. You’re trying to strike a delicate balance between keeping property taxes under control, preserving infrastructure, conserving green spaces, maintaining quality of life, and keeping your constituents happy. When the time comes […]

Municipal Solutions

Comparing Common Commercial Paving Methods

September 25, 2018

By definition, commercial paving projects are a delicate balancing act. Cash-strapped municipalities and businesses operating on thin margins need to find materials that can withstand unpredictable weather, high traffic volume, and heavy loads. The finished product, whether it’s a parking […]

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Retaining walls don’t usually draw attention to themselves. As Gardenista notes, “When a retaining wall does it job right, you may not even know it’s there. Think of retaining walls as support hose for sloped terrain: they hold everything in place. Discreetly.” But if you stop to look for them, you suddenly realize they’re everywhere. What do they do, and how do they fit within the grand scheme of your hardscape design? Just as importantly, if you decide you need a retaining wall, who should you contact? The answers to these questions are easier than you might think — especially that last one, at least if you live in the Carolinas. You call Unit Paving.

What Retaining Walls Do

Retaining walls combat soil erosion. They’re an especially welcome addition if your property is hilly, since they act to retain soil on a grade. If your home is at the foot of a hill, a retaining wall prevents landslides from the slope above; if your home is higher up — especially on a property where the road and sidewalk cut through a hilly area — it increases the amount of flat land available, protects your foundation, and more.

Other Retaining Wall Functions

Retaining walls have other functions that are incidental to their intended purpose. Low or terraced walls can provide a bit of seating. They can also be used to delineate planting areas, control rainwater runoff, and contribute beauty to your landscape.

Retaining Wall Materials

There are a few different ways to build a retaining wall, and a wide range of retaining wall products open to you. Wood is popular because it’s inexpensive. However, if you’re working in an area with wet soil, it’s also prone to wear and rot. Poured concrete or steel are more durable, but if the drainage isn’t handled properly, you may find water collecting unexpectedly and rotting root structures or damaging your foundation. Stone or concrete block can be used to great effect, and can complement the architecture of a home, but their installation is equal parts art and science. An experienced paving contractor can help you choose the configuration and materials that will work best for your property.

Design and Building Considerations

Many homeowners try the DIY approach only to find that they’ve caused as many problems as they’ve solved. Different municipalities have different permit requirements for retaining walls. A poor choice of materials, or an ineffective design, will clash with your home and your landscaping. Some cases will require careful site preparation, soil testing, and technical know-how that the average homeowner doesn’t have. To best address all of these concerns, it’s better to have a hardscape design contractor handle the job from the start rather than spending again to get the job done right.

You may not be sure whether you need a retaining wall. Conversely, you may have one already and may not be sure how much useful life it’s got left. In either event, call Unit Paving. As an ICPI paving contractor, we can evaluate your needs and your site to determine the best solution under the circumstances. We serve the Carolinas from our location in Fort Mill, SC, and we’re always a phone call away at (704) 412-4463 for all your concrete paver questions.

If it’s time for hardscape design, it’s time to call Unit Paving. For nearly three decades, we’ve helped homeowners, businesses, and municipalities in North and South Carolina with a range of residential and commercial hardscaping needs. Our clientele know us for our extensive — and often creative — use of concrete pavers in our projects. If you’re new to this material, here’s what you should know.

What is Hardscaping?

Let’s start by establishing what hardscaping is: the other half (with softscapes, or the growing material used in a given space) of the landscaping equation. It’s the manmade portion of your landscaping, encompassing everything from your driveway and footpath to retaining walls, fire pits, and much more.

Hardscaping and Sustainable Design

When it’s properly done — with the right design and materials — hardscaping is a key part of sustainable landscaping. Whether you’re hardscaping a yard, a park, or a pedestrian plaza in a municipal downtown, hardscaping with concrete pavers is a good way to reduce runoff, pollution, and soil erosion. It conserves finite resources and preserves the natural environment.

Advantages of Concrete Pavers

Concrete paving products come with a number of built-in advantages.

Variety

When most people think of pavers, they think of bland expanses of lookalike bricks. Unit Paving has worked with concrete pavers long enough to know, appreciate, and embrace the diverse options available to homeowners and town planners alike. Shape, color, and texture choices can be varied for function and beauty alike.

Simplicity

Concrete pavers are simple to install thanks to their ease of installation, minimal site preparation, and minimal use of added equipment. The same cannot be said of traditional paving materials like asphalt and concrete.

Strength

Concrete and asphalt are impervious structures. They’re also inflexible. That can have some advantages, but there’s also a built-in drawback that you’ll have noticed if you’ve ever driven over a buckled surface undermined by rushing water, hit a pothole, or noticed the flooding they encourage. Concrete pavers allow water to pass through to the soil, they expand and contract thanks to their joint structure, and their ease of replacement means that repairs can be done quickly and easily.

Flood Control

Whether you’re a homeowner whose yard pools with water because of poor drainage, or a municipality that deals with flooding after anything more severe than light drizzle, you’ll appreciate the fact that concrete pavers require less drainage than other paved surfaces.

Long-Term Savings

Concrete and asphalt surfaces often require extensive — and expensive — maintenance, as well as frequent repairs. To be clear, all paved surfaces require maintenance, but concrete pavers require less of it.

Surface maintenance of concrete pavers is simple, and there’s less of it. When repairs are needed — which isn’t often, but is always a possibility — they can often be done by one or two people in a matter of minutes, minimizing disruption to traffic and everyday life.

Answering Concrete Paver Questions

It’s impossible to answer all of the frequently asked paver questions in blog form. What we’ve addressed here may have reinforced information you already knew, or may have left you with as many questions as answers. Unit Paving is happy to take the time to consider the scope of your project and answer the questions that matter most to you. So contact us by phone at (704) 412-4463 or visit us online to schedule a concrete paver consultation.

When we think about curb appeal, many homeowners tend to think about the more obvious things, like green spaces, planting, and the condition of our homes. But there’s something else that can go a long way toward enhancing curb appeal and making your home more welcoming whether you aim to sell or you’re looking to stay put for many more years: your driveway. Unit Paving Inc. can help you design and install a driveway that provides a subtle but important finishing touch to your home’s overall look.

Driveway Design Considerations

You may have any number of reasons for replacing your current driveway. It may be old and worn. It may clash with a recent remodel. Or maybe it’s simply time for something that refreshes the look of your property. Regardless of your motives, there are a number of driveway design considerations that influence how Unit Paving approaches your hardscaping project.

Site

The location of your property relative to local roads, traffic patterns, the distance from the front of your property to your home, road grading, and drainage all influence the configuration of your driveway. Your options can sometimes be limited by a smaller property, a home with a carport or a garage built in, or a property with irregular topography. Even a larger property with the home or place of business significantly set back from the road can be either an opportunity or a challenge depending on how you approach it.

Size

A family parking multiple cars, or hosting lots of gatherings, has different needs than a couple of empty-nesters who keep their vehicles in a garage. Likewise, the approach to a smaller home will be different than the design for a sprawling ranch, a mixed-use building, or a municipal parking lot.

Surroundings

A Craftsman bungalow on the outskirts of Durham uses a different style and different materials than a beach house in the Outer Banks. They, in turn, will have different requirements than a commercial complex or office park in Raleigh. Good design accounts for differing architectural styles, different landscaping, and even the other structures in the neighborhood, so you can always blend in (or stand out) as much as you’d like.

Materials

Asphalt and concrete remain popular choices for driveways even though they require extensive site preparation, lots of equipment, and are very labor-intensive. Concrete pavers are gaining in popularity for their looks, their practicality, and comparably low expense, but even within the realm of pavers there are many different styles and sizes of materials available. We can help cut your choices down to size by eliminating options that won’t work as well given your stylistic aims, your drainage needs, and the property on which the driveway will be built. Additionally, we take care to plan the project and do the proper site preparations to ensure that our concrete pavers can take the same loads — and the same punishment — as their asphalt or concrete counterparts.

Style and Design

Now that you’ve taken all of the above into consideration, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. The ways in which to approach hardscape design — even if it’s something relatively straightforward like a driveway built of concrete pavers — aren’t always so simple as to be self-evident. Making choices in a way that balance form, function, and style require a discerning eye, a firm knowledge of engineering and materials, and enough experience to know what will work best to suit your needs and taste.

Getting Started

For all the complexity of hardscaping design, home and business owners in the Carolinas have long known that Unit Paving Inc is a reliable partner for their projects. Our extensive experience, our skilled workers, and our artistic eye have resulted in driveway and hardscape designs as beautiful as they are practical. To get started, call Unit Paving at (704) 412-4463 today.

If you’re planning a commercial paving project, we hope you’re thinking long-term. That means looking past immediate concerns of planning and cost, and thinking of future considerations like maintenance, drainage, use, and sustainability. We must also confess to an ulterior motive for your foresight; Unit Paving Inc knows from long experience that compared to traditional options like asphalt or concrete, permeable pavers constitute a significant improvement. Here’s why.

Sustainability

With asphalt and concrete paving so popular and so widely-accepted, why has Unit Paving chosen to specialize in permeable interlocking concrete pavers? There are many reasons, but sustainability sits at the top of the list.

They’re called permeable pavers because unlike impervious surfaces, they allow water to pass through the joints, whereupon it’s filtered by the fill and subsurface materials and allowed to pass back into the soil. This limits the need for additional drainage, lowers the strain on existing drainage systems and water treatment plants, and limits runoff because water is sequestered in the ground and pollutants are filtered out instead of ending up in our waterways. What’s more, these pavers mitigate the heat island effect. But even if your concerns are more earthbound, there are more reasons to consider permeable pavers.

Simplicity

If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic during a road construction or repair project, you’ve seen the amount of equipment required to install or maintain traditional paved surfaces. Surface preparation is extensive and complex, large amounts of raw materials must be carted in and subjected to further preparation, and a fleet of vehicles must back an extensive crew of workers to install everything. This process is as expensive as it is extensive.

By contrast, permeable pavers require less surface prep, rely less on expensive equipment, and can be installed quickly by a smaller number of people. The resultant paved surface can handle every bit as much heavy traffic as its traditional counterparts, accommodating everything from foot traffic to cars, trucks, and snow plows with ease. Best of all, it does all this at a significantly lower initial or long-term cost.

Durability

The unique construction of permeable interlocking pavers has another benefit, one you’ve noticed if you’ve been overseas and wandered the remnants of an ancient Roman road, or even walked an old cobblestone street closer to home. High tech has come to PICP, but the principle behind them hasn’t changed much over two millennia. It hasn’t had to; they’re extremely durable, handling large amounts of heavy traffic with ease. Their ease of expansion and contraction helps them resist high heat, extreme cold, and potholes. The fact that they don’t hold water helps prevent flooding, erosion, and potholes. In the rare event that a repair is needed, it can be done quickly by one person equipped with a minimal number of tools.

There’s one last consideration that we haven’t mentioned up to this point: versatility. That’s because the most effective way for us to show you the potential for permeable pavers is to compare our past work with your present and future needs. With this in mind, we urge you to get in touch with Unit Paving Inc for a consultation on your commercial or municipal paving project. We proudly serve clients with commercial paving in the Carolinas, and would be equally proud to serve you.

 

Paving projects, whether they’re residential or commercial, aren’t as simple as Unit Paving Inc makes them look. We take as much care in the planning that precedes a project, and the cleanup that follows, as we do with the many concerns that take place as the project unfolds. If you’re wondering how to choose the right North Carolina paving contractor, there are questions you can ask to verify their claims, the quality of their work, and your expectations for the process.

What Can You Tell Me About Your Company?

This question encompasses a number of other questions — how long a company has been in business, their licensure and insurance, the types of clients they’ve served, the types of projects they’ve undertaken, and the challenges they’ve faced and overcome on the job site, to name just a few. A reputable paving company will tell you all of this and more, usually without much prompting; after all, they should take pride in their paving projects.

What Do Your Clients Say About Your Work?

References matter, and should be appropriate to the type of project being undertaken. If you’re a homeowner, it doesn’t matter how many country clubs or stadiums for which we’ve done work. If, on the other hand, you’re a municipality, you’ll want to know that the same care and attention we’ve lavished on our smaller projects can scale to the needs of your town or city (the answer, incidentally, is yes — and we’ll show you the proof).

What Does Our Project Involve?

Each project brings with it unique opportunities and challenges. You know the opportunities, but there’s a degree to which you’re looking to your paving contractor to identify and address the potential problems that could arise. The more time and thought that goes into planning, permitting, and project management early on, the less potential for unwanted surprises and overruns later.

Who is Our Point of Contact?

Communication is vital regardless of the scale of the project, or how well it’s been planned. Our work can uncover issues ranging from topographic challenges to minor annoyances like tree roots, unexpected soil erosion, or problems with the structures around which we’re working. We’ll want to know who to take these issues up with, and you’ll want to know that there’s someone on standby to address your questions, concerns, or potential changes as the project unfolds.

Are Permeable Pavers Viable for My Project?

This is a common concern for homeowners, business owners, and our municipal clients alike. Our paver installations and hardscape designs have proven adaptable to a very wide array of uses, but we assume nothing. We will consider your needs, concerns, logistical and technical issues, and a range of other factors to make sure that we’re suggesting the correct solution to your paving problems.

What Will This Cost?

We understand. You want your project to stay on time and on, or under, budget. We share the same goal. To that end, we will provide you with a comprehensive written estimate based on the scope of your project, as well as asking questions of our own to ensure that the process is a smooth one; we want to exceed your expectations rather than simply meeting them.

Done right, a commercial paving project is complex. Find the right North Carolina paving contractor, however, and that complexity falls on the contractors’ shoulders instead of yours. If you have questions or concerns about a paving project, we invite you to consult with Unit Paving Inc today!

Whether you’re a business owner, developer, or city manager planning for a town or city, odds are better than even that you are not working with a limitless budget. When you’re faced with a major project like planning and installing a new parking lot, how can you control costs without cutting corners and compromising quality? Paving design services from Unit Paving Inc that include permeable paving solutions have helped keep parking lot costs in line for many clients in the Carolinas. Here’s how we’ve helped.

Less Site Preparation

We believe in Value Engineering. We know that in order for that to happen, proper planning needs to take place first, regardless of the paving material used. However, permeable interlocking concrete pavers have a built-in advantage: they require less site preparation. Grading and compaction are less complex because there’s a limited need to plan for drainage systems. The reduced need for site prep also means a process that’s less time and labor-intensive, which in turn reduces costs further still.

Reduction or Elimination of Drainage Systems

Because of their impermeable nature, concrete and asphalt often require separate drainage systems to be installed, and can place increased stress on existing storm drains and sewers. Pollutants like motor oil and fertilizer runoff also collect on the surface of non-porous pavement, which contributes to pollution and can place a strain on municipal water treatment.

By contrast, PICP isn’t an impermeable and unbroken surface. The seams between the pavers encourage water absorption instead of runoff, which means less reliance on complex drainage systems. What’s more, the lower incidence of runoff also means less pollution — which also reduces stress on water treatment plants and the environment as a whole.

Easier Installation

In contrast with concrete and asphalt, both of which require a high volume of specialized equipment to transport, prepare, and install, PICP surfaces require very little by way of specialized equipment. Once the site is prepared, permeable pavers can be installed over the base layer by hand very rapidly. The pavers are also strong enough that foot traffic and vehicles can — and often do — work right atop the surfaces they’ve just laid while they’re working on the next section.

A wider variety of fill materials will also work with permeable pavers, including common fill dirt, gravel, sand, or even crushed glass. Combine this with the lower costs for labor and machinery and the savings add up fast.

Simpler Finish Saves Time and Money

The initial installation of a traditional paved surface isn’t the end of the job. Sealants, painted details, and other steps still need to be performed. And if you realize in mid-project that something needs to be changed, those changes are often as costly as they are complex. By contrast, a permeable surface can have lane markers, parking spaces, and more incorporated into the installation on the fly, either by use of specialized caps or the use of contrasting paver colors. Once the last paver is laid and the polymeric sand laid, the job is done.

Lower Long-Term Costs

While the initial savings realized from a paver installation are attractive, you still may be wondering if it’s worth it. So let’s look beyond the end of your project to what happens after. Any paved surface requires some kind of maintenance, but the kinds and degrees of maintenance required vary widely.

When you’re dealing with an impervious surface, you need to deal with cracks, expansion, and potholes. Any drainage systems you’ve installed will also require cleaning, maintenance, and eventual replacement. Permeable pavers require much less surface maintenance and a lot less supporting infrastructure that also needs to be maintained, so your ongoing costs will be much lower. What’s more, in the rare event that a paver needs to be replaced, it’s a repair that can be done quickly and easily by one person.

Still have questions? A free paving project consultation from Unit Paving Inc will give you answers. Contact us today to find out more!

Even though Unit Paving Inc specializes in Value Engineering through permeable interlocking pavers, we are well aware of one inescapable fact: like any other product or service, ours will not be for everyone. Residential and commercial paving projects take so many different forms that a one-size-fits-all solution would be impossible. However, we’re also well aware that a number of myths surround permeable pavers. If you’re going to make a good paving choice, it should be on the basis of facts, not fiction. Let’s dissect a few of the bigger whoppers we’ve heard over the years.

Site Analysis is a Pain

As long as you’re dealing with an experienced paving company, site analysis is no more complex for permeable interlocking concrete pavers than it would be for any other paving method. A bit of soil testing, load bearing ability analysis, thought given to installation options, and permitting processes is quick and painless. It certainly beats the alternative favored by cheap or less-experienced contractors — namely, a haphazard installation that doesn’t take the pavers’ subsurface into account.

Permeable Pavers Aren’t as Strong

This makes a certain intuitive sense, since an unbroken expanse of concrete or asphalt looks strong on the surface. However, because they’re impervious, those surfaces are actually more vulnerable to damage from stormwater, ice, and other stressors. PICP surfaces are strong enough to bear heavy loads and high traffic.

ADA Compliance is Dicey

Simply not true. As Masonry Design Magazine reminds us, major pavement manufacturers subject their products to rigorous testing for firmness, stability, and skid resistance. As long as your contractor is versed in ADA requirements and installs accordingly — Unit Paving is, and does — you need not worry about whether your paved surface will be compliant with the relevant sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Permeable Pavers are High Maintenance

Nope. Many of your maintenance needs — cleaning, clearing leaves and snow, removing weeds every now and again, dealing with the occasional anthill — aren’t going to be any different with a permeable paving surface than they’d be with traditional concrete or asphalt. In other respects, the fact that permeable surfaces absorb water rather than allowing it to pool and collect means that you’re dealing with lower maintenance because of factors like pollutants, ice, flooding, and the like.

Permeable Pavers All Look Alike

This is perhaps the easiest myth of the bunch to dispel. Permeable paving materials come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, just like the rest of the hardscaping materials used by Unit Paving. Not only will you have a plethora of choices, but we can also mix and match colors and shapes to liven up your project to add a bit of contrast and visual interest.

Of course, we cannot possibly cover every last myth you’ve heard or permeable paving question you have in the form of a blog entry. That’s precisely why we encourage you to contact Unit Paving Inc. We bring skill, experience, and taste to your next paving project in the Carolinas.

Running a city is challenging enough on its own. You’re trying to strike a delicate balance between keeping property taxes under control, preserving infrastructure, conserving green spaces, maintaining quality of life, and keeping your constituents happy. When the time comes for even a minor municipal paving project, it seems like that delicate balance can easily be turned on its ear. Unit Paving Inc has helped many towns and cities throughout the Carolinas plan and execute municipal paving projects using permeable interlocking pavers. Here are some of the planning considerations that have gone into our most successful projects.

Budgeting

Most municipalities aren’t flush with cash. Understanding, then controlling, costs is a vital part of any paving project, and we’ll help you to do that without cutting corners on paving materials or workmanship.

Design and Planning

Even the most careful budget falls apart if the project isn’t designed carefully, planned well, then managed to perfection. We leverage many years’ worth of experience in sustainable hardscape planning, supply chain management, logistics, and the many other facets of paving projects to ensure success.

Traffic Circulation

There’s no getting around the fact that even a well-planned and well-executed paving project will be disruptive. A traffic study is vital for anticipating use patterns and detours during the project, as well as the traffic impact once the project is completed.

Parking

Whether we’re creating a new public parking area or paving in an area that uses on-street parking, one important goal is to ensure there’s sufficient space to minimize inconvenience and disruption to daily life for residents, commuters, and shoppers.

Impact on Local Businesses

Local businesses shudder when they hear a paving project is underway. They anticipate noise, dust, and lost business. Proper planning and communication can keep your business community firing on all cylinders for the duration.

Environmental Impact and Regulations

There’s always a morass of local, state, and federal regulations to deal with. Many of these will have to do with the environmental impact of paving applications, whether you’re rehabilitating an existing paved surface or opening a new stretch of road. Unit Paving will help with the permitting and regulatory hassles that too often accompany paving projects.

Plan Review

Once the community and environmental impact of the project have been assessed and all the regulatory boxes checked, we’ll revisit our plans to ensure there are no changes needed and no potential surprises lurking within.

Public Comment

If your community requires a period of public comment, it’s best to do this once plans are close to their final form. By now, you’ll have the information you need to address citizens’ concerns over the impact on their community, the environment, and their day-to-day lives, which makes for a more productive conversation around the proposed project.

Construction

Now — finally — it’s time to get to work. Site prep and construction moves quickly; indeed, you’re likely to find it’s over much faster than you expected. Our goal is to bring any project in on time and on budget, without compromising quality. We take pride in how often we’ve done just that!

Maintenance

Just as important as the paving project itself is the follow up that comes after. Permeable pavers tend to be lower-maintenance than comparable asphalt and concrete surfaces, but they’re not maintenance-free. Unit Paving can consult with your local DPW to ensure the work we’ve done holds up for many years to come.

Communication

One thing that’s key to any project is keeping lines of communication open among the various stakeholders. We strive to keep this as easy as possible, and actively encourage you to contact us at any point with your questions or concerns. If you’re currently planning a municipal paving project, in fact, you should start by contacting Unit Paving today.

By definition, commercial paving projects are a delicate balancing act. Cash-strapped municipalities and businesses operating on thin margins need to find materials that can withstand unpredictable weather, high traffic volume, and heavy loads. The finished product, whether it’s a parking lot, a road, or just a driveway, needs to perform and last with minimal maintenance.

While many will opt for the same commercial paving solutions they’ve always used, some are looking for alternatives. They find them with Unit Paving. Let’s compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of common commercial paving materials.

Asphalt Pavement

Asphalt seems to be everywhere. It’s the most common commercial paving material because it’s easy to manufacture and transport, and relatively quick and cheap to install. On the plus side, it’s easy to repair, resists erosion, and has a bit of give that allows it to adapt to a variety of soil and weather conditions.

It also has significant drawbacks. Because its binding material is petroleum-based, it’s a finite resource. Because of its petroleum content and the heat island effect (asphalt absorbs and traps heat), it raises local temperatures, and is also harmful to the environment. Its installation is very labor-intensive and can be dangerous. It’s impervious, so it contributes to stormwater runoff and flooding. It’s soft, leaving it prone to potholes and cracks. And its petroleum component makes recycling difficult and expensive.

Concrete Pavement

Concrete tends to be more durable than asphalt. It’s also more versatile, since it can easily be shaped, colored, and textured to look like something else. The materials that make up the aggregate are easy to grind down and recycle or repurpose, and it’s reflective to help mitigate the heat island effect; these factors make it more environmentally-friendly than asphalt. Some forms of concrete are even designed to be pervious or porous to aid with runoff control.

However, even concrete has its disadvantages. Not as flexible as asphalt, it can be prone to erosion and cracking. Like asphalt, it also requires a lot of specialized equipment to install properly, which drives costs up relative to asphalt and permeable pavers. And because most concrete surfaces aren’t designed with sustainability in mind, they will — like their asphalt counterparts — place heavy demands on local drainage systems.

Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers are extremely durable. On their own, they can be driven on by cars, trucks, and all manner of heavy equipment — they’re capable of handling more than 6800 PSI of ground pressure. Once filled they’re even stronger, offering more than 8000 PSI of compression strength. That’s more than adequate for any volume of commercial traffic.

They’re low-maintenance, being as easy to replace as they are to install. A smaller project can easily be handled by a single person, while a larger-scale project can be completed quickly by a smaller team than a concrete or asphalt pave would require. The fill material can be locally-sourced, and the pavers don’t require sealants. Because they absorb water rather than shedding it, they’re far more environmentally-friendly and will require far less drainage; that, in turn, cuts down on flood concerns, soil erosion, and depletion of natural resources.

For all the advantages (and they are legion), pavers do have some challenges. The amount of preparation in terms of backfilling, grading, and compacting is about the same. The cost is less than concrete, but may be slightly more than asphalt. And because they’re not as commonly used as concrete or asphalt, finding a qualified local installer can be challenging.

Challenging, but not impossible. If you require commercial paving in the Carolinas, Unit Paving Inc has the tools, expertise, and experience for commercial paving projects of all sizes. To find out how cost-effective a permeable paving solution can be for your business or municipality, contact Unit Paving to explore your options.