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What You Need to Know About Using Impervious Services in Your Waterfront Home

Waterfront properties need surfaces that can last but that take into consideration the zoning and guidelines for use of impervious surfaces.One of the challenges of a waterfront property, particularly along the Chesapeake Bay, is the restricted use of impervious surfaces and finding alternative products that can stand up to harsh weather conditions while protecting the surrounding waterways. Here are some of the materials we, at Parker Design | Build | Remodel, feel are the most durable alternatives to impervious surfaces, for waterfront properties:


Alternatives to Impervious Surfaces

Impervious surfaces are hard, man-made surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, parking areas, and patios that change the fate of precipitation – instead of soaking into the ground and being naturally filtered, water runs downhill directly into waterways, creeks and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. In these waterfront areas, state and local regulations guide the types of materials, when and where they may be used.  Here are some thoughts to consider:


Consider Porous Alternatives for Driveways

Instead of using concrete or asphalt for driveways, consider cobblestones, turf stone or creating only an impervious path for car tires, with green plant material in between. Minimize the width of a driveway that leads to a 2 car garage by flaring out the pavement in front of the garage, providing functionality with ecology.  Porous paving and concrete products are also hitting the market. These products allow rainwater to pass through them and into the soil, reducing run-off as well. Siting, design, construction, and maintenance of pervious surfaces is different from that of conventional concrete so call in the experts.


Stones for Landscaping

A beautiful and easy way to add depth and texture to your landscaping is by using stones. Choose stones of uniform color or a variety of stones and rocks that complement each other. Not only are stones an ecological solution, but they are also an excellent way to prevent water run-off in hilly areas along waterfront property.


Green Roofs

Green roofs are gardens on rooftops. One of the benefits of green roofs is that they don’t fight the elements of nature, they work with them, protecting your investment while building a healthy ecosystem. While green roofs are environmentally friendly, they are also much more cost efficient than traditional rooftops.

In most waterfront areas, along the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, the use of impervious surfaces is highly monitored.  Homeowners would do well to determine if they live in a critical area (typically 1000 feet inland from tidal water) or a buffer zone (minimum 100 foot buffer zone along the shoreline).  Other factors may increase the buffer zone, so call your local zoning office if you have questions.  Parker Design | Build | Remodel will research this as part of the Design/Build process as well. 


If you have questions regarding the use of impervious surfaces in and around your waterfront home, contact Parker Design | Build | Remodel. We’ll be happy to help you choose the best materials for your home.