Why Keep Your Asphalt Cool?The University of Washington found that on a hot summer day, asphalt pavement can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an urban area, that means that the temperature around you is rising exponentially higher than someone without asphalt surroundings. Keeping the asphalt cool will also keep you, your family, pets, and car much cooler. Excessively hot asphalt can also harm the integrity and durability of your asphalt over time. UV rays are extremely harmful to any road, driveway, or parking lot and if possible, you should work with an asphalt contractor to create a reliable sealcoating barrier. Keeping the asphalt cool not only protects its integrity, but will also keep you, your family, pets, and car much cooler and protected from potential burns.
How to Keep Pavement Cool
- Conventional asphalt and porous asphalt can be modified with highly reflective additives to lessen the temperatures of the pavement. The permeable pavements are most effective in areas that receive plenty of summertime rain as we do in Massachusetts. Although there is no true wet and/or dry season here, the permeation of precipitation will cool the asphalt as it travels down through the layers and into the water system.
- Using lighter colored pigments and aggregates allows the road to remain cooler than the traditional stark black. Cool California says that “cool surface treatments are available in a variety of materials (e.g., acrylic, cement, asphalt, rubber), for various paved surfaces (e.g., parking lots, residential streets, schoolyards), and a range of colors that can reflect more sunlight than dark asphalt”.
- If you’re not quite ready to completely change the mix of asphalt on your driveway or area roads, there are environmentally-friendly options for cooling your pavement. Adding trees and other hanging vegetation around your parking lot or driveway can provide, up to a point, the same amount of protection that you will find in reflective options. If you are on a budget this is a good option to keep your area cool.