Asphalt has been a staple of American infrastructure since the late 1800’s. Over the years, it has paved the way to new places – literally. It has shaped industry and big business, its cheap, durable nature making road construction easier and therefore facilitating the predominance of cars. The problem is, such ubiquitous asphalt coverage contributes to global warming and the urban heat island effect. Simply, asphalt absorbs a lot of heat because it’s thick, black, and has a lot of surface area in direct sun. Enter, cool pavements.
Cool pavement is a new technology, used to help reduce the heat that traditional pavement retains and emits. Cool pavements have a reflective surface, or clear coat, that reflects heat rather than absorbing it. Cool pavement stays cooler during the day, and doesn’t release heat at night, unlike traditional asphalt.
Here are the top benefits of cool pavement:
- Energy savings and reduced emissions. Cool pavements lower the outside air temperature, allowing air conditioners to cool buildings with less energy and making walking around more comfortable. Cool pavements also save energy by reducing the need for electric street lighting at night.
- Improved comfort and health. Cool pavements cool the city air, reducing heat-related illnesses, slowing the formation of smog, and making it more comfortable to be outside. Pedestrians, pets, and animals all benefit from cooler surfaces.
- Improved air quality. By decreasing urban air temperatures, cool pavements can slow atmospheric chemical reactions that create smog.
- Slowed climate change. Cool pavements decrease heat absorbed at the Earth’s surface and thus lower surface temperatures. This decrease can offset warming caused by greenhouse gases, and make cities less influential in warming their environs.
The next time you walk outside your building, look around and assess your parking lot. Think about how you can help bring positive change to your city and start a trend within the community. To find out more about cool pavement and how to upgrade your existing asphalt, call MaintenX today.