Did you know that the color of roads can make a big difference in the temperature in and around your home? Much like how a black car or a black t-shirt retains more heat from the sun, the same has been found to be the case in roads and highways.
Keeping the Roads Cool
In order to deal with record-breaking temperatures as of late (as anyone who managed to endure this past summer can tell you), state and local transportation departments are starting to paint black asphalt roads with a white reflective coating. This has been proven to reduce road temperatures significantly, and as a result, more and more government officials are seeing the important contrast this relatively straightforward modification provides.
The Urban Heat Island Effect
Urban environments tend to lack trees and roads are paved with black asphalt (which retains heat, as we mentioned previously). People living in the city have to put up with higher mercury levels that average a few degrees more than surrounding areas. This is what’s called the “urban heat island effect.”
As you can imagine, when there’s a heat wave going on, even a few degrees can make a huge difference, turning an uncomfortable day into a public health crisis. Conditions such as heat exhaustion become far more commonplace, so taking initiatives such as this one can be crucial.
Not only does having a road coated in white or gray paint reduce the heat coming off of the pavement, but it will also help city residents save money during the summer since they don’t have to rely so heavily on their air conditioners to stay cool.
This is admittedly a small contribution to the problem, but by applying the same type of reflective coating to sidewalks, rooftops, and other dark surfaces, this will have an immense effect on the challenge of staying cool all year long! So if you start to see concrete construction companies painting blacktop white, you’ll know how vital this can be to saving the environment!