5 Ways to Cool Down Your Asphalt Driveway and Protect Your Feet
An asphalt driveway can be hot underfoot, especially in the summer. If you like to walk around barefoot and you don't like the hot surface, there are things you can do. Take a look at these tips.
1. Install Asphalt With Polymer Modified Binders
If you are putting in a new asphalt driveway, you may want to ask the contractor if he or she can use asphalt that has polymer modified binders in it. That increases the melting point of the asphalt to 80C. The asphalt may still be hot underfoot, but at least, you won't be stepping in melty goo.
2. Shade the Asphalt
Whether you have polymer modified binders or not, you may want to shade the asphalt. That way when the temps go up, your asphalt stays cool. Note that regular asphalt can start to melt at 50 C, and it gets hot underfoot long before the temps get that high.
When talking about the temperature of asphalt, it's important to remember that it's often significantly higher than the air temperatures. Most air temperatures are taken from a metre or two above the ground. The air can be hotter on the ground near the asphalt, and the black colour absorbs extra heat. To reduce the effects of this process, you may want to shade the asphalt.
You can pop up a tent as needed when temperatures get high, or if you are working on new construction, orient your garage and driveway to make the most of the natural shadows.
3. Consider Pipework Under the Asphalt
In some cases, it may be possible to get the heat in the asphalt to work for you. The process is complicated, and you need a skilled contractor with experience in this type of experimental work.
Essentially, you can put copper pipes under the asphalt. The pipes absorb some of the heat from the asphalt. With the right design, you can recycle that heat and use it to heat water or for other purposes.
4. Insist on Shoes for Everyone
If the above ideas don't work for you, you may just need to insist on shoes for everyone on the hot days of the week. Feel your asphalt at different temps so you get an idea of when you need to insist on shoes, and also, consider investing in booties for your dog on those days. Dog paws can be especially sensitive.
5. Hose It Down
When it is exceptionally hot, you may want to grab the hose and spray it on the asphalt. This can also help to lower the temps underfoot.