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Having a pavers path increases the value of your property and makes for a great place for exercise and recreation. Unfortunately, some days can get too hot and pavers absorb heat all too well, which makes it unbearable for you to walk on them! So we have researched some of the ways that you can make your pavers withstand hot weather and make it easier for you to use them.
You can keep pavers cool by following these tips:
- Spray the pavers with garden hose
- Install a misting system
- Plant trees and plants surrounding the path
- Attach a retractable awning
- Apply a light-colored coating on your pavement
Keeping your pavers cool starts by increasing surface reflectance and thermal emittance. There are many short-term and long-term methods for making your pavers more accessible despite very hot weather. We have gathered some expert tips to help you with paver surface maintenance, as well as show you various types of energy-efficient pavers.
How to Keep Pavers Cool in the Summer
Spray the pavers with garden hose
This is a temporary but quick solution you can do to make the pavers more bearable to walk on. This method is known as evaporation cooling in which the liquid absorbs the heat and draws them out as it changes from liquid to gas.
This helps cool the pavers down; evaporation takes advantage of the heat trapped within the pavers.
Install a misting system
A misting system can make the surface cooler for a longer amount of time, although you would need to use more water. On top of that, a misting system can be an expensive investment. It would also take more time to install compared to a garden hose that you can simply switch on any time you need.
Plant trees and plants in the surrounding path
Plants and greenery are always sustainable solutions that can effectively keep the surroundings cool. They can shade your pathway from the harsh sun rays, and according to research, tree canopies can intercept up to 90% of heat.
The leaves can absorb the heat, which simultaneously refreshes the surrounding area.
Attach a retractable awning
A retractable awning is ideal especially for smaller surface spaces, as it provides much-needed shade without occupying too much space. You can also fold it away when you need a more open space for recreation.
Apply a light-colored coating on your pavement
Darker colors absorb more heat and light, while lighter colors reflect it away. Applying a light-colored coating can lower the temperature by 2.5 degrees as the reflective property of pavers makes the heat bounce off, as well as make evaporation more effective.
Light-colored pavers also have a higher albedo compared to dark-colored ones, which means it absorbs less solar energy and reduce the temperature of the surface.
Paver options that do not get too hot
Although all pavers get hot, some materials are relatively better at regulating heat. Regardless of how the pavers look on the outside, what matters is whether you can do anything with them.
These options distribute heat better, which can make the experience more bearable instead of making you jump every second because of how hot it can be under your feet.
Travertine pavers distribute the heat to the earth beneath it instead of letting it saturate on its surface. You will find that the pavers will only be 18 degrees higher than the actual temperature, compared to other pavers which can shoot up to 75 degrees hotter.
The material comes in shades of white, gray, and yellow, creating a reflective effect that bounces off thermal energy.
Find out more about travertine pavers by checking out this article: "Are Travertine Pavers Durable."
Light Marble Pavers
Though not as effective as travertine pavers, marble pavers still contain reflective properties that maintain a relatively comfortable treading experience. Marble is also a durable material that can accommodate heavy objects. It also comes in a tumbled finish that makes it anti-slip and ideal for outdoor recreation.
Light-Colored Concrete Paver
Concrete pavers are a low-cost and effective option if you want pavers that will not get too hot easily. These pavers can be 20-30 degrees hotter than the temperature, which may be a bit high, but at least not overwhelming.
However, do not confuse a concrete paver with a concrete slab, as slabs do not have the properties that can shed heat.
Permeable pavers or porous pavers allow water to seep inside through its pores, which gives a cooling effect to the surface. These pavers also allow water to recharge the groundwater, as well as appropriate stormwater infrastructures.
However, for homes residing in areas with dry climates, permeable pavers may not be as beneficial as there would be less moisture that can be retained to create a cooling effect.
Benefits of Cool Pavements
Keeps storm water cooler
Cooler water prevents damage to watersheds as it allows stormwater to fully soak into the soil, reducing runoff and nourishing plant life. It absorbs less heat which will maintain the temperature of stormwater, preventing shock to water drains.
Cool pavers also have a property that filters away pollutants, protecting aquatic life on the waterways.
Reduces heat stress
During heat waves, there is so much pressure to improve public health and reduce heat-related illnesses and stress. Cool pavers slow the ground-level ozone, on top of absorbing solar heat, which allows for better temperatures.
Increases energy efficiency
Cool pavers that surround industrial and commercial buildings can benefit from their energy-efficient properties. If the temperature is regulated outside, air conditioners can work less hard, and save on utility costs.
Cool pavers have better nighttime visibility because of their light coat, reducing the risk of accidents. A permeable cool surface also reduces water spray from moving vehicles since water will soak into the ground faster which lowers the risk for slip-related accidents.
Roadways can benefit greatly from these types of pavers, especially those in rainy or tropical areas, to protect the citizens both from accidents and heat-related stress.
Cool pavers are less at risk of sun or water damage because of their inherent properties. Since they absorb less solar and thermal energy, as well as effectively soak in water, they are more durable and long-lasting than the typical dark surfaces.
Improved local comfort
People are more likely to gather outdoors and play when the pavers are comfortable to sit or tread on. Cool pavers, especially when integrated with greenery, promote comfort.
It also improves morale, which is greatly necessary during the summer months and heatwaves since temperatures will be regulated and not overwhelming.
How to Protect your Pavement
Protect your pavers from small, destructive elements by practicing correct maintenance methods. Here are some of the ways that you can care for your surface.
Sweep with a coarse-bristle broom
This will prevent small debris from accumulating and making the surface coarse. The coarse bristles will remove dirt on the corners, which will leave your paver looking good as new.
Apply weed killers
Weeds can sprout between cracks and shift the pavers up when left unaddressed. Periodically apply weed killers to prevent a more expensive repair session, and to maintain the structural integrity of the pavers.
Be careful when pressure-washing
The force of the spray can expose the aggregates, so try to regulate the water pressure when spraying your surface. Aside from that, regularly clean your pavers with a spray hose to keep the surrounding pathway cool and pleasant.
Keep the joints topped with sand
If your surface is made of paving stones, take care of the joints in between since these are susceptible to damage. Make sure these are constantly topped with jointing sand to prevent shifting.
Apply these sealers twice every three years, maximum. Sealers are protective barriers against chemical leaks, freezing, UV rays, and regular wear, but applying too much of this can create discoloration on the surface.
Keeping your pavers cool is a matter of improving your quality of life. It does not have to be expensive, as there are cost-effective options that can keep the temperature bearable, if not comfortable.
Cool pavers are a great option for tropical areas since they regulate the surface's solar temperature as well as absorb moisture during rainy seasons. As with anything related to your property, maintenance is key to making the pavers benefit you and last you a long time.
If you enjoyed this article, read more about "Paver Vs. Asphalt Driveway."