Paving My Driveway Again

How to Make Your Outdoor Living Space Cool and More Comfortable This Summer

by Minnie Larson

When summer arrives and heats up the outside temperatures, it can make enjoying your outdoor space difficult with the increase in temperature. Here are some tips to help you make adjustments to your outdoor pavement and landscaping to help keep your backyard space cooler and more enjoyable for you to use.

Protect, Seal, and Lighten Your Asphalt

Your asphalt-paved driveway or parking area in your yard provides a smooth dirt, mud, and dust-free area for you and your vehicles. Unfortunately, the color of your asphalt's surface can make your outdoor space uncomfortable, even after the sun sets.

Because asphalt is a petroleum-based product, it is also a black surface which causes it to absorb a great deal of heat from the sun during the day. In fact, the black coloring can absorb enough heat to increase the temperature of the pavement and the air above its surface to cause a heat island effect. This result can make your home hotter and your air conditioner work harder to keep your interior space cool, not to mention making the outside air unbearable.

Coating your black asphalt with a water-based asphalt emulsion sealant protects the surface of your asphalt, just as a sealcoating application does, and it lightens the black color to a light grey. This color change reflects sunlight from the pavement instead of absorbing it to help reduce its surface and the air temperature.

A professional asphalt company that offers paving services can apply this cooling pavement sealer to the asphalt, which also seals in cracks and restores moisture to the asphalt. You won't have to reapply as often as a traditional sealcoat, as this type of sealant will last longer.

Plant Vegetation and Trees

Creating shade in your yard and on your pavement can also cool the space from the summer's hot sun. Plant trees around the perimeter of your paved parking area of driveway so their shade falls upon the pavement during the hottest part of the afternoon. Be sure you plant your trees so they are spaced several feet away from the pavement's edge and their roots do not mature and grow up into the paving, which can cause it to crack.

Planting a lawn in your yard not only improves the look of your yard, but it can simultaneously cool the air. The lawn and other plants growing capture carbon dioxide in the air that you produce from breathing along with water from their roots to create oxygen, which cools the air in your yard.