Covering the streets with CoolSeal would help reflect solar rays off the asphalt, reducing the temperature of roadways by up to 10 degrees!
Ever heard of the “urban heat island effect?”
It’s a term that exacerbates the phenomenon which happens to asphalt roads when temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens, surface temperatures on asphalt roads climb up to scorching numbers – and much like many other modern cities encased in thousands of miles of dark-colored gravel – the heat absorbed by sun’s rays heat up not only the streets themselves but the entire surrounding area.
Fortunately, the city of L.A. has been taking on a new tactic in hopes to fight against this reaction! You may have seen some streets in town sporting a new grayish-white coating, known as CoolSeal. The light-colored layer helps to reflect solar rays off asphalt so that less heat is absorbed, which trickles into keeping everything around it cooler on average. How does this help with climate change, you ask? Well, in turn, that means that neighborhoods known to heat up (like Downtown) won’t need to run the air conditioning which will not only benefit the environment but also everyone’s wallets!
Lighter colored asphalt can also help to prevent heat-related illnesses/death as well as improve the air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and water quality depletion that tends to be a backfire driven by heat islands. For the sake of the plant, and the city, we hope that this can truly make a difference; but not all things in life are free… the innovative seal coat averages at $40,000 bill for every mile it paints.
Featured photo courtesy of LA Street Services
Also published on Medium.