“Cool pavement” is a term that refers to pavement options that are supposed to help alleviate the urban heat island effect. It’s no secret that darker colors—like the grey-black of asphalt—absorb and hold more heat than lighter colors, so researchers and city planners alike have been searching for ways to mitigate the heat generated by pavements. Options like light-colored pavement, grass pavements, permeable pavements, reflective pavements, pavements that are cooled with water, and more are all being tested in various cities across the country. The sustainability and eco-friendliness of these cool pavements is often touted, but in actuality, it’s very hard to measure the exact benefits of these cool pavement options. Sometimes, there are even disadvantages to cool pavement options! Tucker Paving has been in the concrete and asphalt paving for nearly 30 years, and we are committed to working and living in a sustainable world. We also know that all the effects of a new technology or building method—good and bad—need to be considered before it is used on a large scale.

Disadvantages of Cool Pavement 

There are many different types of cool pavement, so the advantages and disadvantages of each kind will be different. Possible disadvantages of cool pavement include:

  • The cost can be much higher. Cool pavement options are likely to have a higher cost to install than conventional options.
  • Maintenance can be more difficult or more expensive. Cool pavements have not been around as long as conventional pavement options, so there are fewer repair options and fewer knowledgeable people to maintain or fix cool pavements. 
  • The pavement can be too bright. Dark pavement absorbs sunlight and emits it as heat while light pavement reflects the sun’s UV rays. This can make a light color pavement unbearably bright, much like snow on a sunny day. This is unpleasant for pedestrians and dangerous for those on bikes and operating vehicles.
  • Some cool pavements can’t stand up to traffic. Some cool pavements, such as “grass pavement,” are not able to withstand even heavy foot traffic. It is not eco-friendly nor economically friendly to have to replace the pavement because the original pavement failed in a short amount of time.
  • Some require regular cleaning. Some cool pavements must be swept or power-washed regularly to keep them clear of debris.

Tucker Paving has nearly 30 years of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving industry, and we are always excited by innovations in construction! We complete projects for residential, commercial, and municipal clients. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, oruse our contact form online. Let us assist you with your next paving project!