2 Ways To Minimize The Environmental Impact Of Asphalt Shingles

Posted on: 5 July 2016

Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable and durable ways to cover a roof. Yet, because the principal ingredient in asphalt shingles is a petroleum byproduct, many people have concerns about their environmental impact. If you have plans to reroof your home soon, read on. This article will provide two tips for minimizing your carbon footprint while still getting the security of an asphalt roof.

Recycle your old shingles.

Once upon a time, the asphalt shingles that were removed from an old roof would go straight to a landfill. Fortunately, there has been an increasing push in recent years to find new ways to recycle them instead. One of the most innovative solutions is to grind up those torn away shingles and utilize the resulting powder as an additive in hot mix asphalt.

In other words, your old shingles can now be turned into new roadways. This technique is rapidly gaining traction as a way for municipalities across the country to reduce their paving budgets. In addition, asphalt pavements constructed using between 5 and 10% recycled shingle content have been shown to be much less susceptible to common forms of wear, such as rutting and raveling. Be sure to chat with your roofing contractor about the possibility of putting your old shingles to new use.

Make your new roof a cool roof.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a cool roof is one that is specifically designed to reflect sunlight away from your home. This keeps the roof from absorbing solar heat. As a result, your roof will remain up to 50 degrees cooler. This has a direct effect on the cooling efficiency of your HVAC system, meaning you will expend far less energy in order to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures—even in the full heat of summer.

Cool roofs may be constructed from a variety of different materials--from metal, to spray foam, to asphalt shingles. Cool asphalt shingles are composed of three distinct layers. This makes them capable of reducing your summertime cooling costs by as much as 15%. The first layer, comprised of fiberglass, provides extra insulation, thus keeping unwanted heat out of your home—and wanted heat in!

Second, is a layer of asphalt, much the same as on traditional asphalt shingles. This gives the shingles the durability that you have come to value in an asphalt roof. Finally, the shingles are coated with a special layer of granules. These are designed so as to provide a surface capable of reflecting infrared light.

If you're interested in learning more about roofing options like the cool roof coating, consider contacting companies like Heritage painting & Waterproofing.