Being conscious of our energy use and the size of the carbon footprint we’re leaving behind is a responsible choice. We should all do what we can to conserve our natural resources. Going green isn’t just a trending topic, more and more of us are making it a way of life. Manufacturers market a vast array of products that will reduce the size of our footprint. We can purchase eco-friendly everything from the shoes on our feet to the paint on our walls. Many homeowners are making the decision to cap their homes off following suit. That’s right—even our roofs are going green.
While it’s true that asphalt shingles are still the leading choice of homeowners, a growing number are seeking an environmentally friendly alternative instead. While asphalt is recyclable, it’s difficult to do in most areas. There aren’t many facilities that accept asphalt shingles. And if there’s a recycling facility in a relatively nearby area, the cost of transporting one to three tons of shingles to the site after every tear-off is just not economically feasible for business owners.
It’s estimated that 11 million tons of asphalt shingles and scrap hit the landfills across our country every single year. And, if that didn’t take you back, consider the fact that 11 million tons was added to the 11 million from every year prior. Furthermore, another 11 million tons adds to the ever growing mass again next year.
It doesn’t take long to form a mental picture in your head, does it? I envisioned mountains of asphalt shingles towering into the sky as far as the eye could see. It was looking pretty bleak—maybe my brain went overboard because I’ve recently learned that it takes about 300 years for asphalt to break down.
That’s a long time.
It’s no wonder we’re seeking a better alternative!
There are two qualifications that place a roofing material in the environmentally friendly category.
There are four main types of eco-friendly roofing materials.
Both of these natural materials are extremely durable. Your roof could literally last for hundreds of years! Slate and clay tiles can’t actually be recycled to their original condition. However, reusing them qualifies them as environmentally friendly. They can be costly, but they’re beautiful. Not only that, due to the extremely long life expectancy, it should be the last time you need to recover your roof—ever!
Metal roofs can definitely be recycled, however, they last for 50 years or more so homeowners don’t replace them often. Furthermore, they reflect the heat from the sun keeping your house cooler during the summer months.
They’re fire resistant too!
The metals used for roofing are:
They don’t have many cons, but salt corrodes metal so think twice if you live near the coast.
Recycled shingles aren’t recycled asphalt. Instead, they’re manufactured from post-consumer or post-industrial waste. In other words, they’re made of redirected landfill waste rather than using any raw materials. In addition, some have a 50-year warranty and they can all be recycled again at the end of their lifetime.
Typically made from recycled, steel-belted radial tires, rubber roofing comes in a variety of colors. They’re coated with ground slate to provide texture. They can be a stunning addition to your homes aesthetic value and last up to 50 years!
Being environmentally conscious is commendable. You’re doing your part to leave the world a better place for those that come after us. Choosing to roof your home with a material that lasts decades longer than asphalt shingles will make a difference…
About 5 to 15 tons worth at least!
Michelle Williams believes construction is in her DNA. She spent many happy summers on the job site alongside her dad. As time passed, writing became her first love. However, she doesn't hesitate to strap on the tool belt and tackle a project on the side. Her kids love the playhouse!
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