St Louis Roofing: Article About Asphalt Shingle Sustainability
Consumers who are concerned about the environment are often caught in a dilemma when it comes to choosing a new roof. Do they choose the affordable and versatile asphalt shingle option, or do they spend significantly more money for a natural stone or clay tile product?
The fact that asphalt shingles are petroleum-based is off-putting to some homeowners. It also leads many to assume that this roof type isn't good for the environment. Luckily, if you're one of the 59 percent of Americans who prefer to buy environmentally sustainable products, you don't have to avoid asphalt shingles anymore. In many ways, these shingles can be just as environmentally friendly as metal, stone and tile roofs.
Like any product with dozens of different features and product lines, asphalt shingles vary widely on the sustainability scale. Enlist a knowledgeable St Louis roofing company to help you select the brand and style of asphalt shingle that suits your home and your green needs.
The effort to make shingles environmentally friendly actually begins during the manufacturing process. Most roof factories recycle their scrap waste. That's good news since roof manufacturers produce about one million tons of asphalt shingle scrap a year.
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Recycling that waste is the equivalent of saving one million barrels of petroleum. Top roof manufacturers like GAF and CertainTeed also operate in state-of-the-art facilities that maximize energy, water and oil consumption. Most set and achieve strict goals in reducing their carbon footprint as well.
Asphalt shingles can also be extremely energy-efficient themselves. Many of today's shingle roofs are available in "cool roof" versions. Cool roofs reduce energy use in the home or office by limiting the roof's heat gain. Homeowners can actually save as much as 30 percent on their summer cooling costs by installing and maintaining asphalt shingles with cool roof properties. Each roof's cool performance can be compared by looking at its Solar Reflectance Index.
In recent years, great strides have also been made on the life cycle of shingle roofs. They're generally lasting longer, and when they are torn off, they're often sent to asphalt shingle recycling centers. Roof tear-offs account for about 10 million tons of roofing waste, so recycling these materials saves considerable space in local landfills. During recycling, the asphalt shingle is ground into small asphalt pebbles that can be used in hot mix asphalt road pavement. The pebbles can also be incorporated into cold patch asphalt and fuel for cement kilns and certain boilers.