Your roof should be near the top of your home improvement list when it comes to going green.The constant exposure to the elements make your roof the perfect candidate to reap the benefits of the energy efficiency that comes with a green roofing system. Since your roof is one of the more important structural features keeping you and your family safe, it's easy to see why homeowners are quickly being drawn to the workmanship and highlights that green remodels are best known for.
Taking Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Green:
Despite the fact that roofing looks good in green, homeowners ought to know that asphalt roofing shingles are not the greenest product around. They are a petroleum-based product, require a lot of energy to manufacture, have a relatively short lifespan, and account for a shockingly large percentage of the construction waste that is shipped to landfills every year. On the other side of the topic, asphalt shingle roofing is probably the most cost-effective roofing solution on the market when it comes to materials and installation; which ultimately secures their status, for the time being, as a cornerstone of the roofing industry. The key is making your asphalt shingle roofing installation as green as you possibly can by installing 40- or 50-year rated shingles.
Energy Savings and Green Asphalt Roofing:
Choosing a greener asphalt roof almost always translates into cheaper energy bills down the road. Here are a few things that will get you the most out of your green conversion:
Install Light Colored Roofing:
Light colored roofing is will reflect heat from the sun rather than absorb it. The result is a cooler home, and reduced cooling bills (especially if you have air conditioning ductwork in the attic). Light colored shingles also make for a longer lasting roof, thanks to the fact that a lighter roof will experience less contraction and expansion over its lifetime than a dark one.
Install Radiant Heat Barriers:
Radiant heat barriers are a thin layer of metal insulation, which can reduce radiant heat transfer into your attic up to 95 percent when installed to the underside of your roof. Radiant heat barriers are a great addition for any home, but they are especially effective for reducing air conditioning costs if your ductwork is located overhead.
Environmentally Friendly Asphalt Shingle Roofing:
As mentioned before, the terms "environmentally friendly" and "asphalt shingles" don't generally show up in the same sentence very often. Nevertheless, here are some things that you and your contractor can do to make sure that your asphalt shingle roof is as green as they come.
Install Recycled Content Asphalt Roofing:
Recycled asphalt shingles contain recycled waste paper and/or use reclaimed material slag in their aggregate surfaces. Since discarded, asphalt shingles are a major source of construction waste. Anything you can to do to offset that, such as cutting down on the waste of raw materials on the manufacturing end, is a plus.
Since energy savings mean reduced fossil fuel consumption, any energy savings you incur by adopting green remodeling methods with your asphalt roofing shingles is good for the environment, and your pocketbook.
Minimize Waste & Recycle Building Materials:
Measure your roof and order roofing materials carefully to minimize the waste sent to landfills. Also, remember that 85 to 90 percent of construction waste is recyclable, either by reusing it or disposing of it at facilities that will recycle the materials.
Purchase Roofing with a Longer Life:
Asphalt shingle roofing can last as little as 12 years before needing replacement. By purchasing shingles with a longer lifespan, you'll reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills and probably save yourself money in the long run since you won't have to spring for a new roof every 10 to 20 years.
Calculating the True Value of Going Green with Your Asphalt Shingle Roof:
By now you're probably wondering what it's going to cost you if you go green with your asphalt shingle roofing? Probably not much more than if you don't. You may pay more for a radiant heat barrier, recycled content asphalt shingles, and higher quality, longer lasting roofing materials, but when you factor in energy savings and going longer between re-roofing projects -- you're going to break even, if not save a little in the long run. The focus here is that going green is worth a lot more than you can measure in dollars and cents. Green roofs are healthier, longer lasting, lower maintenance roofing solutions. If you think green is the right choice for you, be sure to talk to your contractor about adopting a green building philosophy. At Trudel and Sons Roofing we specialize in Green Roofing, and we are always willing to help you plan and design the most efficient and green roof possible.