Although asphalt roofing shingles are a big majority in America's roofing market today, they don't have the best reputation where eco-friendliness is concerned. That's partly because they're made of petroleum products, take a lot of energy to manufacture, and often end up in the landfill. It's also because conventional asphalt shingles can sometimes be less energy efficient than other roofing types.
But that doesn't mean your asphalt roof has to be an energy hog and unfriendly to the Earth; there are actually quite a few ways you can mitigate the potential negative effects and create positive ones when you're planning and executing an asphalt roof installation. Here are four key ways to do this.
1. Choose recycling
If you look for a high recycled content in your new roofing shingles, you can reduce or eliminate the need for virgin petroleum in your project. Committing to a recycled roof also lowers the demand for new asphalt roofing materials and reduces the amount of energy needed to create your shingles.
In addition to a recycled new roof, you can also close the loop by making sure your old roof gets carted off to a recycling facility so it can be processed into a new roof for someone else rather than taking up space in a landfill.
2. Try high reflectivity
Solar reflective materials are designed to reflect light back away from your house (instead of absorbing it and making your AC unit work harder). White or metal roofs are often recommended for high reflectivity, but high-tech developments in asphalt shingles have led to the ability to create normal-looking shingles that reflect a much higher percentage of the light.
The fact that these shingles are absorbing fewer light and heat rays also means they don't deteriorate as quickly, because the temperatures aren't as extreme and there's less UV damage. So your roof will also be more eco-friendly in this case by lasting longer and requiring new materials less often.
3. Don't forget what's under the roof
Attic ventilation is a critical component of your roof's health and longevity. And remember, the longer you can get your roof to last, the more eco-friendly it will be. So start its life out right with plenty of attic ventilation. This helps by making sure that heat isn't trapped under the roof (which can increase its temperature and hasten heat-related aging and damage) and that condensation can dissipate rather than sitting on the underside of the roof and rotting it.
In addition to sufficient ventilation, you should consider a radiant heat barrier. This reflects any heat that's radiating out from the underside of the roof back through the roof, reducing the amount of heat in the attic space at large even further. This can help reduce the load on your AC system.
4. Choose an eco-friendly contractor
A contractor with an environmental commitment will be more likely to have sources for the eco-friendly products you're looking for and will be more than willing to help you figure out the logistics of the project. In addition, they'll be likely to have more experience with the unique aspects of sustainable roofing and will even have more tips for you about how to make your project less harmful to the Earth.
Whether you're looking to re-roof your house right away or whether you just need an inspection or even just some advice about eco-friendly ways to take care of the roof you have now, Top Dog Roofing would be only too happy to help. Be sure to get in touch with us right away via our phone or our web contact form.