If you're facing a roof replacement due to a storm, a bad roofing job, or just a really old roof that can't hold its own anymore, you may want to consider the environmental impact of your roofing decisions. One factor that influences the roofing decisions you make is whether or not your roofing material can be recycled. You should always recycle the old roofing material, if possible, and for maximum environmental benefit you should try to replace it with a roofing material that's also recyclable (even if it isn't the same type of material). Here are three recyclable types of roofing to consider for your next commercial roofing project.
Asphalt shingles are completely recyclable, but that doesn't necessarily make them environmentally friendly. This is because the energy cost of manufacturing is extremely high, and they are not made from all natural materials. For this reason, using asphalt shingles responsibly involves a two-pronged approach. First, make arrangements to recycle any shingles you take off your roof. Second, source new shingles made from old shingles. When you're looking for these low-impact shingles, remember that the higher the recycled content, the better they are. In addition, don't be fooled by recycled content that is not "post-consumer" content. If it's not post-consumer, that just means the factories re-used their own odds and ends. Post-consumer content means it has actually been on someone's roof before being recycled.
Metal, because it's not made of all-natural materials, is also an energy drain when first made. However, it's easy to recycle (although not as easy as asphalt because it's not as commonly used). It's also easier on the environment, since metal roofing uses a lot of recycled material in its creation. In fact, many metal roofing manufacturers routinely use recycled content in even conventional metal roofing.
Slate is better for the environment initially because it's made of an all-natural material with a minimum of processing. Although it's not recycled in the traditional sense, it's often re-used or "reclaimed," which is even more eco-friendly because it requires no additional processing. Slate is so durable it can last for hundreds of years, which is why it can sometimes be available for reclamation; it can actually last longer than the house it was installed on. So if you want zero environmental impact, you could try installing a reclaimed slate roof and then have it passed along to someone else once your house doesn't need it anymore.
These three types of roofing demonstrate how you can lessen your environmental impact by selecting recycled, recyclable, or reclaimed roofing materials to reduce manufacturing costs.
For more information about commercial roof repair, contact an organization like Upson Company.