When most people think of green or eco-friendly roofing, their first thought is about metal roofs. Fortunately, there are other ways to make your roof greener while still using asphalt shingles and without the investment in expensive roofing material alternatives. The following are a few ways that you can enjoy a more environmentally friendly roof.
Look for recycled materials
Asphalt as a resource is actually recyclable. It can be reheated and reused in its original form. You can purchase quality shingles that are made from recycled asphalt, which will help offset some of the production waste that would occur if you used shingles made from all new materials.
Check the lifespan
Not all shingles are created equally. When shopping for the perfect asphalt shingles, you want to opt for the ones that have the longest warranty. These will typically last the longest, and the longer your roof lasts, the greener it is. This can also save you money in the long run, since you won't be replacing your roof as often.
Consider a lighter color
Asphalt shingles are available in a large range of colors. Lighter colors are greener options because they reflect sunlight, thus lowering your energy usage when it comes to cooling your house. Reflecting the light, instead of absorbing, can also slow UV damage on the roof and prolong its life.
Install a gutter catchment system
A good gutter system protects the eaves of your roof from water damage and rot. If you tie the gutters into a cistern or rain barrel catchment system, you can further green your roof since you will be able to save the rainwater for landscape use during drier weather.
Recycle your old shingles
Old asphalt shingles can be recycled, which further cuts down on the environmental footprint of your roof. When shopping for contractors, make sure the one you choose offers a recycling option or is willing to work with a waste disposal company that will cover the recycling aspect.
Keep up with maintenance
Regular maintenance will further extend the life of the roof. Have zinc strips installed at the ridgeline to kill moss and algae so that they don't damage roofing in shady areas. Make sure to inspect the roof monthly and have any damaged shingles or flashing immediately replaced. Also, keep debris off the roof, since this can lead to damage. The longer your roof last, the more its environmental cost is lowered.
Talk with a roofing material supplier like American Building & Roofing, Inc. for more advice on choosing a greener roof.