Most roofers would advise that asphalt shingles have been placed on two-thirds of the American roofs. With an average lifespan of 30 to 40 years and even more nearing the end of their service life, it certainly appeared that there ought to be a better and more efficient way to dispose of those removed from roofs. There is now a means to be efficient and environmentally friendly when dealing with used shingles and that is with recycling.
Once an asphalt shingle nears the end of its serviceable life, it becomes brittle and curls from repeated exposure to the sun’s UV rays. This constant exposure to the sun’s rays eventually removes the moisture from each tile which makes it susceptible to breaking from even the slightest wind. When the condition of the material gets to such a point, the next most sensible step is to replace it before extensive damage occurs that would leave the underlying material susceptible to weather damage.
Recycling is a sensible way of handling used asphalt shingles. In the United States alone, around ten million tons of shingles are removed from roofs annually. One roof alone is enough to pave at least 200 feet of a two-way road.
Typically, when shingles are removed, they are dumped in a landfill. A better choice is now available, namely choosing to recycle them and reduce the amount of waste generated every day in this country.
Asphalt shingles consist of asphalt, which is a byproduct of fossil fuel and the same component used to pave roads and covering potholes. Since shingles are derived from the same substance as roads, it only makes sense that the material be recycled back to its same original intent.
The recycling process is initiated by selecting a roofing contractor who supports such a program. Not all contractors practice this method, although there are a considerable number becoming interested in implementing recycling programs.
Once the shingles have been removed from the roof, they are transported to a recycling facility. They are cleaned to remove any metal or wood and then crushed; a strong magnet is then passed over the residue to remove any traces of metal still present. All ground up, the shingles are brought to a plant where they are mixed with virgin asphalt and finally used for road paving work.
It is not hard to imagine that there are many benefits to be derived from such a recycling effort.
- Cost Effective – Recycling is a cost effective option rather than disposing of the shingles in a landfill. Because petroleum products are at an all-time high, facilities recycling this material will benefit financially from using less virgin asphalt and substituting more inexpensive asphalt into the mixture.
- Environmentally Friendly – Because asphalt is a form of fossil fuel, it takes a significant amount of time before the material breaks down. Shingles dumped directly into landfills only accumulate and cause soil pollution long term. Recycling greatly reduces the amount of waste thrown into landfills and reduces the negative impact asphalt shingles have on the environment.
Today, replacing shingle roofs can be done in an environmentally friendly way thanks to the recycling options offered by a growing number of contractors. Once an asphalt roof is near the end of its serviceable life, look for a roofer who knows how to properly handle this type of shingle. Hopefully, this article has provided helpful information regarding the trend of asphalt recycling and its many environmentally-friendly benefits!
Are you looking for a roofing Houston company to help with your shingle repair and recycling? Schulte Roofing of Navasota provides expert service to the greater area Houston and can help customers with all of their roofing needs!