Asphalt Roofing - Choosing Your Environmentally Friendly Materials

If you need a new roof on your home and you are an environmentally conscious person, then you may be concerned about the way that the installation may affect the environment. If you opt for an asphalt shingle roof, then the installation can be quite friendly. You will need to pick the right materials as you secure the roof. A few examples of some of the materials you should choose are outlined below.

Choose Recycled Shingles

Most asphalt shingles are made from a fiber mat with an asphalt coating over the top of this mat. In most cases, the mat is made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass is made out of glass, and often times the glass material is made from recycled windows. As much as 70% of the fiberglass may be made out of recycled content. However, it does take a good deal of energy to turn glass into a fibrous material. Instead of choosing shingles with a fiberglass structure, purchase ones with an organic base. Wood fibers make up the mat of these shingles. In many cases, recycled newspapers are used during the manufacturing process. Make sure the shingles you buy are made out of recycled organic materials. 

Most asphalt shingles will come with an adhesive material on the exterior to help seal the shingles to the surface of the roof. This is generally required when strip shingles are purchased and installed. The strips or tabs will contain a petroleum-based tar sealant that will bond the shingles to the roof. Look for shingles that contain a water-based adhesive instead, since petroleum products are bad for the environment. You can opt for adhesive-free varieties and add a PVC water-based adhesive yourself. A low-VOC polyurethane compound will work well too.

If you do not want any adhesive placed on your roof, then you can opt for shingles that secure with roofing nails alone. Interlocking varieties are a good example of these shingles. Interlocking shingles are geometrically-shaped shingles that overlap and weave into one another. The shingles are then attached to one another with the assistance of nails. The interlocking shingles are often used in high-wind environments where shingles may fly away from the roof base. This means that they offer reduced security over typical shingle types. 

Pick The Right Roofing Felt

Roofing felt is typically placed across the substrate of the roof to create a waterproof barrier. This helps to keep moisture out of the home if water leaks underneath the shingles. Most felt materials are made from fiberglass and coated with bitumen. Bitumen is a petroleum-based product that is not good for the environment. While you have the option of choosing synthetic polyester felts and felt made from rags, both of these materials will be covered with bitumen or asphalt to resist water.

You can move away from the traditional types of felt and opt for a TPO membrane instead. TPO membranes are synthetic polymer sheets made from thermoplastic materials. The membrane is thin, so less material is needed to construct it. The covering is also UV resistant to reduce heat gain. The material is typically dyed white as well to reflect sunlight, and it is highly weather resistant, durable, and fire-retardant. While all of these benefits may not be utilized since the membrane will sit underneath your roof, the TPO material can offer superior protection if a roof leak pops up or if several shingles are dislodged from the top of your home. 

If you want an environmentally friendly roof, then you can choose an asphalt one. Just make sure to choose the right shingles and roofing felt material. For other green options that are available to you, speak with a roofing supply company like American Building & Roofing Inc