Going green and investing in a new asphalt shingle roof are not mutually exclusive. Whether you are going with asphalt due to cost, appearance, or HOA requirements on roofing materials, you can still make some decisions that help asphalt be an eco-friendly option. The following tips can help you with this goal.
Tip #1: Upgrade your underlayment
When it comes to installing a green roof with thin asphalt shingles, the underlayment plays an important role. In most cases your main sub-roofing component, the plywood sheets, will be in good condition and won't require replacement. Instead of upgrading these, have a heat barrier installed over the sub-roof. This is a thin layer of metal insulation that keeps warm air in your home so you have less winter heat loss. It also reflects away heat in summer, so the home stays cooler in the warm months. This simple upgrade can majorly reduce your energy usage.
Tip #2: Choose the right shingle color
Naturally you want your shingles to complement the other colors on your home, but you should still have both light and dark colored options that work. In cold climates, opt for dark colored shingles since these absorb sunlight and help make the home more passively warm – thus reducing energy needs. In hot climates, lighter colored shingles are a better option because they reflect away the heat. They also may last longer since the shingles won't heat up as much themselves when they are lighter in color.
Tip #3: Opt for higher quality
Price isn't the only consideration when shopping for shingles. Carefully check the quality ratings and any longterm reviews you can find on each shingle option. To be truly green, the roof needs to last as long as possible without requiring a replacement. Choose the shingles that will fit into your budget that have the longest guarantee period as well as the highest reviews.
Tip #4: Don't forget to recycle
Asphalt is a recyclable material. You can even find high quality asphalt shingles that contain some of this recycled material, which will further reduce your environmental footprint when installing your new roof. The old shingles can also be recycled, so don't allow them to simply be hauled off to the dump. Old shingles are used to make new shingles or they are ground up and used for asphalt in road building and repairing projects.
For more help in finding just the right shingles, contact a building supplier in your area.