The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that three out of five houses in the U.S. have asphalt shingles for their roofs. According to roofers in Akron, such as D&M Roofing, asphalt is among the most popular roofing materials in the country. There’s just one issue about this material that concerns some people-petroleum.
For years, people have been looking for ways to be less reliant on fossil fuel, primarily due to its effects on the atmosphere. Statistics show that most of the country’s energy comes from fossil fuels, even with cleaner sources of energy available. The asphalt in asphalt shingles is a byproduct of crude oil, which is part of the leftover from distillation.
The process of breaking down crude oil alone expends a lot of energy. A 2007 report published by the Department of Energy estimates that the refining process uses at least three quintillion Btu every year (2,877.3 x 1012 Btu). The government needed to find a way to be less reliant on fossil fuels without sacrificing the market for asphalt shingles. And the solution may be simpler than you think-recycle old shingles.
Asphalt shingle recycling
A 2007 report by Florida-based Innovative Waste Consulting Services, LLC estimated that more than ten million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated in the country. Majority of the waste comes from shingles that have outlived their usefulness. Asphalt shingles last usually around 25 years or longer with good maintenance over the years.
Instead of getting their asphalt from oil refineries, roofing manufacturers looking to recycle asphalt shingles will get what they need from post-consumer or post-manufacturing materials. Waste generated by making asphalt shingles, as well as dead shingles in landfills, provide manufacturers with the asphalt they need. These materials undergo a similar process of conversion into fresh shingles.
A lot of Dover roofing contractors offer asphalt shingles made out of such materials. The 2007 report by Innovative Waste estimated that recycling asphalt shingles would help recover at least 20,000 Btu per pound of shingles. Since asphalt shingles are widely in demand across the U.S., the energy savings may be larger in the long run.
The EPA reported that there is no considerable difference in the quality of recycled and fresh asphalt shingles. The process refines the asphalt material to get rid of any contaminants or foreign bodies that can affect its strength as a roofing material.