Environmental Issues of Roofing

You may not realize that something as simple as roofing can be an environmental issue. You went to all the trouble of picking a reputable roofing company. You made sure they follow basic green technology principles. You even asked them to use the most environmentally sound materials to do your roofing repair or replacement. Now, you are starting to relax and sitting back while they do the work and you anticipate a great new roof. But, have you ever wondered what happens to the shingles that fell to the ground while they work?

If your roof is made from asphalt shingles, you might be surprised to know that there are green technologies that can make great use of these materials. Most people know that putting asphalt shingles in a landfill can cause environmental issues and is not optimal. But few people realize that the asphalt from your roof can be recycled and used to build roads or repair streets that you drive on every day.

This type of green technology and the recycling of materials helps keep landfills cleaner and makes road repairs and building less expensive. According to one report, the management and maintenance of roads can leave a similar carbon footprint comparable to the oil industry and cause damage to the environment. But use of recycled roofing material can reduce this effect by nearly a forth. Many roads today are surfaced or resurfaced with a blend of new and recycled asphalt to help with the environmental issues and costs involved with maintaining road surfaces.

So, whenever asphalt isn’t manufactured from scratch but instead comes from recycled roofing material, it has a positive effect on the environment. Many roofers are unaware of the benefits or ways of recycling asphalt shingles. They may have to be educated by the clients they serve. If more and more homeowners insist on environmentally sound, green technology, the businesses will be forced to learn. Remember, every little bit helps and there is a significant number of homes with asphalt roofs that will need to be repaired or replaced at some time. And of course we can’t escape the need for roads and the repair of roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

    What proofs are there that non-eco friendly practices harm the environment, and in what way?
    I’m not an anti-environmentalist, I actually recycle, and assume that we can’t keep using natural resources at the rate we do. But what proof is there? How does anyone know that recycling isn’t just completely pointless? I’d really appreciate an educated answer. Any examples would be nice. What evidence is there that we can’t just ravish all of the worlds resources with no effects? I know we put catalytic converters to help localized air quality, but what proof is there that that is even harmful?
    • ANSWER:
      I’ll try to explain a few aspects.First of all, there’s air pollution with greenhouse gases.
      We already know, and this has been known for quite a long time, that emissions like CO2 (but also CH4 – from ruminants) will warm up the planet. This is because they reflect upwards radiation (from the earth to the atmosphere). We know it happens, because this is the reason why the earth doesn’t cool down below freezing temperatures at night – these greenhouse gases keep the warmth in. This has all been modeled and it’s pretty obvious that having more greenhouse gases will warm up earth.What effects does this have?
      Obviously, when the earth warms up, water warms up. Ice from the polar areas melts and this will make sea levels rise, wiping several entire countries and states off the world map.
      It’s common sense actually, we all know how one degree can make the difference between ice melting or freezing. Simulations predict a best case scenario of a 4 degree Celsius increase this century, so that isn’t looking good. Let’s not forget that the heat of ocean and air currents affect every country/continent’s climate. Places will become more deserted, food will be more difficult to grow. Also, figure this.
      When we use all of our fossil fuels, they are gone FOREVER. Our entire economy is based on fossil fuels, so we need to find alternatives before it’s too late.
      And think of it this way; say that all of this environmental stuff isn’t true and it was all a myth. Can we afford to take the risk? Ten years ago, reports said that ice cap and glaciers would start melting in 100 years. Turns out they’re melting already, far faster than scientists thought. We thought we’d see more extreme weather conditions (due to differences in ocean currents) in about 100 years. Turns out it’s happening right now. Even outside of the hurricane/tornado seasons, we’re seeing an increased amount of hurricanes and tornados all over the world in the past few years. Also notice how many big earthquakes and eruptions there have been in the past few years compared to other years. It’s not entirely sure if this has anything to do with the environmental changes, but there’s so much we don’t know.
    What does “business friendly environment” mean to conservatives?
    Is it the freedom to manipulate markets, at the expense of the consumer, for a quick buck? Or the freedom to engage in insanely risky hedging maneuvers designed to drive up short-term profits with no regard as to whether the practices are sustainable?Or the freedom of the people who engage in these practices to pay virtually no taxes on these gains yet expect the taxpayer to bear the risk when it all blows up in their faces? In other words, privatized profits and socialized losses.That actually does sound pretty “business friendly.” But how does it benefit anybody other than the people running these businesses and pocketing these profits?
    You are correct, hedges are not inherently bad. Hedging techniques were originally used to reduce risk. However, some people figured out they could also be used to increase risk, which increases return. When they escalated it to a reckless level of risk, it created a situation where the slightest downturn could wipe out entire portfolios.
    • ANSWER:
      Well, you DID say “business friendly”…you didn’t say “responsible business” friendly…but you are correct on all counts, that those are what irresponsible business perceives as a “business friendly” environment.
    Is disposing toilet tissues in the loo-pot environment friendly?
    The toilet/ house drained water is not treated to reuse?
    Actually it’s a paper and blocks the flow in the pipes and drains and one has to cut a tree to produce it?
    Why the wrong practice of wiping when water cleans better than paper and can be reused?
    The whole city water is drained into the rivers or oceans and paper creates problems to the sea-creatures?
    • ANSWER:
      No, its not environment friendly. Anything that cannot be recycled cannot be environment friendly.
    How can we make big corporate food service companies more aware of environmentally issues?
    Chefs are always aware of the seasons as it brings a change in availability of produce. The availability of product and it’s price flux makes us painfully aware of weather, political, and social changes.The restaurant industry is seeing a shift towards more eco-friendly packaging for both raw products coming in the back door, and prepared items going out the front door.Yet, while many chefs are taking on the challenge of finding organic foods, purchasing from local farms and supporting sustainable agriculture practices, the environment is still hurting. Many large food service corporations, such as Sodexho, Compass, and Aramark who net billions of dollars annually, are not as strict in practicing eco-friendly habits as small scale restaurants are. How can we make these large companies make environmentally responsible changes?
    • ANSWER:
      Don’t do business with food service companies you deem to be not environmentally responsible. Hit them where it hurts, in their wallet. If we want to press environmental issues, we must be willing to use our purchasing power.
    Going green for the environment?
    Corporations are touting their efforts to go green in their computing environments, but a survey of computer professionals found that less than seven percent of companies have implemented their green IT initiatives. Corporations may be choosing to practice green computing, but many times their efforts are driven by a financial goal to save electricity, not an ecological goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Visit the Web sites of several companies profiled in this textbook and locate their environmentally friendly practices. (Two or three companies are listed in “Companies on the Cutting Edge” at the end of each chapter.) Which green practices are featured? What outdated equipment has been replaced with energy-efficient machines? Is virtualization technology implemented? How are they conserving power? Summarize your findings and copy the links to the Web sites that provide additional details.Your posting should follow this format:Check the websites of at least 3 companies. List each company and tell the green practices they feature in their web site. For each company, answer the questions: 1. What outdated equipment has been replaced with energy-efficient machines. 2. Is virtualization technology being used? 3. How are they conserving power? Note whether these companies are reducing carbon dioxide emissions or reducing their electricity usage. (or both) Does it really matter if they are saving energy, but not reducing carbon dioxide emissions? Why or why not?
    • ANSWER:
      everything helps, it’s like the butterfly effect
    Organic practices increase home value?
    Will creating an organic garden or using eco-friendly paints on my home help with it’s value? I want to do some improvements but keep along the idea of things better for the environment. Are there woods that aren’t chemically treated for floors or building a deck?
    • ANSWER:
      It will appeal to a subset of people. That’s about all you can say. I would appreciate it, but know some who wouldn’t.I know of no wood for making decks with that don’t require either preservative or paint to protect it. Even redwood needs oil to prolong it, plus they are such beautiful trees.
    Eco-Friendly Airline?
    Do you believe people would be willing to pay extra, not much extra, for a flight on board an environmentally friendly airline? One that uses the electric tugs to transport planes to the runway, instead of using the plane’s own power. Also, using the most efficient aircraft, like the Bombardier C Series, and such environmentally friendly actions. Not only during flight, but also ground practices.Would you pay extra, knowing that helping the environment should be priceless?Thanks
    I always thought the C Series was a Commercial aircraft. I am not referring to the CRJ-200s of CRJ-900s.
    • ANSWER:
      Would I pay extra? Sure I would, but then I dont get carried away by the notion of being eco-friendly. For me power used is power created and power is almost always created by the usage of the so called non eco-friendly means.So if the electrical power is generated in the remote hydel plant, cabled all the way to the airport, stored in eco-friendly batteries and used to move the aircraft, then I’d be paying extra for some plumb dumbness. There are better ways to do it, economical ways.Stored electricity doesnt mean eco-friendliness, the source could still be a contributor for pollution. The losses involved in storage of power and its conversions can finally add up to more pollution than by a sensible conventional manner.
    Which burial practice is the most eco-friendly: cremation of the tradional burial?
    I know a regular burial takes up an area of land permanently, where as a cremation can be scattered, is biodegradable (just ashes) and requires no land to be preserved eternally. However, the process of cremating the body would seem to be somewhat of an eco- UNfriendly process. Which way would be more “green” for the environment? (just a random thought on my drive to class today)
    • ANSWER:
      Cremation. Get those nutrients back into the soil/biota.
    What are the main key to maintain … ?
    What is the main key that you can maintain the friendly environment on the practice area, as a student or even an Instructor, we have full responsibility to remain things at ease, then what you think you can share.I emphasize important rules and regulations on the dojo, but if there are some useful thoughts then I must revise it to properly utilize things smoothly.
    • ANSWER:
      i have a list of rules, as well. while they are all important. the ones i think of the most is respect.
      respect other, the dojo and the sensei. in order to receive respect you must also give respect to others.
      this also relates to what rob was saying about, not laughing or making fun of people, when something happens.
      as well as having the students that have been there longer be an example to the new students and help them with dojo etiquette.
      having an open dialoged with your students, having them know when the appropriate time for questions are. not all questions should be asked during class.
The Cleaning Coach is a nationally-recognized green homekeeping expert dedicated to educating people on keeping their homes, schools and work areas GREEN.