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Asphalt Roofing Shingles: Eco-Friendly or Unsustainable?

Are you considering investing in a roof replacement soon? In that case, you may already be thinking about the features you want your roof to embody—such as a stylish appearance, impact resistance, and long-lasting performance. However, for many homeowners, choosing a roofing material that is good for the environment is of the utmost importance!

Many homeowners automatically dismiss asphalt roofing shingles when considering eco-friendly roofing materials—but this is a big mistake. This roofing material is actually more environmentally safe than you might think. Keep reading to see how!

What Are Asphalt Roofing Shingles Made of?

Standard asphalt roofing shingles are made from a base mat of an organic material (cellulose fibers) or inorganic material (fiberglass) covered with asphalt, tar, or petroleum products and topped with ceramic granules. They’re also called “composite roofing shingles” since they’re made from a composite of manmade materials.

It’s true—since asphalt is a byproduct of crude oil, it’s not exactly a sustainable material. However, that doesn’t automatically make asphalt roofing shingles environmentally unsafe. Technological advancements, modern materials, and streamlined production processes have made asphalt roofing shingles eco-friendlier than ever.

What Makes Asphalt Roofing Shingles Eco-Friendly?

Thanks to these eco-friendly features, you can rest assured you’re reducing your carbon footprint when you install asphalt roofing shingles:

They are made from recycled materials.

Many modern asphalt shingles are made from recycled materials, like old tires and plastic bags, to supplement some of the more unsustainable materials, like fiberglass.

Not only do modern asphalt roofing shingles minimize the raw materials needed to produce the roofing products themselves, but they also reduce the amount of waste in landfills around the country.

They offer significant energy savings.

Asphalt roofing shingles reflect the sun’s rays and absorb less heat than other roofing materials, making them an energy-efficient option. In fact, asphalt roofing shingles can reduce the surface of your roof by up to 50°F, which minimizes the output of your HVAC system and therefore reduces your home’s energy consumption.

You’ll enjoy lower utility bills, comfortable indoor temperatures, and peace of mind knowing that you’re actively reducing your carbon footprint with asphalt roofing shingles. If you’d like to get the most energy savings from your asphalt roofing system, opt for lighter-colored shingles, like white or tan, since they reflect heat better than darker shades.

They can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

Not only are modern asphalt shingles made from recycled materials, but despite common misconceptions, they can actually be recycled and repurposed at the end of their lifespan.

Asphalt roofing shingles are commonly used in other asphalt-based products, like parking lots, driveways, biking paths, and hiking paths. You may be surprised to learn the asphalt shingles from a standard-sized roof can be used to pave nearly 200 feet of a two-lane highway! Many states even require pavement mixtures to include a percentage of recycled asphalt from building waste.

Before your asphalt roofing shingles can be recycled after being torn off your home, they must undergo a cleaning process. Then, instead of being hauled to a landfill, your contractor can take them to a recycling service that produces pavement from old shingles.

They reduce maintenance-related waste.

When they’re well cared for, asphalt roofing shingles can last up to 30 years, so they won’t need to be replaced often. Roofing systems that last longer and don’t constantly need to be repaired, like asphalt roofing shingles, minimize waste.

Asphalt roofing shingles are also low maintenance, so you won’t need to use harsh chemical cleaners that are bad for the environment to keep your roofing system looking great.

Get all your questions about asphalt roofing shingles answered by using our helpful asphalt shingle roofing guide for homeowners in Ohio.

Feel Good About Your Impact on the Environment with Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles may be more eco-friendly than you realized, but the benefits don’t stop there! This popular roofing material is also cost-effective, customizable, weather resistant, and can mimic other beautiful materials, like cedar or slate. American Way Exteriors is committed to enhancing the value of your property with beautiful, durable materials, like asphalt roofing shingles. Learn more about what Dayton, Ohio, homeowners love about asphalt roofing shingles installed by our expert team!

Read Our Rave Reviews

American Way Exteriors has earned numerous positive reviews for our outstanding service. Read about our customers’ pleasant experiences working with us, then contact us today to learn how we can improve your home with new siding and roofing.

"Jake Preston is amazing! We had wind damage to our roof. Jake assisted us through every step. Making sure we had no unanswered questions. His professionalism and kindness is unmatched. The crew was respectful and detailed oriented. Thank you Jake and American Way!"

Michelle G.

"Replaced the existing siding on my home. Contact and price were discussed thoroughly during the initial discussions. Workers arrived at the scheduled time and were professional in the removal, new installation, cleanup, and onsite conduct. Communication between supervisors, installers and myself was on a daily basis and any issues were addressed immediately. Would not hesitate to use this company again or recommend them."

Beecher R.

"We chose American Way Exteriors to replace our old vinyl siding with Hardie board siding and trim. Throughout the entire process we found the team to be very professional and receptive to our questions about the project. They were constantly in touch with us about when work would start, what to expect each day of the project, and followed up to see if we had concerns. As the project began it was very apparent our house had suffered from poor installation by the builder years ago. The American Way team worked to fix the problems, keeping us well informed along the way. We could not be happier with the finished project both cosmetically and structurally. This is definitely a company we highly recommend exterior projects!"

Kathy G.

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