Sunday, September 28, 2008

Roofing materials given a second life

We've been working on a project that included removing part of our roof, and with it two layers of shingles and several roof decking boards (tongue and groove). You know, just a little weekend project ;-) So anyway, like all our projects we wanted to figure out a way to make this one as green as possible. Unfortunately, rather than putting on a metal roof or a green roof, we went with 50-year asphalt shingles. I say 'unfortunately,' because those options would definitely make us feel better about ourselves. But the rest of the roof is asphalt and this section needed to tie into the rest of the roof.

Anyone who has ever re-roofed a house knows what an incredible mess it makes. Most people hire other people to do this terrible job, there is usually a dumpster involved, and a big pile of asphalt, wood, aluminum and nails heads off to the landfill. In fact, I would be lying if I said that's not what happened when we had the front out our house re-roofed last year. But we all learn from our mistakes, and this time we did the work ourselves, and therefore took care of the aftermath ourselves as well.

The first step was to separate out the old demolished gutters and drip edge. Those we took, along with some other metal we had laying around, to Calamari Recycling in Essex, CT. We have brought several loads of metal to them in the past, and they give you a decent price for your scrap metal which they sell to companies that melt it down for re-use.

The second step was to separate the shingles from the roof boards. We didn't just scrape all the shingles off and then remove decking, instead we cut off chunks of wood and shingles. So we separated the two materials into piles, removing and collecting most of the nails along the way as well (those will head to Calamari in a subsequent trip).

Once we had the shingles separated from the wood, we drove the shingles up to a place in Bloomfield that Nicole found online. This company, Incorporated Industries, LLC, happens to be the only company in Connecticut that recycles asphalt shingles. They grind them up, separate out the nails (we were nice enough to do this for them), and sell the ground up material to companies that mix it in with regular asphalt for paving roads, driveways, etc.

The big pile of wood, which also contains scraps from the framing lumber, will be chipped up in a rented wood chipper and used for mulch.

All of these steps, in addition to re-using the bricks from the chimney we removed as a walkway for the garden, have taken what would otherwise be several loads of landfill material and turned it all into reused material.


Unknown said...

Roofing materials can vary depending on what your preference. Often tiles, shingles or metal are the best choices for long life and good looks. The best option will depend on the type of roof that you have and the style of your home.

Iko shingles

Unknown said...

It's always nice when you can recycle something! And you'd seriously be amazed at some of the things you can recycle nowadays. Before you get rid of something (especially a lot of something, like a bunch of roofing shingles) you should definitely look up online whether or not you can recycle it instead!

Fred | Roofing Contractors Lancaster PA

Anonymous said...

It seems to be a good change that we are sure to see if we are keeping it up. If everyone has been taking interest in such steps we are sure to being the revolution for the upcoming generation.

Anonymous said...

Last month I have also done the renovation of our house roof which was in pretty bad shape. I am pretty sure the use the same idea that you have been telling to take better care of roof.

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