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Today, business owners are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their properties than ever before — and a major part of sustainability starts with the roof. A roof has a big say when it comes to durability and how efficiently it preserves inner temperatures.

With a growing emphasis on innovative materials for roofing, recycling methods, circular business models, and energy-efficient technologies, the roofing industry is steadily moving toward a greener future.

If you’re looking to make your business more sustainable, read on to learn about recyclable roofing materials, the benefits of each, and how the roofing recycling process works.

How to Choose Recyclable Roofing Materials

When replacing your roof, one of the most important decisions is the material. The ideal roofing system will depend on the nature of your structure while considering style and budget. For example, homeowners won’t have the same considerations as business owners choosing between types of commercial roofing

A variety of recyclable roofing materials is available today — enough to suit just about any property. However, they vary in how easily, cheaply, and to what extent they’re recyclable. To help you make the right choice for your business, let’s discuss common recyclable roofing options.

Always ask for references from previous clients, discuss pricing and payment options with commercial roof replacement contractors, and read any warranties or contracts to understand what is included.

a. Metal Roofing 

Recycled metal roof on a commercial facility.

Commercial metal roofing is one of the most popular types of roofing for businesses today because it delivers outstanding longevity and a unique style. Metal roofing is an excellent alternative to shingles because it provides a longer lifespan and easier maintenance. Metal roofing is also a top choice due to how easily it can be recycled in comparison to other alternatives. Like other metal construction materials, metal roofing can more easily be transformed back into raw materials for the production of new roofing or other goods. 

b. SBS Roofing

Recycled sbs roof on commercial facility.

Styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) roofing is often an excellent option because it’s a durable roofing material that delivers exceptional aging stability. SBS is a type of polymer that stands up to the temperature expansion and weather that your roof must endure. SBS roofing is typically made of recycled materials like rubber and plastic, making it a sustainable option. The material is also water-proofing and fire-resistant. In addition to being used for flat roof applications, SBS roofing can also be used for sloped roofs as well as wall coverings. 

c. Tile Roofing

Recycled tiles ready to be installed on a roof.

A favorite material, tile has long been a favorite for structures of all types, as it provides both exceptional style and great protection for your roof. Tile also holds color incredibly well, which means that your new roof will maintain its stylish aesthetic for years to come. Tile roofs are also incredibly durable and offer superior wind resistance. They don’t easily corrode or rust, which makes them an ideal choice when it comes to roof durability.

d. TPO Roofing

TPO roof made from recycled polimers.

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane roofing is another excellent option for flat roofs. The system relies on single-ply sheets that provide lasting protection against moisture and other hazards. Due to the plastic compounds, this roofing material is also an ideal candidate for roofing recycling. TPO roofing also offers several other eco-friendly benefits, such as its reflective nature that helps reduce the amount of heat absorbed. This helps keep energy bills low and reduces environmental emissions from air conditioning. 

e. Shingles

Roofer replacing roof with recycled asphalt shingles.

Known for its durability and affordable cost, contractors use shingle roofing on a wide number of structures of all kinds. Today, you can choose shingles in a variety of unique styles to match your business aesthetic. Shingles are available in traditional asphalt as well as a range of composite materials, each of which carries unique benefits. Many of these materials are designed with energy efficiency at the forefront, offering insulation and solar reflectivity. This can save energy costs over time. Additionally, modern shingles employ recycled materials to reduce their environmental impact.

How Roofing Materials are Recycled

So how exactly do you recycle these materials? When you hire roof replacement professionals, you won’t have to worry about where to dump roofing materials. At your request, the team at Roofing Solutions can ensure to divert your old roofing materials towards recycling or to dispose of them properly.

Different types of materials require separate roofing recycling processes to recycle them effectively. They require unique sorting, processing, and refinement steps. Let’s go over each in more detail. 

a. Metal Roofing

Topping the list of recyclable roofing materials is metal; it is one of the most easily recyclable. Recycled tin roofing was more common in the past, while most types of metal roofing today are made of:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper 
  • Zinc 
  • Stainless steel 
  • Some alloy of the above materials. 

Recycled metal roofs can be broken down into smaller pieces, which are then melted and recast into new materials. These types of recycled metal roofing offer several benefits. The main one is that the use of recycled metals in circular production uses a fraction of the total energy that is required for new production. This is mostly the case because of the high energy- and environmental impact of mining ores. Using recycled metals in roofing also keeps more waste out of landfills. 

b. SBS Roofing

SBS roofing cannot be effectively recycled in the same way that other roofing materials can. However, this doesn’t rule it out as a sustainable option. Many SBS roofing products are designed to last for decades, eliminating the need for frequent replacement. Additionally, SBS roofing materials can be produced with recycled content — such as rubber from tires or plastic bottles. This helps reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills while still providing a durable and sustainable product.

c. Tile Roofing

Tile roofing recycles very well due to its makeup and the versatility of ways it can be recycled and reused. Tiles are typically made of clay or concrete and can be crushed to make gravel or aggregate for construction, walkways, landscaping, and more. In fact, some homeowners even recycle their tile roofing themselves by using it for various DIY home improvement projects.  

d. TPO Roofing

TPO roofing can be easily recycled once your roof has reached the end of its lifespan. After removal, the TPO panels are ground into small pieces for use as raw material in new TPO panels or other building materials. The recycled material is also turned into playground surfaces, walkways, and patios. 

e. Shingles

There are several methods for how to recycle roof shingles properly. Often, asphalt shingles are broken into tiny pieces to be used as filler in new shingles, road pavement, and other applications. Composite roof recycling is also possible for other types of shingles. Depending on the material, these can be recycled into a variety of products including patio furniture and garden edging.

Choose Sustainable Roofing with Roofing Solutions 

Roofing Solutions is a leading Baton Rouge roofing company, providing a wide range of recyclable roofing materials and excellent service. From classic shingles to modern metal roofing, at your request, we can find recyclable materials for your business. 

Our team of highly experienced experts is trained to handle a variety of commercial roofing needs, including leak repair, roof repair, roof replacement, new roof construction, and more. Contact us today to learn more! 

Roofing Solutions Tupac de la Cruz COO

Tupac de la Cruz

COO , Roofing Solutions

Tupac has over 19 years of experience in the roofing industry. He sits on the executive board of the National Roofing Contractors Association.

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