The GAF Certified Green RooferTM program is about helping roofing contractors be environmentally-friendly with their business. There are a number of different ways roofers and homeowners can contribute.
Caldwell’s Roofing is pleased to be a part of the GAF Certified Green Roofer program.
Shingle Recycling – A Big Part of the Program
Turning old roofs into new roads is probably the biggest way that roofers and homeowners can take a step towards reducing and reusing their waste. Some 36% of landfill waste is construction debris, and you can be sure that roofing shingles are a good chunk of that. Taking shingles out of the mix, and putting them to use for new roads, is a win-win sort of situation.
Caldwell’s Roofing recycles 99%+ of their tear-off shingles. It’s a simple process with the hardest part being keeping the recycle load “clean” (free of metal, plastic, food, etc.), as all of it is going to go into a road. The good part is that the shingle recycling machine uses magnets to separate out all the roofing nails, so you don’t have to worry about them.
Recycling, while involving a little more effort, will rarely add much to a roofer’s overhead. That’s why it only seems like a smart step to take.
The GAF Certified Green Roofer – Educated on Energy Efficiency and Green Options
GAF’s program trains the roofing contractor in two separate classes – one on “Asphalt Shingles and the Green Home,” and another on “Designer Lifetime Shingles.” These classes teach the contractor concepts such as how the longevity of a roof system is “green” in and of itself (a 50-year roof outlasts a 10-year roof 5 times, and thus reduces use of raw material and stockpiling of landfills by 5 five times); how lighter shingles such as GAF’s Cool Series can reflect the sun’s rays and keep a home’s AC bills (and power usage) down; or how proper ventilation of an attic will greatly reduce heat build up and prevent microbial growth. Shall we take a better look at each of these?
Lifetime Designer Shingles – A Good Choice for a Long-Lasting and Aesthetic Roof
GAF’s designer shingles are a good choice for investing in a lifetime-style roof that won’t have to go to the dump in 20-30 years (tornadoes permitting!). There are some choices that can really dress your home up, while effectively keeping materials out of a landfill.
GAF’s CamelotⓇ or Grand CanyonⓇ are two great-looking choices. If you think dimensional shingles have a lot more depth than old-style 3-tab shingles, wait ’till you see Grand CanyonⓇ! In my opinion, it looks to have 4 times as much depth as the dimensional shingle, or 8 times more than 3-tab shingles. The Grand CanyonⓇ shingles (unlike their counterpart, Grand SequoiaⓇ) come with built-in Stain GuardⓇ, which helps keep black algae from growing on the north face of your roof. In fact, most of the designer shingles, as well as the dimensional shingles, come with this built-in protection. It’s just another step towards making your roof low-maintenance.
GAF has a lot of other designer shingle options, such as slate look-alikes, diamond-shaped shingles, and European hand-cut shingle styles, which you can see at their designer shingle page.
Lighter Shingle Colors – Help Reflect the Sun’s Rays
GAF’s Cool Series, as well as ENERGY STARⓇ qualified colors in their other series, are a smart way to keep your attic cooler, and should reduce your AC bills. Two of GAF’s Cool Series colors even provide LEED Credits, with a Solar Reflectance Index of 29 and a Thermal Emittance of 0.92! GAF’s Cool Series colors don’t really look that “light,” so putting them on your home doesn’t have to jeopardize its looks. According to GAF, cool roofs “may save an average of 7-15% on total cooling costs, depending on geography, structure, and climate.”
The GAF Certified Green Roofer Will Be Serious About Attic Ventilation
9 out of every 10 homes have an attic with inadequate ventilation. That’s a lot of unnecessary heat build-up, high AC bills, and wasted energy. But there’s more. Studies have found that 58% of childhood asthma is correlated to this lack of proper attic ventilation! The typical 4-member family generates some 4 gallons of water vapor per day, a lot of which migrates to the attic. If there’s no good air circulation going on there, it provides a perfect place for microbial growth. But not only can it be bad for your wallet and your health; heat build-up in the attic is bad for your shingles – it leads to shingle “heat blisters” and adversely affects the longevity of your shingle roof. Over an unvented attic, shingles might not live out half their normal lifespan. And it’s bad for your roof decking, too – the attic heat build-up can tweak, warp, and break-down your plywood or OSB decking. In short, you want to make sure you have a well-ventilated attic, or a lot of things are going to suffer! The GAF Certified Green Roofer is going to be particularly interested in ensuring you have a code-compliant, or even an industry-best-practices-approved, attic ventilation system!