Concerned about the environmental impact of your buying decisions? Thinking about a new roof? Then, it may be time to marry those ideas by putting in roofing made of upcycled or recycled materials. The variety of potential choices may surprise you.
1. Recycled Metal Roofing
Metal roofs last considerably longer than most other types of building materials, and they almost always consist of recycled metal. Generally, metal roofs feature at least 25% recycled materials, but you can look for manufacturers who use a higher percentage of recycled materials.
As an added bonus, the entire roof can be recycled when you remove it. That adds to the environmental appeal of this type of roofing.
2. Soft Drink Cans
Rather than buying a new metal roof, you may want to get even more creative and find some old aluminium soft drink cans. Essentially, you make your own roofing tiles by pressing cans flat. Make sure they are clean—you don't want beer or soda droplets attracting pests to your roof. Then, you lay the roof just as if you were dealing with asphalt tiles.
3. Old Cars
Working with soda cans is fussy detail work. To make the task easier, you may want to repurpose old cars into roofing. Dealing with large pieces tends to be faster.
In the 1960's, a group of Americans were even building dome-shaped houses out of old car panels. This idea is the most effective if you have access to a junkyard or are trying to roof a relatively small home.
4. Recycled Concrete or Clay Tiles
If you prefer a more traditional look, you may want to consider concrete or clay roofing tiles. Both of these durable types of roofing shingles can be made of recycled materials, and of course, you can recycle these tiles once it's time to put on another new roof.
5. Old Records
Old records have even been used as roofing. The non-working records were layered over each other and held in place by a roofing nail through the centre hole, but they were only placed over an exterior porch.
If you want to use records on your house, you need to throw in a few more supplies. In particular, you may want to talk with a roofer about installing a sheet of vinyl roofing and then putting the records on top of that. With that setup, the records serve a mostly decorative function. Note that your roof needs to be relatively flat for the vinyl sheet to be effective as roofing.