As Annapolis roofers, we constantly tear down old asphalt shingle roofs and then rebuild them. During our process, the old shingles are removed from the roof and disposed of. More and more people are taking a look at old used asphalt shingles for their Go-Green recycling projects.
Asphalt shingles used to be thrown out and would wind up in landfills. But today, many new applications have come to light for this durable, weather resistant material.
Some of the ways people are using old shingles are very creative. And in fact, new companies have formed to recycle this used-to-be waste material.
Asphalt Shingle Recycling Centers are popping up all over the country according to the internet, and now you can get paid for the material if you bring a load for recycling. California, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts and more states across the country reuse this material for road building.
One warning we want to give you before continuing on with some ideas of how to use asphalt shingles around your home is to be sure your shingles are not made with asbestos. Old shingles can have this toxic material in them, so ask a professional roofer or if you know the manufacturer you can find out for yourself.
One idea to reuse your old shingles is to use them as pathways in your landscape. Asphalt shingles make the most perfect weed and grass blocker around. If lain on the lawn with a few layers, it will effectively block all vegetation growth and will create a path that you can easily walk on as is or add some sand and/or small rocks.
An ideal application would be for a garden pathway. Just take the old shingles, remove any nails, and layer them over the ground forming a pathway. Plant your plants in your garden beds along the way.
You’ve instantly created a durable path so you won’t get all the dirt and mud on your shoes. And as a side note, companies are also reusing old tires by cutting them up and using them as bark mulch, even applying green or red color to them for style.
We would warn not to use this material near where you grow vegetables as the plants can absorb any runoff of toxins when it rains, but it works wonders for flower beds and more. You just don’t want to eat anything growing near it.
Another way you can reuse or recycle asphalt shingles is in using it for a low cost patio area or area where you need a harder ground surface. When the shingles are laid out and several layers are applied, the ground will take the weight of the shingles, creating a much harder surface than the dirt and grass. You can create an area like this in several places such as:
As flooring for a shed
As flooring for a pole barn
As patio flooring or in place of a deck
As pond or fountain area underlayment
Around trees for laying mulch on top (not layered)
Another cool home project is to use the asphalt shingles as an underlayment for a pond or natural fountain. With its water resistant attributes, they are perfect for lining a hole or area of this type. You can then apply the water pond lining if you wish, though many have been successful not having to use one. Cover the shingles either with the lining or directly with some pond pebbles.
Any way you look at it, it’s better to recycle than it is to landfill. If we as a nation can figure out ways and exchange ideas on how to reuse the materials we use and throw away, our planet will be a much healthier, greener place to live.
If you are interested in Asphalt Shingles, please call K&R RoofMasters at 410-535-1572 or complete our online request form.