Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Reusing shingles could save potentially a lot of money on your next roofing project. However, the benefits of reusing shingles may not outweigh the negatives in this case. But keep in mind it’s not always bad to reuse material.
It is possible to reuse shingles that have been removed. There are pros and cons associated with reusing roof shingles. These include cost savings and maintaining appearance but also having less structural ability to withstand environmental conditions.
Knowing when it is alright to reuse shingles is as important as understanding the consequences associated with reusing the materials. Reusing shingles when possible is a great money saver upfront, but over time it could cost you more if they didn’t do their job. But it is a great way to reuse material and be environmentally friendly at the same time.
When is it Wise to Reuse
Removing and reusing shingle is possible, although it may not be suggested everywhere. The opportunities that work best for reusing is in cases such as a single shingle, or only a couple shingles need replacement. This not only provides for convenience by saving the trip to the store to try to find similar shingles. But also will save you from buying an entire package of shingles when you only need one.
The other advantage of reusing shingles that have been removed either by hand or some natural phenomenon is the appearance of your roof. The look will not be altered if you reuse shingles that are already on the roof. Using new shingles could alter the appearance of your roof if you cannot find the exact shingle that is already on there.
Maybe you just have to replace a few. It would be nearly impossible to replace them with new shingles that match the color and wear of the existing roof. On the other hand, maybe appearance is not a concern, that’s fine too!
Cons of Reusing Removed Shingles
Some will say that using shingles is not good practice, although it can be done. Another substrate is the felt, it can be reused too. For instance, you buy new shingles and have a technician place them on and you are unhappy with the results. Another roof repair personnel can come to rescue you by reusing the materials to save costs.
One negative factor of using shingles over again is that they are worn and can deteriorate over time. The more wear the shingle has the less effective it will be to get the job done protecting your roof especially from stormy weather and other elements.
Reused shingles that are worn-out may not protect your home as well as new ones and that is a factor to consider while replacing your roof. So if you are worried about appearance to replace a few shingles, consider the fact that you are not giving your home its best protection.
Purchasing new shingles is a decision that is made when you consider the overall size of your project. When replacing more then a few it may be better to go with new material. Not only are the new shingles in prime condition, but you will save time needing to replace the old ones again if they do not last much longer.
Saving yourself the work may seem like a pro, but redoing the work twice if the reused shingles fail again is definitely a con. That is why looking into the size of the project may be important before considering which route to take.
A definite con is the price of new shingles, but replacing old shingles can be just as costly. Not only do you have to consider the time you are using to replace and reuse old shingles with reused shingles, but you also need to consider if you are paying a professional to come in a do the work.
If the deteriorated shingles last a short period of time long before they need to be replaced again, it may be wiser to just replace them with new shingles from the start.
Extra Nail Holes
Another concern is the issue of extra nail holes in the shingles. This could be a potential problem because of the additional wear on the shingle. Also, the exposure to the old holes now have brings an issue of weather, creating a problem.
This may seem overlooked a not a major concern, but the more damage the shingle has endured through its lifespan, the less capable it is to do its job at protecting the house. These are negative influences and factors to concern when deciding to reuse materials.
When is it Time to Bring in the Professionals
If you are unsure of the true condition of your shingles and are concerned whether they will be valuable to reuse, call a professional. They can guide you in the right direction and advise you on the overall condition of the shingles.
Calling a professional may be costly, but you can feel confident the job is going to get done properly, and whether you are reusing product or buying brand new, you can be assured someone with experience in handling the task.
Maybe you are handy and do not want a professional to do the work, but feel unsure to reuse materials for use. Some roof repair agencies will give a free consultation, and it may even be good to network in case you need to replace a few shingles down the road with new shingles.
At least then you will have a contact person to help assist you with your questions or even evaluate the material you have on hand and give you an idea of its condition. Although be cautious, some places may want your business and persuade you to not reuse.
When You Cannot Reuse Consider Recycling Your Old Shingles
Meanwhile, you want to save money and not have to replace your roof with new shingles. There may be a way you can make some money with your old shingles. You may be thinking that is impossible, but actually, it is quite possible.
Consider recycling your old shingles. In some cases, recycling is in high demand for old roofing material. Not only that, but it is also more cost-effective than dumping. Many roofing contractors will agree that recycling is the way to go.
Materials that can be created from recycled roofing substances include asphalt. Asphalt is one of America’s most recycled material. An asphalt shingle is made of the components limestone, sand, glass, and asphalt. The roofing material you plan to reuse could be used for recycled road material if you cannot salvage the material for yourself.
Environmental Factors when Reusing or Recycling Roofing Material
Not only does recycling benefit money savings, but it also includes environmental benefits! It saves energy costs on creating new material and helps preserve landfill space.
In most parts of the United States, many places offer recycling of shingles and roofing materials because they can be reused. Most of the materials, such as felt, shingles, underlayment, consist of asphalt, can be reused to make pavement for example.
This in turn helps lower the cost of road construction. It saves on asphalt production when recycled materials, such as your shingles, are used! Recycling of materials is highly encouraged when you cannot reuse it yourself. You may even get an incentive for it!
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