Friday, January 03, 2020

Environmentally Offensive Roofing

As I’ve studied the issues of what building components are the main culprits of polluting our environment of both soil and water along with generating the most waste, I’ve found that roofing can be a leading offender. This also includes air pollution if the roofing contains asbestos. Asbestos is a large content of many roofs and wall surfaces worldwide and its microscopic fibers are continually released into the environment as it breaks down.

As certain roofing materials disintegrate and break down over time, they can release many types of toxic materials into the environment. Documentations show air, soil, ground water and standing water contamination.

Direct and indirect contamination of the environment is what scientific studies prove is happening with much of the disintegrating roofing. The direct contamination is the breakdown of the roofing combined with rain runoff, which is a culprit of ground and standing water contamination. This is especially true with coal tar-based asphalt roofing materials.

Indirect contamination, the other offensive factor of most roofing, is that it is usually and utterly unnecessarily removed and replaced at the end of its service life span. This undesirable removal and pointless generation causes a tremendous amount of unwanted scrap. All this unnecessary waste needs to be transported and stored in a landfill. Landfills that are already limited on space and often overflowing. As this offensive waste slowly continues to decompose, it adds more pollution into the environment and harmful CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

This generation of waste becomes even more complicated when that waste contains asbestos. Proper disposal will require it to be transported in special trucks and stored in hazardous material dumps. But what happens when there are no local hazardous material dumps? Such was the case when I was working and living on the Japanese island of Okinawa and hazardous asbestos were removed. Okinawa had none of the dumps required to store the toxic material. It had to be shipped off the island. This definitely skyrocketed the project costs.

Some estimates put removed roofing debris at as much as 20% of overall building waste in landfills. That’s way too much recurring waste generated from only one building component. There is a better way to go and that is by restoring and rejuvenating old and worn out roofing and other building surfaces.

So, go ahead and ask me, how can all of these situations be avoided? The answer is easy – a simple in-place management system. By using the right industrial coatings, anyone can rejuvenate these worn-out surfaces.

Most roofing challenges can be addressed with the right coatings instantly, stopping the release of harmful and offensive materials into our fragile environment. But as with all things, your roofing should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis when choosing the coating for the implementation and the system design needed to potentially incorporate other materials. How to prepare the surfaces, adding some simple structural strength, building up low spots, and bridging gaps and filling holes are some of the items that need to be checked per project.

Are you ready to help stop the unnecessary generation, transportation and storage of unwanted C02 emitting waste? Contact me for a correct and simple roofing solution.

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