Roof Shingles That Eat Smog?

For the past several weeks, the air quality in California has made headlines. Raging wildfires in the northern and southern parts of the state created clouds of ash and dangerously high toxicity levels in the atmosphere. The fires created a state of emergency, but in many parts of the country, that poor air quality is a daily issue, not one created by natural disasters. Over the summer, southern California violated federal smog standards for 87 days in a row. Around 41% of people in the U.S. live with regular exposure to poor air quality. Could new technology roof shingles help?

Cleaning up the air will require reducing dependency on fossil fuels and the pollution they create. While industries like manufacturing and transportation work on these wide-scale changes, 3M has developed something of a stopgap: roof shingles granules that suck smog from the atmosphere.

3M

Roof Shingles

Granules have been a part of our business since the 1930s,” says Gayle Schueller, 3M’s chief sustainability officer. “This is not a new business to be in, and it’s not a new material for us.” Traditionally, granules are used in roof shingles construction to coat rooftops and provide an extra layer of protection from UV rays, which helps buildings remain cool and less dependent on air conditioning. They also make roofs more fire resistant. Around 10 years ago, 3M developed “cool roof shingles” granules that reflect sunlight and help buildings comply with roofing standards like the 2014 Los Angeles ordinance mandating new residential projects be built with additional rooftop insulation to keep them cool.

3M Roof Shingles Granules

Instead of reflecting the sun, though, 3M’s new smog-reducing granules use it. The photocatalytic coating on these granules, designed for asphalt roof shingles, is activated by the sun’s UV rays. That generates radicals that bind with the chemical compounds in smoggy air, and transform them into water-soluble ions that eventually wash away.

While 3M conducted its own internal testing of the granules, they also sent samples for external validation to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, which evaluated how effectively the granules absorbed different gases and pollutants. They found that a average-sized roof coated in granules removes around as much pollution from the air as three trees could.

“When we innovate, we start with an understanding of where there is a problem, and we identified the issue of smog in cities,” Schueller says. Around 10% of 3M’s 90,000 person staff are scientists, she adds, and they collaborated on both developing the photocatalytic coating, and testing its environmental impacts.

The runoff from the ions, they found, does not contribute significantly to water quality issues–the impact is minimal, Schueller says, and the smog would’ve infiltrated the water from the air anyway if it hadn’t first been absorbed by the roof shingles granules.

- Heritage Construction Co.

Heritage Construction residential Roofing

Metal Roofing Saves Maintenance Money

While metal roofing is a costlier alternative to asphalt shingles, their benefits have a huge payoff down the road. Quickly becoming one of the hottest roof materials, metal roofs look sharp and they’re smart if you want to save money in the long run on home-maintenance. Check out the following ways metal roofs are worth their weight.

Metal Roofing Lifespan

Metal roofing is made to last with a lifespan that far exceeds asphalt shingles. While a new shingled roof has an average lifespan of up to 30 years depending on the shingle product, a metal roof typically lasts up to 70. It’s a lifetime investment for many homeowners and usually avoids the need for roof replacement later.

Durability

Whether it’s heavy winds or hail, metal roofs take a beating and can withstand winds of 140 mph. If you live in a coastal community where hurricanes are one of your roof’s biggest threats, a metal roof can save you money on roof repairs after the storm. Even better, a metal roof won’t crack or corrode.

Energy Efficient

If your energy bills are through the roof you might want to consider what lies on top. Metal roofs are highly energy-efficient. Because they naturally reflect solar-radiant heat, you’ll see a welcome decrease in your energy bill once you replace your existing roof with a metal one.

While nothing lasts forever, a metal roof is a safe bet for long-term value. Not only do metal roofs have energy-savings and durability perks, they’re attractive and timeless. Who doesn’t love the sound of rain pouring down on one?

Do you want to learn more about how a metal roofing is a wise consideration if you’re in the process of home remodeling? Contact Heritage Construction today and book a free roofing inspection. Never an obligation to purchase.

Christmas Lights - Heritage Construction Col

Christmas Lights Hung Like a Professional

It’s that time of year when many of homeowners will be out in the yard and along the rooftop hanging Christmas lights that twinkle with the cheer of the holidays. Hanging lights is no small task and it can be quite dangerous if you’re not careful. This guide provides basic instructions for hanging lights on surfaces, how to measure the amount you’ll need, and the best types for the display you want to create.

Study the Surfaces

Where you hang your Christmas lights should be related to where the closest supply of electricity is. You’ll likely use an indoor outlet and have to run any cords through a cracked window. Once determined you can measure how many feet of cord you’ll need to reach the beginning of your light display.

You can hang outdoor holiday lights on the roofshingles, and gutters but you’ll need to affix them with the right clips for their surface. By planning the initial setup of your holiday light display you’ll save time and frustration and have all the tools needed to do the job like a professional.

Measure

Grab a tape measure and start at the base of your home and go along any corners. Any other areas such as door frames and windows should also need to be measured if you plan on lighting those up as well.

Wattage Calculations

You don’t want to blow a fuse so make sure you calculate the correct wattage of electricity so that your lights remain safely lit without overloading your circuits.

Keep in mind:

  • Most households circuits are 15 or 20 amps
  • Do not exceed 80% of max capacity
  • 15 amps support 1800 watts
  • 20 amps support 2400 watts

Best Lights for Your Display

Depending on the style you want to create there are many options for Christmas lights. Many homeowners opt for cascading icicle lights along the rooftop because they twinkle and waterfall down and create a beautiful festive display. Traditional bulbs in white or colored lights can be used to light up the roof, tree branches, and along windows and door frames.

While you can mix and match blue, multi-colored or white lights, most people tend to stick with one theme whether celebrating and decorating for Christmas or Hanukkah. In addition to strand lights, you can always find lighted lawn ornaments, hanging stars, and even snowmen and angels that will make your home glow with spirit. Purchase all of your light strands and displays first so you can move on to purchasing the proper hanging hardware.

Picking the Clips

Check the light bulb socket size and also where you’re hanging the lights to purchase the right light clips. The best choice is all-in-one clips because you can use a variety of bulb sizes. Some people start clipping at the ground and carefully climb up a ladder with one light strand at a time. Be careful not to let dangling lights knock up against ladders or walls or you could damage the strand or break the bulbs.

Store Your Christmas Lights Properly After Use

Is there anything worse than a tangled ball of twinkle lights? Make sure you pack up your seasonal lights with care to avoid a mess next year. A cardboard paper towel tube works perfectly to store lights in the meantime. Simply wrap them up around the tube and package them carefully for next use.

Hanging Christmas lights like a professional isn’t a dreaded task. Follow these basic steps and get into the spirit of lighting up your home this season. Don’t forget to call Heritage for a free roof inspection first and you’ll ensure your roof and home are safely decked for the holidays.