In Brooklyn there aren’t that many pitched roofs. You get a lot of them in certain areas, especially Ditmas Park.
We have a client in that area who approached us to replace their asphalt roof with the same. We are green roofers in Brooklyn so we come up when people do internet searches.
But since we are Brooklyn green roofers, asking us to install tar shingles just aint going to happen.
Bottom line: Asphalt shingles are crap – crap for the environment, crap quality, crap price when you factor in how often they need to be changed.
Don’t ever buy Asphalt Shingles.
The best alternative is a green roof. Once you factor in the benefits it makes a lot more financial sense. And forget about the ecological sense.
After a green roof it is a toss up as to what is good for a pitched roof.
Slate is a great choice. It lasts hundreds of years and it is easy to find salvaged slate. We have some in stock that we used on the Green Show House that sat for a couple hundred years on a house in Massachusetts before we salvaged it. It looks brand new.
Metal is another ok option, with cedar shingles as a possible fourth choice. If you use cedar you want to cover it with Pine Tar. pine tar has been used in Scandinavia for millennium. They have some wood shingle houses that are over 500 years old.
I visited one church in Norway that was completely made of wood and was 1200 years old. It is surrounded year round by harsh northern weather yet it was in great shape. Really amazing.
But my sense it that in Brooklyn metal is a better ecological choice than cedar shingles.
Here is an email conversation I had with a fellow green roofer in Canada:
You have Ideal steel shingles. Their Large shingles, that are fabricated to look like groups of small steel shingles are called Wakefield Bridge Steel shingles.
These have a retail price at a local yard, (Killaloe, ON) of $!72.50 per square.
By compaison, the Vic Elite, standing seal, concealed fasteners, 16″ coverage by any length,
These panels are priced for comparison at $238.00 per Square.
This material is 29 guage.
And to prove that you pay more for more material, the Ideal Roofing version of this standing seam, concealed fasteners, 16″ coverage by any length,
This is 26 guage, quite alot heavier, for $326.00 per square.
Local # 1 cedar shingles come in at $200.00 per square, on a steep pitched roof, and $280.00 per square on a six/twelve (or less,) roof,.
And for comparison, the current door crasher, at the nearest big box store in Pembroke, (Rampart, assphalt shingle) is $75.00 per square.
How many re-roofing, days of labor, dumpster fees for old shingles, would it take to compare with steel roofing? I don’t want to know. I haven’t laid an asphalt roof in a decade. They’ve all been steel or cedar; and this is in an area of constant recession, notoriously low incomes; loggers, tourist operators, subsistence farmers. Of all the people who own their own homes in this county, most are poor enough to value spending their hard earned money on longer lasting roofs.