Roofing shingles

5 Ways to Use Roofing Shingles

Roofing shingles are good for more than just repairing or replacing your roof during a project. When roofers come out and get up on your roof to use them, chances are there will be leftover shingles after the job is done. These shingles are yours to do with what you want but there are some reasons why you should hold onto them in the future. Here are five ways to use roofing shingles after your roof is replaced or repaired.

5 Ways to Use Roofing Shingles After the Job is Done

Save for future repairs

Always save at least one bundle of roofing shingles whenever possible. Shingle manufacturers often change colors over the years, which means if you need to repair or replace a part of your roof, you may have to have the whole thing replaced if the colors are off.

Use for other projects

If you have a dog house, shed, gazebo or a smaller project, you can reroof it as well to match your home. This can be a great way to use roofing shingles and match your home’s roof, too.

Prevent slips and falls during winter

If you lay down asphalt roofing shingles on your walkway during winter, especially before the snow freezes up, you’ll add another level of traction for those walking to and from.

Use as a foundation for stonework

If you’re installing stonework on grass, you can use asphalt roofing shingles as a way to keep the stones in place during installation as well as preventing weeds from sprouting up down the line.

Create art with wood roofing shingles

Wood roofing shingles can be used as an oil paint canvas. It’ll give any painting a rustic, old-fashioned look you can’t get with a modern canvas. You’ll need to treat the wood shakes before you begin painting but this will create a unique art project for any painter.

As you can see, roofing shingles – no matter the type – can be used for a variety of purposes beyond repairing or replacing your roof. Consider that the next time you have your roof repaired or replaced and save a bundle of shingles for use in the future.

Shingles vs. Metal Roofing

One is the most popular form of residential roofing in the United States, the other is one of the fastest growing roofing materials in the country. We are talking about traditional asphalt shingles and metal roofing respectively. So which one of these materials is right for your home? We will take a look at the differences between the materials to help you make a decision for your next roof replacement.


If you feel you are going to be in your home for a long period it is important to pick a roofing material that will have a long lifetime. Most asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 20-30 years, depending on the quality. There are several metal roofs that are already over one hundred years old, this material is known to last.

Winner: Metal Roofing 


Metal roofing is still relatively new as a mass material, while asphalt shingles cover more than three-quarters of residential homes in the United States. Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install and widely available while metal roofing takes a more specialized contractor and the materials are a bit more costly.

Winner: Asphalt Shingles 

Customization Options

Metal roofing is playing catch up when it comes to choosing color and style as asphalt shingles are available in virtually every color, style and can mimic other forms of higher end roofing such as clay tiles or slate roofing.

Winner: Asphalt Shingles


There are now several types of asphalt shingles that have been built to shoulder extreme weather such as impact-resistant materials but they are decidedly more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles. Metal roofing is known to take a beating whether it be wind, snow or hail. Metal roofing does not tend to hold onto snow like asphalt shingles and many types of metal roofing can qualify the homeowner for insurance discounts.

Winner: Metal Roofing 

Environmentally Friendly

Asphalt shingles are now being produced with more recycled materials than ever before but the fact remains that they involve a high amount of oil in their production and frequently end up in landfills. Metal roofing is often made from recycled materials and can easily be recycled once it comes off a roof.

Winner: Metal Roofing


Metal roofing has a difficult time in fitting in with the character of many homes but is becoming more acceptable. Asphalt shingles are generally more well received for their visual appeal. However this factor is subjective.

Winner: Asphalt Shingles 

The Verdict

It is going to come down to the individual homeowner! Use these pros and cons to help determine which roof is right for you.

O’Hare Recycles Shingles Into New Runway

Most people know Chicaco’s O’Hare International Airport as the busiest airport in the world, it will soon be known with another distinction. O’Hare will be the first airport in the United States to use recycled asphalt roofing material as part of a new runway according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The underlay will contain two layers of asphalt underneath that will use up to 3% of oil, sand and fiber repurposed from asphalt shingles from residential roofs in the Chicago area.

The project will utilize roughly 9,500 tons of recycled material of recycled shingles into new taxiways and service roads as part of a new south airfield. The recycled material will be shredded to the consistency of coarse coffee before being added into virgin materials to make the asphalt mixture.

The city of Chicago has been working with consultants and engineers from the University of Illinois since 2012 to figure out ways to use the recycled material so it doesn’t end up in Chicago dumps. The two worked together with different ratios and materials to make sure it met certain strength and durability requirements before going to the FAA for approval on the new runway.

“It’s the right environmental thing to do,” said Jonathan Leach, chief operating officer at Chicago’s Aviation Department. He stated that the use of recycled shingles will be used in all future paving projects at both O’Hare and Midway Airport. Leach added, “The hope also is that as fuel costs rise, the recycled shingles will reduce some of our construction costs.”

The process is good for manufacturers and contractors as well, it can cost nearly $45 per ton of material to dump at a conventional waste facility while recycling centers charge only $15.

The Aviation Department estimated that O’Hare will save close to $665,000 by using the recycled material in the new runways, taxiways and service roads. That is only a small fraction of the approximately $82.5 million dollar project but officials are looking more than just to save money.

The FAA’s approval of the recycled material could open up possibilities of more use of recycled materials for further projects including blast pads, access roads and even the airport adjacent Interstate Highway 190. The new runway is expected to be open by late 2015.