How Can We Clean up Air Pollution? With Roofing Granules That Soak up Smog!

Author: Heidi J. Ellsworth
April 21, 2020

People worldwide are working to solve an important question: how can we clean up air pollution? To aid in this effort, roofing companies are now bringing environmental solutions to the global stage. For example, TIME Magazine included 3M Smog-Reducing Granules on its list of the best inventions of 2018 in the Sustainability and Social Good category.

A bird's eye view of a cityscape blanketed in smog
Smog-reducing granules are one solution to help clean up air pollution in our communities.

Because the next generation of roofing customers is showing more and more that they care about protecting the environment, roofing contractors should consider how to incorporate these smog-reducing granules into their next project.

The Roofing Customers of the Future Are Going Green

According to the 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, which asks millennials and Gen Zers about global societal challenges and their personal concerns, young adults' top concern is climate change, including the increased risk of natural disasters and the need to preserve our natural environment. The survey found that 29% of respondents cited climate change as a worry.

Currently, millennials are the largest age group employed in the US workforce, and as of 2018, Housing Wire reports they own 45% of US homes. That means more and more of your future roofing clients will fall into this age group, and with climate as their top motivator, they're going to want to explore green home options.

Smog-Reducing Granules on Shingles

When roofing contractors meet with the next generation about a new roof, the conversation is going to be about a lot more than just color choices. These customers are going to want to know how their roof will hold up in natural disasters, and how they can choose materials and techniques that reduce its environmental impact.

Smog-reducing granules could be a game changer for differentiating an asphalt shingle sale and installation. According to 3M, "The smog-reducing granules harness the power of the sun to turn roofing shingles into a pollution-fighting surface. When the sun hits the granules, their photocatalytic coating transforms the smog pollution (nitrogen oxides) into water-soluble ions that safely wash away with rain. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory testing validated the photocatalytic materials used can reduce smog and contribute to cleaner air."

Making Your Roofing Company Stand Out

Offering cutting-edge technology and green options can help differentiate a roofing company. Local groups such as the Monterey Bay Air Resources District award area businesses for their leadership in local air quality improvement. Winning and displaying an award like this prominently on your business website can help drive leads from interested customers who are impressed with your care for the community.

Premo Roofing Company, a past winner of the Monterey groups's Clean Air Leaders Award, calculated that its roofers install two smog-reducing roofs every week. Since each roof reduces the nitrogen oxide pollution of roughly two trees, and the company works 52 weeks per year, "That is equivalent to roughly 260 acting trees helping clean the air in our communities across the Monterey Bay annually."

This form of activism is what customers are going to be looking for from their roofing contractors. Although smog-reducing granule shingles are not yet available in every region, there is growing support in California and large cities across the US, as well as globally, for this type of solution. The use of smog-reducing granules in roofing will only continue to grow as the next generation of consumers demand it.

So, how can we clean up air pollution? By doing our part to ensure the materials and processes we use benefit not only our customers' homes, but also the environment they live in.


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