How do Smog-reducing Shingles Clean the Air?

Malarkey Smog-Reducing Shingles
February 26, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

By Malarkey Roofing. 

Air pollution is actively reduced every time a roof is built using these shingles. 

Trees are one of nature’s best air purifiers. They actively remove pollutants from the air, making the air we breathe cleaner every second. That’s why in every one of our shingles, Malarkey Roofing Products® has embedded 3M™ Smog-reducing Granules. For every roof built with our shingles, emission-based air pollution is decreased and it is the equivalent of planting around two trees*. 

Yes, it’s true – 3M’s granules were even featured in TIME Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2018. The innovation is a dramatic step in the right direction to combat smog. 

What is smog? 

Smog exists where emissions exist, even if you don't always see it. Smog is a form of air pollution resulting from the interaction of UV sunlight with chemicals in the atmosphere like nitrogen oxides that get into the air primarily from the burning of fossil fuels (ex. vehicle emissions). As a gas, smog is easily inhaled, making it extremely hazardous to humans and animals, and can lead to severe health risks including lung tissue damage, bronchial infections and heart problems. 

How smog-reducing granules work and the science behind them 

Sunlight interacts with these granules to convert smog into water-soluble ions. The granules, which blend inconspicuously into a shingle’s color, contain a photocatalytic coating which, when activated by the UV rays of the sun, creates the energy needed to break apart airborne water molecules (like from humidity) into their component parts (e.g., H2O breaks into H and OH). 

The newly formed OH molecule, called a hydroxyl radical, seeks to bind with other molecules. When a smog molecule gets near a roof, the OH molecule binds with it, chemically transforming it from a dangerous, inhalable gas (NO2) into a water-soluble, nitrate salt solid (NO3), a plant-usable form of nitrogen that washes away with rainwater as a mild fertilizer. 

NEX® Rubberized Asphalt retains smog-reducing granules 

Malarkey’s NEX® Polymer Modified Asphalt improves granule retention in two ways. One, it preserves asphalt’s natural suppleness and stickiness for deeper granule embedment and adhesion. Two, its rubber-like ability to expand and contract enables it to grip and regrip granules through repeated thermal cycles, resulting in stronger, longer granule retention and extended shingle life. Malarkey shingles have up to 65% greater granule adhesion than the industry standard shingle specification (ASTM D3462). 

How roofing contractors can help 

Installation of smog-reducing roofing shingles helps improve air quality for us all. Increasingly, contractors are being recognized for their commitment to sustainability by installing Malarkey shingles. Further south in Monterey Bay, California, a contractor was recognized by local government for his team’s commitment to improving air quality. By simply installing an average of two Malarkey roofs per week, the contractor ‘planted’ the equivalent of 260 trees annually. 

*Approximation assuming standard roof of 30 squares. Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and 3M. 

Have a question? AskARoofer.

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory.

Photo credit: TIME Magazine

Recommended For You


There are currently no comments here.

Leave a Reply

Commenting is only accessible to RCS users.

Have an account? Login to leave a comment!

Sign In
DaVinci - Banner Ad - DaVinci Checks All The Boxes

Social Feed

Follow Us
IKO - Sidebar - Summit Grey
DaVinci - Sidebar Ad - New Choice For Traditional Beauty
AAR - MRA - Sidebar Ad - Buyer
WTI - Sidebar Ad (AAR) - Pure Air February 2024
Westlake ad corrected size
Western Colloid - Sidebar Ad - Understanding Commercial Roof Restoration (eBook)