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Non Toxic Alternative for metal roofing for Rainwater Catchment

 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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what about broken floor tiles, can we use them in any way? I see literally tons of them every time I go scavenging at the landfill. Maybe they could be crushed and used like the glass, as a aggregate.

Looking over that link, it is very interesting. Still, they need 1750 F, which seems like a lot of energy. It seems like they actually melt the glass to achieve the glazing, so you really have a glass tile with a bit of clay in it.

If you had a lot of glass (silica) like this, then you could mix it with lime and pozzoloan to make roman cement, or other local materials for a low-temp geopolymer. This would get rid of the need for much firing, and would definitely be greener than hauling clay tiles from a factory 100 miles away.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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just doing a bit of reading on clay roof tiles, and manufactured ones have an expected life span of 75 years, though are only guaranteed for 50 years. That seems really low for something like this. I assumed they would last a few hundred years.
 
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Location: Idaho
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Ernie Wisner wrote: thats just cardboard covered in visqueen and 2 to 5 inches of dirt. you can grow plants and filter the water at the same time.



Cool idea.... but I would not feel comfortable drinking water that came in contact with Visqueen or shallow earth that was in contact with it. It's relatively smelly stuff and who knows what might leach from it short or long term.

I'm a big fan of low tech methods but believe Micheal Reynolds has it down by running harvested rainwater through a modern water filtration system after it has gone through a simple debris catcher. He has spent 30+ yrs dialing it in....
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Hi Abe, sorry, I missed the bit recommending filtration! I'm nervous about it as every time I stay at this particular place that has roof water and no filtration, I have a bad guts, as we charmingly put it
I've finally convinced them that maybe they don't get 'the squits' because of years of ingesting bacteria.

Abe Connally wrote: How many people have gotten sick?


Me
 
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Location: Asheville NC
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Dont forget that roof color can have a very measurable effect on cooling costs in hot climates.
 
Abe Connally
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Brian Knight wrote:Dont forget that roof color can have a very measurable effect on cooling costs in hot climates.


that's why I prefer to paint them white.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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Leila Rich wrote: Hi Abe, sorry, I missed the bit recommending filtration! I'm nervous about it as every time I stay at this particular place that has roof water and no filtration, I have a bad guts, as we charmingly put it
I've finally convinced them that maybe they don't get 'the squits' because of years of ingesting bacteria.


yeah, that's definitely a possibility. that's why I get sick when I drink water that has been chlorinated. it's killing my "good bugs"

but that brings up a good point, 1 micron is not small enough to filter out bacteria. You need RO, UV, chemical, or bio-filtration.

I think ph could play an important role, as well as temperature. The bacteria have to have a decent environment to live and thrive. If you had a established system, it could work like any ecosystem, where the good bugs prevent an explosion of bad bugs. just a thought.

 
                            
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Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
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Abe Connally wrote:
Looking over that link, it is very interesting. Still, they need 1750 F, which seems like a lot of energy. It seems like they actually melt the glass to achieve the glazing, so you really have a glass tile with a bit of clay in it.



Not nearly as much energy as cement. I can get sawdust and woodchips for not much more than the price to have them hauled and either should work fine for firing a simple kiln.

It's not the glass that makes them self-glazing, it's the sodium carbonate that is sprayed on them.

And it's not just glass with a bit of clay. They interact chemically and the tile fires at a lower temperature than either the clay or the glass would fuse alone.

 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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I think going with a lower temp geopolymer would be the better solution...
 
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Does anyone know how to message/contact Barn Kat?

Barn Kat, very curious about this cob earthship (all cob and no tires?) Can I get some contact info. I can be reached at studioearl at gmail dot com
 
pollinator
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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Have you looked into tadelakt? Lime is cheap, durable, waterproof and beautiful. If you have limestone, you can make your own lime with a wood fired kiln. The lime top/color coat is applied over the base of lime/sand and burnished in the plastic state to close the pores. Then sealed with a natural soap which will helps the lime to withstand the carbonic acid naturally occurring in rain water.
Cement doesn't last, so I wouldn't put it in my house at all! The chemical reactions that make cement harden don't actually ever stop; so your concrete hardens and hardens until it cracks and starts to fall apart.
The beauty of lime is that it absorbs CO2 and chemically changes from CaOH +H2O to CaCO3 which is once again limestone.
The BEST roof is slate, but probably out of the question.
I have also found metal roofs that are being removed and re-installed them.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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tadelakt is not something you just mix up and apply. There is a significant learning curve and variable results, depending on materials and application. It would be hard for am amateur to get an entire roof right with tadelakt on the first try.

Cement lasts just fine, exceeding most lifetimes if applied correctly. You're right that the chemical reactions don't even stop, that is true for lime as well.
 
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA
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We used metal roofing for rainwater cachement- and even though it tests "Drinkable" we till use it for household and garden only- our drinking water comes from our cave spring and is tested twice yearly--gravity flow to it's own spigot in the house. There are so many good filter concepts out there, read and read some more.. talk to people- see what has worked for them.

for us , the 24 inch snows we get and our desire to catch water steered us into the metal roofing. I would really like to do a living roof on our next building project.. wonder how well it would do at filtering toxins?
 
Abe Connally
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Jeannie Sayers wrote:I would really like to do a living roof on our next building project.. wonder how well it would do at filtering toxins?


it depends on the toxins. It would also add a significant amount of organic matter to the water, tannins as well, so keep that in mind. I love living roofs, and if you don't need catchment, I think they are good. Alternatively, you can use the water from the living roof to store in a pond or in the soil, rather than in a tank.

Metal is fast, cheap, and easy. We have several metal roofs, but I don't like them for living spaces. Barns and sheds? Sure, but they are too loud and hot for a living space.

I prefer concrete/geoploymers in one of the many forms (ferrocement, latex concrete, reinforced concrete, concrete tiles, etc) for roofs. They are slightly more expensive than metal, requires more labor, but their thermal, longevity, and sound performance are unmatched.
 
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Location: Colrain, MA, USA
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What about a slate flagstone roof, or making one's own slate tiles from a load of flagstone? I love the concept of a stone roof, but the weight can' t be ignored.
 
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