Most any homeowner with concern for the planet has likely thought about incorporating environmentally friendly strategies to upgrade or replace their current roof. They have probably also thought about the benefits that can be derived from an eco-friendly roof, especially if their roof is aging and creating problems. There are any number of ecologically sound methods that can be used to improve the functioning of a roof. Here are some solutions to make your roof environmentally friendly.

Going Green

It seems that green or garden roof technology has become the standard-bearer for an environmentally friendly roof. It’s particularly beneficial for use in metropolitan areas where space is at a premium and where a green or vegetated roof is more sustainable and less difficult to maintain. Current structural technology with green roofs allows for increased roof weight for various types of vegetation along with engineered or pre-seeded soil combinations as well as the incorporation of different plant types that are conducive to a particular region. Benefits of a green roof include cleansing of the air around a roof area, minimizing of the heat buildup in the vicinity of a roof as well as added insulation for both cooling and heating and the containment of rainwater through drainage runoff systems. In addition, green roofs can be long-lasting and provide a natural beauty that can enhance any home whether in the city, suburbs or country.

Recycled Metal

The eco-friendly art of repurposing presents itself through recycled metal roofs, which are not only sustainable but environmentally friendly. They are also durable, fire-resistant and long-lasting. They can be expensive but the benefits outweigh the costs. They are perfect for collecting rainwater for use in an irrigation system and they reflect the rays of the sun so your home is kept cool in warmer weather. During winter weather, snow can easily slide off a metal roof and the accumulation of packed snow and ice dams can be greatly reduced. Also, recycled metal doesn’t have to be a traditional green or dark brown as there are lighter colors available that will help even more with the cooling factor.

Cool or White

A cool or white roof is just what its name says. A white roof will reflect the rays of the sun and in turn, allow the interior of a home to remain much cooler. Utility bills are lowered, plus the buildup of heat (heat island effect) that occurs in more crowded and densely populated areas is deterred, and the environment protected. There are Energy Star rated white asphalt shingles that are available through home stores and they are comparable in price to regular asphalt shingles, so there are savings with this type of environmentally friendly shingle. The only less than eco-friendly aspects with an asphalt shingle cool roof is the fact that these type of shingles are a petroleum-based product and are difficult to recycle.

Recycled Shingles

Recycled shingles are one of the best roofing options as they are both economical, eco-friendly and safe for use. These kinds of shingles are the result of remains from waste products such as rubber, wood fibers, and plastic. The materials themselves are generated through waste products from other homes or industrial operations. Recycled shingles are meticulously designed to resemble basic shingles and are longer lasting than other types of shingles. Besides their durability, many recycled shingles come with fire ratings which can significantly decrease insurance costs. If you decide to use recycled shingles, you’ll be protecting the environment from added trash, debris and other non-recyclable items that overwhelm landfills and pollute the environment, plus you’ll be preserving and protecting other raw materials that would be extracted from the earth.

Clay, Tile, and Slate

Clay, tile, and slate materials have been in existence forever and they have been environmentally friendly just as long. They can all be included in the green wave of roof styles with their tremendous longevity and cooling abilities. Clay, tile, and slate can actually last anywhere up to a century. Your energy consumption will also be diminished as these original earthen materials are able to lessen utility bills and damage to the environment, particularly with the use of newer and lighter colors that are being produced for home roofing use. These materials can be expensive and heavy (weight wise) which may require special installation and building code adherence. The reinforcement of a roof deck will likely be necessary to handle the weight, so the cost does come into play with this type of roof. Maintenance may also be an issue as clay and tiles can experience chips or breakage and require ongoing vigilance. The aesthetic and cooling value makes a clay or tile roof a pleasing choice as red clay and tile do complement any Southwestern or Spanish design, while slate is a significant choice for historical home and building preservation.

Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofing is another material that is the result of recycling and is environmentally friendly. Rubber roofing is comprised of recycled tires, which are the steel-belted variety. The rubber is then sealed and coated with slate to give the final product a pleasing textural appearance. The roofing is available in numerous colors and can endure any weather condition and years and years of use. Lighter colored rubber roofing provides great insulation and a cooling effect to a home, while the rubber component can hold in heat as well. Though rubber roofing can be costly, it outlasts almost any other type of shingle and definitely saves on energy consumption.

The options and choices for an environmentally friendly roof are many, particularly for homeowners concerned and conscious of the kinds of materials that will preserve the environment and protect the area where they live. There are, however, building codes that need to be followed for these different roof choices. So, before you delve into any one of these eco-friendly roof selections that you believe fit your lifestyle, complete the online contact form and a roofing expert will get back to you with the answers you need to make an informed and environmentally-friendly choice.