Your roof is the one part of your home that you probably haven’t given much thought to regarding its environmental impact. A roof’s potential to boost your home’s eco-friendliness depends on your choices. Therefore, learning each roofing material’s many benefits and drawbacks is crucial. Here, you may see several ways to make your roof eco-friendly to get a feel for which one might go best with your home.
Installing solar panels on a home’s roof is frequently the first thought of homeowners who want to reduce their environmental impact. Without a doubt, solar panels have stellar green credentials. Installing them in your home provides a significant amount of green energy to the entire household.
Solar panels will make your roof more environmentally friendly if you install them professionally, and the power they generate will also pay for the panels themselves. But it’s not always as simple as slapping solar panels on top.
There’s a name for roofs that are light in color or white in color: “cool roofs.” These roofs are so named because they may significantly reduce the roof’s temperature by reflecting the sun’s rays away from the house, thereby keeping the interior of the home cooler. Community energy costs are lower during the summer, and the “heat island” impact is mitigated. White asphalt shingles, such as the Energy Star-rated GAF 25-Year Royal Sovereign White Shingles sold at Home Depot, are one of the most cost-effective options to make your roof eco-friendly.
However, having a cool roof is not proof that it is entirely eco-friendly. Even if asphalt shingles are used in its construction, it still contains petroleum and is thus not easily recyclable. One possible upgrade is a white metal roof.
There are a lot of rooftops that can’t host solar panels because they don’t have enough space or because they face the wrong direction. That fact does not exclude the use of environmentally friendly roofing materials. Contrary to many other options, solar panels do not require any modification to the roof’s structural integrity.
Rooftop gardens, or green roofs, are made of a layer of small trees, bushes, and other plants. You can fix them atop a waterproofing system installed on top of a flat or slightly sloping roof with drainage levels. Originally from Europe, the trend of growing food on one’s roof has recently made its way to North America. The United States, Canada, and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere all adopted this trend.
Because they block some of the sun’s rays, plants may help lower the inside temperature of your home. By doing that, they reduce the energy you need to keep it comfortable. According to the experts from statetostatemove.com, green roofs can have temperatures 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than regular roofs. If you and your neighbors have a green rooftop, you might benefit from having a garden to help clean the air and control runoff.
A green roof is the perfect home improvement for every nature lover, whether they reside in the city or the country. A green roof’s potential to foster new plant growth and long-term viability depends on the specifics of its surrounding environment. Insects, birds, and other wildlife in the area may also benefit from your efforts.
Roofs composed of materials like aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, and tin offer a durable, long-lasting, and completely recyclable roofing option. A metal roof is effective and will also make your roof eco-friendly.
First, let’s talk about how long things tend to last. Copper and other metals can last centuries or more when used as roofing materials. The typical lifespan of a metal roof is between 40 and 80 years. Because of the oxide-sulfate layer that forms when copper ages, it becomes even more durable and corrosion-resistant as it acquires a green patina. Take the ancient spire atop Berlin Cathedral as an example.
Metal roofing has additional benefits because it is often fabricated from scrap metal. That makes them suitable for reuse after they serve their initial purpose. Furthermore, similar to cool and green roofs, this roofing material has natural reflecting properties that could help reduce the impact of the heat island effect. However, if you have a particular color scheme in mind, a pre-painted metal roof could be the most eco-friendly option.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Wooden shingles and shakes may be environmentally friendly, but they don’t last as long as metal or concrete. Wood has a lifespan of only 15 years when used as a roofing material because it is flammable by its very nature and erodes because of the environment. Without correct engineering, wood roofs may be ruined by absorbing a lot of heat.
Because shingles and shakes aren’t perfectly smooth, they retain more heat than other materials. Shiny white paint will smooth up the rough texture of the wood shakes and shingles. Viability is dependent on the origin. If possible, source locally created goods or goods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
A Roof Covered with Recycled Slate or Clay Tiles
Roofs made from clay and slate tiles have a long and illustrious history and are popular today. Slate does wonders to enhance the look of fine historic homes. And let’s not forget that the standard curve of red clay tiles is the perfect complement to a Spanish-style house. Even longer than metal, clay, and slate tiles may last up to a century. Lighter-colored clay tiles, which offer the benefits of a cool roof, are also readily available. By keeping usable tile out of landfills, salvaged tile is the most eco-friendly option.
However, clay and slate tiles are far more expensive than metal roofing, typically costing twice as much per square foot. The tile is quite heavy; thus, the roof structure must support it, which adds to the overall price. It will make your roof eco-friendly, but you should also expect regular maintenance costs to fix things like chipped and broken tiles.