Protecting the environment has become a rather popular trend in our culture, but it can seem difficult for homeowners to consider eco-friendly roofing options. Not many think that the components of a roof even has a negative effect on the environment. This does not make the common homeowner a bad person, it just means that these homeowners do not know that eco-friendly roofing options exist. This article will explore how exactly the common roofing practices can damage the environment, and will then explore a number of environmentally friendly options.
Roof Components That Can Negatively Affect the Environment
There are two issues that must be addressed when it comes to a roof’s effect on the environment: recyclable materials and energy efficiency. Most of the materials that make up the shingles of a roof are not recyclable. This means when they are disposed of, nothing happens. They get placed in a landfill or any other area in your neighborhood where garbage is taken.
Another issue is energy efficiency. Houses with traditional shingle tile roofs can affect the temperature of many houses, thereby requiring you, as a homeowner, to keep the house at a proper temperature. This, of course, requires energy to be used. And as it is commonly known, using energy affects all kinds of resources. This is what happens when the common asphalt shingles are used to construct a roof. Although they are common, they are not eco-friendly.
Possible Sacrifices to Consider by Getting an Environmentally Friendly Roof
Because eco-friendly roofing materials and contractors are not as common as traditional roofing materials and contractors, possible inconveniences can come up. It seems like this is how most things that involve eco-friendly materials are, and it is something that cannot be helped. So one sacrifice that you may need to make when pursuing eco-friendly roofing is that you may need to go past shopping at places like your local home depot for eco-friendly roofing materials.
The other sacrifice that must be made is that these materials may not last as long and may have some disadvantages compared to conventional materials. Some of them may need to be replaced more frequently. Some others may cost more or might be harder to find. Like with any form of home preparation, there are a great many things to consider before swapping out your conventional roof for an eco-friendly one. If you’re considering an environmentally friendly roof, make sure to get in touch with a local roofing contractor to discuss all your options!
List of Eco-friendly Roofing Options
There are many environmentally friendly roofing options available. And if you are willing to make the general sacrifices listed above, you should be able to find at least one that suits your home. The following is a list of all the options, along with a short description of some good and bad qualities of each.
1. The “White/Cool Roof”: This is an eco-friendly option that involves the least amount of sacrifice. The white roof has white shingles that can keep a house cool by bouncing the sun’s rays off of the roof, instead of darker shingles that absorb the heat. This is great because if you live in a hotter climate, it can lower energy costs by quite a bit. If the shingles are still made of asphalt, they cannot be recycled, however.
2. Recycled shingles: These are shingles that are made of recycled plastic, wood fibers, and even rubber. Because these are recycled, they can be recycled again when they need to be replaced. Many who use these to construct a roof also say that they last a bit longer than asphalt shingles. However, they likely absorb heat just as much as any other material, which can raise energy costs.
3. Metal roofing: These reflect light just like the white roof does, and are said to be much more durable than shingles. Certain metal roofing is also recyclable and there is an option to choose a brighter color, which can also save on energy. However, metal roofing can cause a lot more water and/or snow runoff to the exterior of the house. This can fill gutters rather quickly, meaning you will need to clean them quite a bit. Metal roofing is not ideal for people who live in areas where there is a lot of rain or snow.
4. Wood shingles: Wood is one of the most recyclable materials known to man. Using it to form a roof can ensure that you can recycle parts of your roof that must be removed. However, they can be dangerous as wood is also flammable. If you live in a place that is not affected a lot by acts of nature, wooden shingles are ideal. However, they do not last nearly as long as metal roofs.
5. Clay and slate: Along with white shingles, clay and slate have been a beautiful look for many roofs over the years and they are very common to come across. They last even longer than metal, and are also recyclable. Clay and slate roofing remains one of the most eco-friendly of all roofing options. However, they are extremely expensive. Also, they are heavy, meaning before you get them installed, you will need to make sure the foundation of your house is reliable as well.