Generally speaking, you want to replace your roof once every 20 or 30 years. This means we are not up to date on the latest in roofing materials. If it is time for you to consider a new roof, then you would be wise to familiarize yourself with how roofing products have evolved. In this day and age, energy efficiency and the environment dictate everything, and roofing is no different. Many new roofing products incorporate recycled and salvaged materials as means of fitting in with this green trend.
We love recycling because it keeps waste out of the landfills and is an effective way to manage natural resources. Most roofing materials are made from up to 90% recycled materials. For example, rubber shingles are often made from discarded tires and metal roofing materials contain recycled steel and copper.
Don’t worry about the appearance of the recycled materials. Recycled composite shingles mimic Spanish tiles and slate and they resist fire and bad weather just as well as their non-recycled cousins. Most recycled products come with warranties and as for pricing, rubber shingles is the way to go if you need to keep costs down. There are of course many people that do not like recycled shingles. Additionally, depending on the area you live, they may be hard to find or they may not even be approved for use.
Salvage your shingles
You may not particularly like the look of composite roofing but still, want an eco-friendly material like wood or slate. The best way to avoid high energy costs associated with slate is to use shingles salvaged from other buildings. Wood shingles can be made from leftover boards of old buildings or bridges. You can also buy wood shingles that are made from substantially managed forests.
There are a few drawbacks you should be aware of. All natural products cost more than composites and heavier items like slate cost even more because of transportation. You also have to be cautious with wood, because it is not fire resistant and only lasts around 15 to 25 years. The brittle materials like clay can easily crack from falling branches or harsh weather.
Whether you use natural or composite materials, the lighter the color is the more energy-efficient your roof will be. Light colors reflect the sunlight away, therefore, keeping your home cooler and by adding natural light to the house, saving you money on electricity in the summer.
Let nature do the work
Depending on just how green you want to be, you can consider a green color roof. This is an updated version of a sod roof with plants growing on it. Plants allow for natural insulation and cooling and the organic material requires no energy to manufacture. These green roofs make an unusual visual addition to the home being both efficient and a great talking piece.
Installation of green roofs is expensive and does not make a good fit for every house. You cannot have a roof that slants more than 30 degrees and it has to be positioned to get good sunlight. They also require regular maintenance and upkeep. You also need to consider reinforcing your roof because the heavy soil can cause damage.
Most people might think the green roof is a little too green which is why there are numerous ‘green’ options available without you having to cultivate your own. Contact us today for a consultation and we will help you find the right option for you and the environment.
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