Most roof won’t need replacement for 20-30 years. There is quite a lot that can change with the materials used in those decades. If you are currently looking at replacing your old roof, you might be happy to know about the more environmentally friendly options that exist today. Not only are these options going to save you money through their energy efficiency, many of them are made from recycled or repurposed materials.
Eco-friendly roof materials
The recycling process is just plain good for the environment. It keeps materials out of landfills and gives them a means of still being useful for new applications. For example, rubber shingles are most often constructed out of old tires. Metal roof materials can often be comprised of various metals that have been re-purposed, such as steel, copper and aluminum.
Rubber shingles can be made into a number of styles to mimic popular looks like Spanish tile, shake or slate. They are durable and can withstand very harsh conditions, which allows for many of the companies to offer a 50-year warranty. In terms of cost, rubber shingles are much more affordable than the costly metal roofing style. You might find that you simply don’t like the look of the rubber shingles, or they might not be approved for use in your area yet.
There is a chance that you just might not like the look of composite roofing, and you would prefer a more traditional looking roof option. This doesn’t mean the end of the line for your environmentally conscious choices, but rather a new set of options for you to consider. If you are looking for wood shingles, there are always places offering reclaimed and re-purposed wood to be turned into functioning shingles for you. If you are more into the slate or tile, consider some salvaged shingles in lieu of brand new ones. They will still be guaranteed, and you will likely save money in the process.
While there is no doubt that natural materials have better aesthetics than composite options, they cost more. Not to mention the added fossil fuel needed to transport heavier shingles like clay and slate. Wood shingles might look nice, but you really cannot guarantee that they will last beyond 25 years. Finally, clay and slate might look nice, but they are highly brittle. This leaves them more susceptible to falling branches and hail damages. If you want to help save some of your own green, you can opt for a lighter colored roof. This is going to naturally aid in keeping your entire house cooler, which will help to keep your cooling costs down through the warmer months.
Some people have opted to take a very serious spin on going green. You can opt for a design that has a sod roof with vegetation literally growing on it. The benefit here is that this is material that will never end up clogging up some landfill somewhere. As unusual as it might sound, these can actually be very aesthetically pleasing when properly maintained. Practically speaking, they can help by keeping your house cooler and better insulated, while simultaneously reducing water runoff.
The drawback is that installation of this kind of roofing can be costly, and not all roofs are able to sustain this kind of look. For example, the pitch of the roof cannot be more than 30 degrees, and requires ample sunlight to thrive. Not only do they need regular maintenance to continue growing properly, you might also have to reinforce your roof supports to handle the heavier weight of this material choice. While you might not be someone that is leaping at the chance to turn your roof into more yard you have to maintain, there are still many ways listed above that you can be more environmentally conscious with your roofing choices with your upcoming project.
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