Are you thinking about replacing the roof on your home? Are you building a new home and aren’t sure which roofing option would be best for you?
Eco-friendly roofing material can be a durable, energy efficient, and affordable option. Below we have listed descriptions of each option, and the benefits each one could bring to your home and living experience.
A white roof, or “cool roof” helps to cool the roof’s temperature by reflecting most of the sun’s rays away from your home. This can help cool the interior of the house which can help reduce summer energy bills. If you live in a large urban area, having a white roof can also reduce the heat island effect.
But not all cool roofs are eco-friendly, materials like asphalt shingles are petroleum based, and very hard to recycle, so double check to make sure that the cool roof material you are thinking about purchasing is actually sustainable.
Standing-Seam Metal Roof
Metal roofs are very durable, light reflective and and are made of 100% recycled materials. Metal roofs are not only a good buy for green homeowners but are also a good investment for anyone that wants a hardy, long-lasting roof— they have a 50 year lifespan. This roof is fire-resistant, and allows snow slide off in the winter, which helps to prevent the formation of ice dams.
A metal roof can be a more expensive option as the materials are more costly than others. It is a larger investment up front but have a longer lifespan than standard options.
Wood Shake or Shingle Roof
Wood shingles, also referred to as wood shake, are biodegradable and have the natural wood aesthetic appeal. For homeowners that want that classic wood look, this option may be a good option for you.
Wood shingles can be an expensive option as well (around the same cost of a metal roof). It is also important to note that these shingles are flammable, so if you live in an area that experiences frequent brush or forest fires it may be best to consider other roofing options.
Reclaimed Slate or Clay Roof
Clay and slate tiles have a long history of being used in roofing materials. They are natural and durable material and are even longer lasting than a metal roof. In fact, clay and slate tiles can last up to 100 years if well cared for. They can help give your home a historic feel and are often seen on spanish, colonial style homes. You can even pick lighter colored tile for an added benefit of a cool roof.
This material is almost twice as expensive as metal with an added expense of upkeep to periodically replace or repair broken tiles. The tiles are also very heavy. Roof reinforcement is usually required for this option which also adds to the overall cost.
Shingle Roof from Recycled Materials
Recycled shingles can mimic wood shake and reclaimed slate but are made of recycled materials such as fiber, plastic, wood, and rubber. Producing recycled shingles takes less energy and reduces waste making it a “greener” roof option for homeowners. With a 50 year lifespan, these materials are very durable and an inexpensive alternative to wood shake and reclaimed tile.
Planting a literal green roof comes with many benefits. A green roof can add insulation and help with cooling your home. It cleans the air and reduces rainwater runoff. A green roof can also help reduce the heat island effect and bring natural beauty to urban areas.
Planting a green roof can be pricey depending on how large your roof is a what kind of garden you plant. Your roof might also require reinforcement to support the weight of the plants and soil. Upkeep for green roofs can be expensive and repairs may be more difficult as access may be blocked by the garden.
Rubber roofs are another cost effective alternative. The rubber material used is 100% recyclable and takes less energy to make than most other roofing materials. Rubber roofs are long-lasting; a properly installed rubber roof can last for 50 years or more. This option is an attractive one for many homeowners as it is fire, water, and storm resistant and is not susceptible to UV damage. It can be a popular option as this durable material requires little maintenance or repair.
Adding Solar Panels
In addition to the materials mentioned above, homeowners looking to be a little “greener” may also consider adding solar panels to your existing roof. Solar panels have become more inexpensive than they once were and can be fitted on most roof styles. Installing solar panels can result in reduced energy bill costs in the long run.
Initial installation can be very expensive, so it may be a few years before you see the benefits reflected in your energy savings. They can be substantial for some homeowners though.
There are a few factors to consider before installing solar panels. The amount of shade your roof receives, how steep your roof is, and which side of your roof receives the most direct sunlight can all determine whether or not this option is best for your home.
Reach out to us online or call 256-326-4232 to ask us about our eco-friendly roofing options and whether they are right for your home.