There are many ways to make your home more eco-friendly, but one improvement that has a big impact is your choice of roofing material. When accessing whether your new roof will be environmentally friendly, consider how long it will last, whether it can be recycled or reused, and whether it contains recycled materials. Here are 3 options you can consider for your new roof that also reduce your impact on the environment.
Roofing material that is white or light-colored is called a cool roof because it dramatically reduces the temperature of the roof by reflecting the sun’s rays. This keeps the interior of your home cooler to lower energy bills and even reduce the “heat island” effect experienced in large cities. White asphalt shingles cost about the same as regular shingles, but the downside is the shingles are still petroleum-based and almost impossible to recycle. You can also choose a white metal roof for energy savings in addition to a much longer life and the ability to recycle the roof when it wears out.
Metal roofs have numerous advantages. Most metal roofing materials on the market are made from some recycled materials and the roof can be recycled when it reaches the end of its life. A metal roof can even last up to 50 years with very minimal maintenance. With less frequent replacement, a metal roof means less waste.
Aside from its eco-friendly benefits, metal roofs offer unparalled durability and fire-resistance. This type of material is also a good choice if you want to collect rainwater from your roof without the chemicals that can leach from asphalt shingles. In snowy climates like the North and Northwest, a metal roof also allows snow to slide off the roof easily to prevent the formation of damaging ice dams. To enjoy all of these benefits, however, it’s important to work with a licensed company that has extensive experience installing metal roofs like Cloise & Mike Construction Inc.
Recycled-Content Shingle Roofs
There are many brands of shingles available today that are made from recycled content and manufactured to resemble the appearance of cedar shakes, slate shingles, and more. Shingles can be made from all types of recycled waste materials, including wood fiber, rubber, and plastic. This type of roof has a lower cost than sustainable wood shingles or slate. Many homeowners are surprised by the attractive appearance of recycled shingles and they are also durable.
By choosing recycled-content shingles, you can help divert waste from landfills and you may even qualify for lower homeowners insurance premiums if you choose a shingle with a fire rating.
There are now many options beyond asphalt shingles that are made with harmful chemicals, have a relatively short lifespan, and take about 400 years to break down. If you’re interested in an eco-friendly new roof, these three options can all give you a beautiful and long-lasting roof without sacrificing the environment.
Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA
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