Adding a new or replacement roof can be a costly project. You need something that looks nice, can hold up to the outdoor elements, and help reduce your energy costs. Sustainability is another consideration. Today, sustainable roofs use a wide variety of roofing materials. Let’s look at what you need to know about sustainable roofing materials.
What Makes Roofing Sustainable?
When it comes time to choose a sustainable roof for your home, what makes it a sustainable choice? Sustainability comes down to raw materials. These materials are produced without damaging the environment or depleting the resources. By that definition, any roofing option that uses mined minerals or fossil fuels is not considered a sustainable choice.
Here are a few sustainable materials you may want for your next roof.
If you want an eco-friendly option, think about a cool roof. Cool roofs use a mixture of gravel and white glue to reflect the sun’s rays. That reduces the amount of heat that can penetrate the home, providing less reliance on electricity and air conditioning. Cool roofs use materials that last longer than traditional roofs. These roofs are only efficient for homes exposed to large amounts of sunlight and heat. Cool roofs have higher installation costs, and they can develop mold in areas with high humidity levels.
Wood roofs add a rustic and classic look to any home. For that reason, they are a popular option for many people. Wood shingles are durable, and you can find them in any shade. You can easily stain these shingles if you want to match a particular color. Wood roofs are very environmentally friendly and made from recycled, reclaimed wood. Cost is one downside to these materials. Wood will need to be replaced about every 15 to 20 years. You will need to maintain the wood so that it doesn’t develop mildew or mold.
Fiber Cement Roofing
At first glance, fiber cement shingles are made with Portland cement, which produces greenhouse gasses in the processing stage. Some might not consider this option to be a sustainable choice. However, these roofing materials are durable and withstand many years of use on your home. Fiber cement shingles have an appearance that looks similar to slate, but they are lighter in weight. That means fewer resources to install it on your roof.
Another great eco-friendly option is a metal roof. These roofs often contain new or recycled metal. Like cool roofs, metal tiles or sheets can reflect the sun’s rays away from a home, helping with cooling costs. Metal roofs also have a long lifetime. You can also select from a wide variety of styles and alloys. Metal roofs are a versatile option for any home.
However, metal is not a cheap material. It can also become damaged or dented in a hail storm. The metal’s color will change over time when exposed to the elements. Some homeowners see those color changes as a benefit to owning a metal roof.
If you want a durable roof, consider slate tiles. This material is sturdy, and it brings longevity, fire resistance, and a stunning appearance to your roof. You can even have a special coating applied to the tile to reduce energy costs. You will need a professional to have them installed. Slate tiles are heavy, and they will need extra structural support to keep them secured on your roof.
Solar panels are the newest type of sustainable roofing. Solar roofs can come in many different forms. You can install solar panels on the roof or use solar tiles instead of shingles. The initial costs are expensive, but they can save homeowners money on energy bills. Solar roofs absorb the sun’s rays and convert the energy into electricity. A solar roof is a maintenance-free and long-lasting option. Solar roofs can even earn a tax break for homeowners. Like other materials, solar roofs are expensive to install. You also need to have a home that is exposed to plenty of sunlight.
Old steel-belted tires can be repurposed and used for your roof. Rubber roofing is coated with ground slate for a beautiful appearance. You can find rubber roofing in a variety of colors. These shingles hold up against the elements, and they last for up to 50 years. Once again, these sustainable materials are expensive. You will want to find an experienced roofer to handle all the installation.
Tips for Choosing Sustainable Roofing Materials
Now that you know some of the materials used for a sustainable roof, you will want to find the right one for your home.
If you need a sustainable product, always look at the recycled content of the materials. A higher percentage means it contains a lot of recycled products. However, durability should always be your first concern. A recycled product might look nice, but you want something that will hold up for a few decades.
You will want to avoid anything with zinc or copper coatings. Those materials can leach into the water source and affect the local aquatic life.
Maintenance is a big concern for any homeowner. You don’t want to spend that precious time and money maintaining your roof. The roofing materials should be durable and require no toxic products for maintenance.
Heavy roofs might seem durable, but they can put extra weight on your home’s structure. Choose something that will not adversely affect your home. In addition to that, the roof’s slope is critical. Some sustainable materials are better suited for a specific type of slope.
A roof’s color looks great, and it can help create a more sustainable home. If you live in a hot climate, choose materials with high reflectivity. These colors can bounce the sun’s rays off your home.
With all of those options in mind, choose a sustainable material for your next roofing project. At RGB Construction, our technicians have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to find the best sustainable materials for your home. Schedule a consultation by calling 856-264-9093.