8 Eco-Friendly Roofing Options to Consider
New construction products are continually coming out that make energy-efficient, eco-friendly homes a reality.
Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials
When it comes to roofing, there are many different eco-friendly roofing options available on the market. Each one is unique and has its advantages and disadvantages. Which roofing option is best for your home can vary depending on your specific circumstances, but here is a list of the different options available and what you should know about each one.
1. Cool Roofs
One kind of eco-friendly roofing is a cool roof, which is an increasingly popular choice. Cool roofs combine a mixture of white glue and gravel that helps to reflect the sun’s rays. As a result, the amount of heat that penetrates the home goes down, which means less reliance on air conditioning and electricity. Due to the unique materials used for cool roofs, they also last much longer than traditional roofs.
However, cool roofs are only worthwhile in areas exposed to large amounts of heat and sunlight. In addition, the cost of a cool roof also needs to be considered, as cool roofs have a hefty initial installation cost. Finally, if installed in an area with high temperatures, that also have high humidity levels, and mold can start to grow. This can take away from the appearance of the roof and even cause damage.
2. Wood Shingles
For a classic or rustic look, wood shingles remain a popular option. Wood roofing shingles have always been a very durable material, available in different colors and easy to stain. What makes them eco-friendly is their ability to be recycled into reclaimed wood products that people can use in or around their homes.
Wood shingles can be somewhat costly, particularly if you don’t live in an area where wood mills are close. Also, unfortunately, wood shingles do not last very long on roofs; they tend to need replacing after around 15 to 20 years. In addition, they can require a lot of maintenance to ensure they do not rot, or get mold, mildew, or any other sort of damage.
3. Metal Roofing
Another popular eco-friendly material is metal roofing, which can be made using either new or recycled metal. Like with cool roofs, metal sheets or tiles have reflective properties that bounce the sun’s rays away from the home. This helps to keep the home cool and make it possible to rely less on expensive air conditioning. Metal roofs also have a long life expectancy and come in a wide variety of alloys and styles, making them a versatile roofing option.
While metal roofing is one of the more popular eco-friendly roofing options, it is not necessarily a cheap option. It can also be particularly noisy, especially during hail storms, where it can also become dented or damaged. Over time, the color of metal tiles will also change as they become more weathered. This can make replacing damaged tiles difficult if you want to maintain visual consistency.
4. Clay Tiles
Clay tiles are another of the many eco-friendly roofing materials to consider. These tiles come in a variety of colors and styles, and beyond being eco-friendly, they are also energy-efficient, allowing hot air to circulate rather than remain trapped. Like metal roofing, clay tiles are also relatively low-maintenance, and the tiles can easily be replaced if they break.
Unfortunately, like other eco-friendly roofing options on this list, clay tiles are not cheap to install. Installation can also be difficult initially. Due to the weight of the tiles, additional structural support may be necessary so that the home doesn’t collapse or bow under the added weight of the clay tiles.
5. Slate Tiles
For an exceptionally durable roofing option, look to slate tiles. These sturdy tiles offer a stunning appearance, long life, and fire resistance, in addition to their overall eco-friendly design. Special tile coatings can also be applied to help make slate roofing even more energy-efficient.
While slate roofing is beautiful, it is difficult to install and requires an experienced professional so it is done correctly. In addition, like clay tiles, slate roofing is heavy and requires extra structural support to be installed safely.
6. Solar Roofing
Solar roofing is one of the newer eco-friendly roofing options that is truly unique. Solar roofing can come in different forms: as solar panels installed on an existing roof, or as tiles that make up the roofing itself. While it may be initially expensive to install, it will save homeowners thousands in electricity bills over its lifetime. This is because, instead of reflecting the sun’s rays, solar roofing absorbs them and converts their energy into usable electricity. This kind of roofing is long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free, and can even earn homeowners tax breaks.
As mentioned before, one of the downsides of solar roofing is that it’s expensive to install. It also relies on sunlight, which makes it a viable roofing option only in places that receive adequate exposure.
7. Living Roofs
For a truly unique eco-friendly roofing option, there are living roofs. Instead of your regular tiles or shingles, living roofs turn the tops of homes into actual gardens. Not only are these statement roofs that can help a home to stand out, but they are one of the most eco-friendly options possible. Living roofs can have a longer lifespan, boost a home’s thermal performance, and aid the overall air quality of the area.
The downside to living roofs is that they cost more to set up, since the roof requires preparation for the weight of dirt and plants, and the home needs to be capable of handling such weight. Finally, a living roof requires maintenance—even if the plants are mostly self-sufficient, they still may require watering, feeding, and weeding. If a plant dies, it also needs to be replaced. Otherwise, it can make for an unattractive sight.
8. Synthetic Shake Shingles
One of the final eco-friendly roofing materials available on the market is synthetic shake shingles. These kinds of shingles are made from different materials; CeDUR’s synthetic shingles, for example, are made from polyurethane material. This material makes them highly durable, long-lasting, Class A Fire Resistant, and Class 4 Impact Resistant. Beyond that, they help insulate the home better, allowing homeowners to rely less on their HVAC system. They also require virtually no maintenance, and are very affordable compared to other eco-friendly roofing options.
Choosing the Best Eco-Friendly Roofing Material
There are many benefits to choosing eco-friendly materials for your home. For one, eco-friendly roofing tends to be more durable and long-lasting, meaning your investment will last longer than the average roof. An eco-friendly roof is also kinder to the environment and more energy-efficient, since it usually helps keep homes cooler and cuts down on the reliance on heating and cooling systems. This means you will release fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, minimizing your carbon footprint.
While there are many different options for eco-friendly roofing materials, for the most durable, affordable, and maintenance-free route, synthetic shake shingles like those offered by CeDUR are the way to go.
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