When it’s time to replace the roof on your house, know your options. There have been many improvements in eco-friendly roofing materials and other sustainable roof styles are coming back into vogue among green builders.
On the flip side, the asphalt shingle roofs found on many homes now may be leaching chemicals into rainwater run-off and polluting nearby creeks and streams. If you know what type of eco-friendly roofing materials are available you can avoid this danger and, most likely, get a roof that lasts longer too.
Here are some of the eco-friendly roofing options available for your home.
Choose an Eco-friendly Metal Roof
The metals used in roof construction are usually made from some combination of steel, copper, tin, and aluminum. Metal roofing made from recycled metals is also available. Metal roofs last a very long time—up to 50 years. When it does need to be replaced, you can recycle it.
In the summer, metal roofing reflects the sunlight rather than absorbing it, keeping your home cooler. As long as your attic is insulated, metal roofs do fine in cold weather too. And because metal roofing can be installed right over your existing roof, it saves effort and reduces waste. You won’t have an entire asphalt roof to dispose of.
Going Green with a Living Roof
Also known as “green roofs,” this innovative roofing material absorbs water and provides a home for wildlife. Some homeowners even have productive gardens on their roofs. A membrane, or waterproof layer, is placed between your house and the soil on top. Often, slabs of sod are laid down to create the roof initially.
These roofs certainly reduce storm run-off, and are very efficient insulators. They can also be installed over your existing roof, as long as your home or building is deemed strong enough to hold up the weight of both roofs.
Living roofs help keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter.
Roofing with Sustainable Wood Shingles
In the old days, wood shingles were made from old-growth trees. However, sustainably-grown cedar shingles are now available. Cedar is resistant to insects, which is one of the reasons why people choose cedar mulch for their gardens. When your cedar roof does wear out eventually, you can recycle it into this very mulch.
A Roof Made from Recycled Rubber
Believe it or not, rubber has made its way into the realm of eco-friendly roofing.
It comes in a variety of textures and styles, and can be made to look like traditional roofing materials such as slate, wood or tile. Its weight is about the same as asphalt shingles, and it can be made from recycled rubber. It is very durable, springing back from impacts that would ruin a traditional roof, such as large hail and tree branches. And it is highly water-resistant.
Consider Concrete for an Eco-Friendly Roof
Before you envision your home buckling under the extraordinary weight of concrete, consider fiber-reinforced concrete. The fibers mixed into the concrete are made from glass or metal. This light, aerated, tough material makes an eco-friendly roofing option. It insulates well, conserving energy, and it lasts a long time, reducing waste.
Re-Roof with Ceramic Tiles
While subject to breakage of the individual tiles, these roofs are nontoxic and durable. The occasional broken tile can be replaced. Ceramic tiles are fire-proof. However, it takes a great deal of energy to bake and harden these tiles.
As you can see, there are quite a few options available for eco-friendly roofing materials. Hopefully, you will be able to find one that fits your needs.