Energy-Efficiency Tips: 5 Eco-Friendly Roof Options

By fiderioandsons May 16, 2014

In recent years, homeowners have started to go “green” with their home remodels. There are many of ways to go green when you remodel the house and one of the most efficient is to replace your roof with an eco-friendly roofing material. Fortunately, most eco-friendly roofing materials will qualify you for state and federal government tax incentives. Also, some insurance companies offer discounts two customers on new roofs that work to benefit the environment. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each green option, to help you find the right ecofriendly roof for your home and budget.

Standing-Seam Metal Roof

Pros- These roofs are extremely durable, long lasting, light reflective and fully recyclable. Metal roofs are a great investment for anyone– not just green homeowners. However, you can increase the green factor by choosing a metal roof made with recycled content and in a lighter color.

Cons- Metal Roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles; therefore, a standing-seam metal roof is a bigger investment up front. Also, homeowners in areas with heavy snowfall must include a plan for dealing with snow because it can slide right off metal roofs, creating potentially huge drifts around the perimeter of the house.

White Roof

Pros- Light colored or white roofs of any material are often known as “cool roofs” because they can significantly cool the roof’s temperature by reflecting the sun’s rays away from the house, keeping the interior of the home cooler as well. This, in turn, helps to reduce summer energy bills. White asphalt shingles are similar in price to regular, darker shingles, making this one of the least expensive ecofriendly roofing options.

Cons- While it may be a “cool roof,” white roofs are not completely ecofriendly. If it’s made from asphalt shingles, those are still petroleum based and are nearly impossible to recycle. A metal roof in white could be a better option.

Recycled-Content Shingle Roof

Pros- A growing number of shingles on the market today include recycled content, from those that mimic the appearance of cedar shakes to recycled slate-look shingles. These options provide an appealing lower-cost alternative to expensive slate and sustainable wood, while still offering green benefits like a manufacturer recycling program and a 50-year product life span.

Cons- There are limited color option available on the market. There are no white recycled-content shingle roofs, so cooling benefits may not be optimal; however, this could change as new products are developed.

Sustainable Wood Shake or Shingle Roofs

Pros- Wood shingles from sustainable managed forests are natural and biodegradable. Also these are a great option if you favor the classic appearance of wood shingles.

Cons- Wood shingles are flammable, so they may be controlled in some areas where fire danger is high. They are also relatively expansive and can last just 15 to 25 years.

Add-on Solar Panels

Pros- Modern solar panels are much less expensive than they once were and can be fitted onto many styles of existing roofs (that part of your roof facing south is most important). Solar panels can potentially save you a large amount of money on your energy bills in the long run.

Cons- The initial cost of installation is still high, and you won’t see a return on your investment with energy savings for a few years. So if you are planning to move anytime soon, it could be wiser to wait to instill solar panels on your next home.

Decided you need a new roof or roof replacement? Fiderio & Sons can help! Visit our showroom in Meriden or fill out our online form for a free quote!

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