Are you joining the trend and trying to go green this year? There are plenty of ways to go green around the house and one of the best ways is to replace your roof with an eco-friendly roofing material. Most materials will qualify you for state and federal government tax incentives. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts on new roofs that work to benefit the environment. Even if you find yourself leaning away from green materials, you can always recycled your old materials or donate tiles so they can be used to make someone else's new roof!
One of the most popular materials, recycled shingles are made from plastic, rubber or wood fibers. While these materials may not be the most traditional, recycled shingles mimic the appearance of cedar wood, slate or asphalt. They lower manufacturing energy consumption and pollution by diverting waste from landfills and reducing the processing of raw materials. Better yet, they are recyclable themselves when its time for another roof replacement!
Cool roofs are typically painted with a white layer that protects your home from ultraviolet deterioration and reflects solar induced heat. This reduces energy consumption in the building, lowering utility bills by 20%. Additionally, the manufacturing process emits half a ton less of CO and smog. If your roof doesn't need an entire replacement job or you're not financially ready yet, a coating option is available.
The general assumption with metal roofs is that because they are made of metal, they will attract the sun's heat into the house. However, metal roofs are coated with a light-reflecting pigment to prevent this and they actually reflect sunlight, lowering attic temperatures. Furthermore, they are made with 65% recycled materials and are recyclable at the end of their long lifespan. Their low weight also enables your contractor to build over your old roof, eliminating the need to throw out old materials into a landfill (and greatly reducing the labor cost!)
Solar Panels and Shingles
Solar panels and shingles are part of a photovoltaic roofing system that is designed to convert natural sunlight and heat into electricity. Shingles are individual tiles that can be applied to a small portion of the roof, while panels are larger sheets of the material placed on the roof. Both options have been shown to save over 80,000 pounds of CO per house and trim energy bills by 20%.
The newest trend on the market, living roofs are being integrated more and more into commercial and educational buildings across the nation. Admittedly, they are not cheap or easy to maintain, but they have an abundance of benefits. The NAHB lists thermal resistance and superior insulation properties as the top two reasons to grow a green roof. Other advantages include a longer lifespan, reduction in energy costs, absorption of storm water, improved air quality (as plants take toxins out of the air and release oxygen), and a reduction in the urban heat island effect.
All of the above materials offer unique styles and designs for your roof, but if you're looking for a more traditional look, you can still achieve that while remaining eco-friendly. Wood shakes are one of the most popular looks in roofing, but they are manufactured using processes that do not support the environment. When shopping around for materials, consider using reclaimed wood made from mills, bridges, old water tanks, etc. Most roofing materials have a recycled material option, so it's always worth a look.
Decided you need a new roof or roof replacement? Fiderio & Sons can help! Visit our showroom in Meriden and be sure to download a FREE copy of our Roof Maintenance Checklist.