The Top 3 Sustainable Roofing Materials

Replacing your home’s roof can be a costly endeavour – so you want to choose the best material, right?

When it comes to choosing a material for your roof, you want to take quality and durability into consideration. You’re paying to have your roof replaced so you don’t want to keep paying to have it repaired and maintained.

Many homeowners are now turning to sustainable roofing materials when carrying out a re-roofing project.

Not only are they more environmentally-friendly, but they last longer and hold up to the elements better than other roofing materials.

Before you jump into your roof replacement project, consider why sustainability is important as well as the top three sustainable roofing materials for your home:

Why is Sustainability Important?

When taking the environment into consideration, sustainability is important because it allows certain materials to be obtained without depleting the resource or harming the environment.

Sustainable materials are classified as such if they can be harvested without excessive cost to transport or causing damage, are renewable, have a long usage life and can conserve energy.

Traditional asphalt singles, on the other hand, are a petroleum product. Their production increases dependency on fossil fuels.

Plus, they typically have to be replaced every 15-20 years (as opposed to sustainable materials that last much longer). This results in nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles are dumped in landfills every year.

Apart from the benefit they have to the environment, sustainable roofing materials last a long time since they do not require as many repairs or replacements as other non-sustainable materials.

This way, less material is wasted – and you save more money!

Sustainable roofing materials can also help save you money by conserving energy in your home through more efficient insulation. This cuts costs but also reduces the amount of energy used and the number of pollutants released into the environment.

It’s easy to see how using sustainable materials on your roof is a win-win situation for any homeowner – but which sustainable materials are considered to be the best?

Keep reading to find out which are the top three sustainable roofing materials:

1. Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is one of the most affordable sustainable roofing materials and come with many benefits.

This material is durable, long-lasting and requires very little maintenance – so you can expect a metal roof to last for as long as 50 years without replacement and with minimal repair and maintenance costs.

Metal roofs are also energy efficient and provides excellent insulation in the wintertime and reflects the heat of the sun away from your home during the summer.

Most metal roofs are made from aluminum which is a recyclable and natural resource. They can also be recycled into new roofing when it comes time for a roof replacement.

2. Clay or Slate Tiles

Slate roofing is made from rock that is cut into slabs and installed directly onto the roof. It is well-known for its longevity – some slate roofs around the world have lasted for hundreds of years with minimal maintenance!

Because slate is a rock sourced directly from te earth, it doesn’t require any chemical manufacturing.

Clay is another recyclable and natural roofing material made from the earth. It is sourced from clay pits and has also been used in roofing for hundreds of years.

While slate roofs are popular in Europe, clay tiles are common in hotter climates due to their heat resistance.

Both materials are a bit heavier than other sustainable roofing materials, so they tend to cost more. However, in the long run, the upfront costs are certainly worth the 100+ years warranties offered by many clay and slate roof manufacturers.

3. Recycled Materials

Recycled shingles are, hands down, the greenest of sustainable roofing products.

Most shingles sold today are made from recycled materials such as plastic, wood fiber and rubber – and they look like the real thing!

Recycled shingles are affordable, durable, environmentally-friendly and can be made from materials such as old tires, milk jugs and even old newspapers.

In fact, you can expect a roof made of recycled materials to last over 50 years. Imagine having an affordable roof that looks like it’s made of slate or cedar shingles that requires little maintenance!

Tips For Choosing a Sustainable Roofing Material

Having choices when it comes to sustainable roofing materials is great – but how do you decide which material to use?

While it may all come down to budget, here are some tips for choosing the right sustainable material for your roof:

  • Avoid copper and zinc coatings on roofing materials. These coatings can seep into water sources and cause health issues.
  • The higher the percentage of recycled content in the roofing material, the better. You can also check to see if the material can be reused again when it’s time to replace the roof.
  • Check to see if toxic materials are necessary in maintaining the roof.
  • While heavier roofs may seem like the best option when it comes to durability, take your home’s structure into consideration. Can it support the weight of a heavier roof?
  • Think about the slope of your roof. Some roofing materials work better on certain types of slopes over others.
  • Consider your local climate when it comes to choosing a color. If you live in a hotter climate, you may want to choose a lighter color with higher reflectivity to deflect more sun and keep your house cool.
  • Go for the sustainable roofing materials with the longest warranty. This is a good indicator if the material is durable and of high quality.

Decisions, Decisions!

Does this seem like a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a sustainable material for your new roof?

Don’t worry! Our expert contractors at Roe Roofing and Exteriors can help you choose the best material for your roof and your unique needs.

Get in touch with us today so we can start planning the upgrade of the most important part of your home – your roof!

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