Green living is the new craze. As people learn more about the ways humans have a detrimental effect on the environment, more and more people are looking to minimize their carbon footprint. From energyefficient appliances to watersaving dishwashers to roofing solar panels, homeowners are finding all sorts of ways to be more environmentally conscious. When it comes to roofing, though,installing solar panels or growing a green roof aren’t always practical options, especially in cooler climates that don’t get enough sunlight. Fortunately, there are other ways to have an ecofriendly roof.
Here are some tips for homeowners looking to get an ecofriendly roof.
Hire a pro
Roofing isn’t a job that an amateur can do properly. And an improperly installed roof will cause all sorts of problems, including air leakage. An improperly installed roof is going to let warm air escape the home during the winter and cool air escape during the summer. This means higher energy costs year round. It also means wasted resources that aren’t renewable. A skilled roofer will make sure the roof is installed correctly and has good ventilation.
Choose the right roofing material
Which material you use has a huge environmental impact. There are a few factors that determine the environmental impact of a roofing material. Because roofs require a lot of materials, each time a roof needs to be replaced, it impacts the environment. Another factor is its reflectivity. Roofs that are more reflective are more energy efficient as they don’t absorb heat and drive up cooling costs.
Here’s how some of the most common roofing materials stack up when it comes to environmental friendliness.
• Wood shake roofs are not as popular as they used to be. Because they’re flammable, they’re not allowed in some communities. If you’re set on wood shakes, however, look for a roofing product made from reclaimed or FSCcertified lumber so you’re not contributing to the cutting down of oldgrowth trees to make your roof.
• Tile roofs are made from natural materials and is extremely longlasting, so in that respect it’s environmentally friendly. However, the mining and transportation involved is energyintensive.If going with tile, choose a light color so that it’s cooler in the summer.
• Metal roofing is a great ecofriendly option. It’s extremely durable and longlasting and can be made entirely from recycled materials to minimize its environmental impact. While metal roofing isn’t considered a cool roof, it can be painted with a reflective coating to make it cooler.
• Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material. Because they don’t last as long as other materials and they often end up in landfills, asphalt shingles are typically seen as the least environmentally friendly option. However, if the asphalt shingles are made from recycled materials, they can be very ecofriendly. Make sure when it’s time to replace your asphalt shingle roof that the roofer recycles the shingles rather than sending them to the landfill.
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