Many industries are looking for eco-friendly options in their manufacturing materials and processes.
The roofing industry is one of them. Between consumer demand and manufacturer conscientiousness there are more eco-friendly options available all the time.
If you are looking to replace your roof or are in the process of building a home, you may want to review our Master List of Environmentally-Friendly Roofing Materials.
Master List of Environmentally-Friendly Roofing Materials
A roof with a white or light color is also known as a “cool roof” since it can reflect, rather than absorb, much of the sun’s rays. This can significantly cut down on cooling bills throughout the warmer months.
Today’s corrugated roofing comes in a variety of environmentally-friendly roofing material options, and is no longer the single sheet of wavy plastic or metal. A corrugated roof is lightweight and durable.
Metal Shingle Roofing
Metal shingles can be made from recycled aluminum (like beverage cans) to resemble wood shake or slate roofing. They are available in a variety of colors.
Recycled Shingle Roofing
As the greenest roofing product, recycled shingles are created from recycled plastic, wood fiber or robber to recreate the style of slate or cedar shakes without the expense. Recycled shingle roofing can have a lifespan of up to 50 years and can take advantage of manufacturer recycling programs.
Steel-belted radial tires are recycled to create reinforced rubber shingles that are covered with ground slate to provide texture and color. Lifespan of rubber roofing is up to 50 years.
Slate or Clay Roofing (Reclaimed)
Slate or clay tiles offer an attractive and long-lasting roofing option that can serve up to 100 years or more. If the slate or clay tiles are reclaimed or salvaged, they are an ideal environmentally-friendly roofing material. Many of the clay tile options are red, but there are newer, lighter-colored tiles that can create a cool roof system. Slate and clay tiles are heavy, so homeowners need to ensure that the building structure can support the weight.
Standing Seam Metal Roofing
Standing seam metal roofing is an attractive roofing option that reflects light and the sun’s rays. In addition, it is completely recyclable. Long-lasting, a standing-seam metal roof can serve for around 50 years, and is resistant to fire and insects. In the winter, ice dams are less likely to form, as snow can easily slide off of the roof, and in summer, rainwater can be collected for gardens.
Wood Shake Roofing
Wood shake roofing, or shingle roofing, offers the classic appeal of wood, and can be farmed from a sustainable forest for an eco-friendly solution that can serve as an alternative to the previous manufacturing of wood shakes from slow-growing, old-growth Western cedar. Wood shingles can also be made from reclaimed lumber.
Additional Environmentally-Friendly Roofing Options
Green roofs are planted with live greenery that can add natural beauty while mitigating heat buildup on the roof, especially in urban areas. It is recommended to install an irrigation system to maintain a green roof, and since green roofs can be heavy, care must be taken to ensure that the supporting structures are adequate.
Solar Panel Roofing
South-facing roofs can benefit from energy-efficient solar panels. Less expensive than previous, and with the ability to retrofit onto an existing roof, solar panel roofing can significantly reduce energy bills.