Greening your home isn’t just about making environmentally friendly choices on the inside. It’s also about adding smart, energy-saving materials to the outside. Switching out the standard asphalt roof for one made of eco-friendly materials supports a safe environment, cuts your heating and cooling cost and minimizes the amount of maintenance your roof needs in the long run.
While retiling a roof is best left to the professionals, it doesn’t hurt to go in armed with information on all your options.
1. Recycled Materials
These days, you can find just about anything made from recycled materials — including shingles. Choose from options made from recycled plastic, wood, rubber, post-consumer waste and post-industrial waste. Slate, ceramic and metal tilings also contain recycled materials. These options are much more durable than asphalt and as a result, have longer warranties and less maintenance.
Don’t think that just because these babies employ the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) that they skimp on style. Roofing made from recycled materials can be just as fashionable as their asphalt cousins. But unlike asphalt, they promote keeping waste out of landfills and have 50- as apposed to 15- year warranties. Look for versions that carry fire ratings, they may help lower your homeowner’s insurance.
2. Solar Shingles
There are two routes you can go when it comes to installing a solar option on your roof — shingles or tiles. Solar shingles are used in place of asphalt roofing. Solar tiles are integrated with the already existing shingles. Both choices collect sunlight to free you up from being completely dependent on municipal power providers. The downside? According to GreenYour, for the maximum amount of power, your roof needs to have an obstruction-free south-facing location and 300 to 400 square feet of roof space.
3. Cool Roof
A cool roof is placed over your existing shingles or tiling in order to limit the amount of heat energy that is transferred into your home during the hot summer months. These options include:
- Single-ply membranes: These pre-fabricated rubber or plastic sheets are applied over the existing tiles with a heat-sealant. They can have a warranty of up to 30 years.
- Coatings: This white liquid is applied like paint over your already installed shingles. Unlike single-ply membranes, coatings only have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
If you’re looking to completely replace your existing roof with a cool option, try reflective tiles. These clay or concrete tiles contain pigments that reflect 70 percent of the sun’s energy.
4. Energy Star Rating
Roofing systems labeled with the Energy Star seal of approval are geared towards reducing the cost of your home’s energy consumption by 50 percent. That means greening your home ends up meaning more green in your pocket.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown
Are you ready to update your roof? Take a look at eieihome’s directory of roofing contractors.