An eco-friendly roof might sound initially like a waste of time. Why would you replace your roof if you don’t have to? Is being environmentally conscious enough justification for spending the money on changing your roof?
These are all fair questions, and you should consider them carefully before changing your roof. But if you’ve already been thinking about finding an eco-friendly roof option, you came to the right place. If you’re unsure about finding an eco-friendly roof option or considering the cost and the hassle of locating a roofing maintenance contractor, you’ve also come to the right place.
Here, we’ll look at some of the best options for modern eco-friendly roofs and why the investment is worthwhile in the long run. Take a look and learn about some of the best eco-friendly roof options available that require almost no extra maintenance on your part.
- What Makes A Roof Eco-Friendly?
- Eco-Friendly Roofing Ideas
- Final Thoughts
What Makes A Roof Eco-Friendly?
Before diving in, let’s consider some key features that make a roof eco-friendly.
Roofing material might confuse people who have never dealt with the details before. So if you’re considering switching to eco-friendly, it’s worth learning why certain materials work and others do not.
#1. Increases Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
An eco-friendly roof does more than keep you protected from the elements. If a roof is truly eco-friendly, it could save you money on heating and cooling.
An eco-friendly roof may be the perfect (and most cost-effective) solution. About 15% of all heating loss in a house occurs via the roof. By removing the potential for seepage, you’re increasing the efficiency of your home and saving on your energy bills simultaneously.
#2. Production Value Differences
An eco-friendly roof works well for the environmentally-conscious consumer because the production methods are environmentally friendly and result.
The energy consumed to produce an eco-friendly roof is much lower than that consumed for other roofing materials. Energy consumed in production is represented as embodied energy. Embodied energy only applies to the output, not the operation or disposal of the materials.
#3. Durability and Strength
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One of the best features of an eco-friendly roof is its durability. You may think that eco-friendly is synonymous with weak or susceptible. However, eco-friendly roofing materials are often far more durable than many other available options.
Eco-Friendly Roofing Ideas
There are plenty of benefits to switching roofing materials. Installing an eco-friendly roof could improve your home’s overall health and wellness and save you money. A roofing maintenance contractor will help you find the best option for your goals.
If you’re looking for eco-friendly roofing ideas, consider one of these options:
- Slate tile
- Cedar wood shakes
Let’s dive in and see why these eco-friendly options are low-maintenance and highly desirable.
1. Metal Roofing
Did you know that metal roofing can be produced in eco-friendly environments? Sometimes made from recycled materials and sometimes from new metals, a metal roof is one of the most durable options you can select.
The reflective properties of a metal roof make it easy and cheap to keep your home cool without raising the energy bill. As your cooling costs go down, so will the need to produce emissions from coal-fired plants.
Metal production is less eco-friendly than other roofing materials, but overall benefits outweigh these costs. Metal roofs are affordable, eco-friendly, and easy to care for without professional help.
2. Solar Roofing
This type of roofing is perhaps one of the most obvious choices for homeowners looking to go eco-friendly. Solar panel fields are becoming increasingly popular, and more individuals are installing solar panels around their homes than ever before.
One of the primary benefits of the solar roof is that it has a positive environmental impact. This is in contrast with some eco-friendly materials that have no effect.
Other benefits include:
- Improved roof protection
- Low profile (aesthetically)
- Easy, straightforward installation
- Lowered energy bills
- Increased home value
If you want to do your part to help the environment, installing solar roofing can shrink your carbon footprint. You might inspire your neighbors to do the same.
3. Cool/White Roofing
Cool roofing, also known as white roofing, is a fast-growing trend in the eco-friendly world. A mix of white gravel and white glue, this particular roofing material reflects the sun’s rays and limits unwanted heat from getting into your house through the roof.
Cool roofing can help lower energy bills all around. They can help keep your house cooler in the summer without you needing to crank the A/C, though they handle well in various temperatures.
Another key benefit of a cool roof is reducing excess urban heat, which occurs when a city gets much hotter than the rural areas surrounding it. Sometimes called the heat island effect, cool roofs can help reduce or prevent this danger.
4. Concrete Roof Shingles
You might not associate concrete with roofs, shingles, or eco-friendly environments. However, concrete shingles are closely tied to all of those subjects.
One of the best things about concrete roof shingles is their durability. They have greater strength under pressure than most roofing options, especially those in the eco-friendly market. On average, a concrete roof can last up to 70 years, whereas something like clay might last only 60.
Concrete roof shingles are easy to install, they can save you a fortune on your heating and cooling costs, and maintenance requires almost nothing. Plus, they come from entirely natural materials. That means no extra chemical pollution is produced due to their production.
5. Slate Tile Shingles
If you’re wondering about the key benefits of a slate tile roof, here are some facts for you to consider:
- High durability
- Fire resistance
- Long lifespan
- Eco-friendly design
- Great looks
Whether with real slate tile shingles or a synthetic version, your house will appreciate the sweet relief temperature-wise. Thanks to their density, they’ll keep your house warm in winter and cool in the hotter months.
But one of the potential downsides of a slate tile roof is that lousy installation can lead to a world of issues. As long as the roof contractors know what they’re doing, you should have minimal problems. But bad installation can ruin the eco-friendly nature of the slate tile roof.
6. Recycled Shingles
If you like your shingle roof and aren’t interested in switching materials, you can still find an eco-friendly option for repairs and replacement. Using recycled shingles might not sound attractive, but the benefits are undeniable:
- Saving landfill space
- Conservation of asphalt, a natural resource
- No production of new materials
- Cheap cost
One of the best features offered by recycled shingles is their low-maintenance nature. They’re durable and will last even in harsh winter weather. Not only are recycled shingles eco-friendly, but they won’t cost you an arm and a leg to maintain.
7. Clay Roofs
The clay roof is nothing new. People have been using clay roofs for their durability and sturdy profiles for millennia. It’s not hard to see why people love clay roofs when you see how stable and affordable they are (even in modern times!).
You can also depend on clay roofs to be an eco-friendly option. They provide natural insulation in summer and winter, meaning you can save on your heating and cooling costs all year long. They also provide excellent protection from bad weather.
One of the reasons clay roofs are a favorite among the eco-friendly crowd is that you can easily have them recycled into new tiles when you renovate. They don’t release greenhouse gasses upon production, saving energy expenses from coal-fired plants. Not to mention, clay roofs have a distinguished, classic look that’s hard to beat.
8. Cedar Wood Shakes
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option with a life cycle that never releases emissions, you must consider cedar wood shakes or shingles.
Cedar shakes are environmentally friendly from the first moments of production through disposal as they can be chipped and repurposed. The sourcing, manufacturing, use, and recycling of cedar wood shakes are about as eco-friendly a process as you can find.
Disposal is one of the top concerns with many construction materials, such as roofing. As a biodegradable product, cedar shakes are also easy to eliminate if you need to replace them.
9. Living Roofs
One of the most exciting eco-friendly options for homeowners is the living roof. The living roof gives you more green space and lets you see what it might feel like to live in a J.R.R. Tolkein novel setting.
The living roof is essentially a garden on your rooftop. They can help keep heat under control as well as other cool roofs. If you’ve always wanted extra space for gardening and don’t mind the initial installation cost, a living roof might be perfect for you.
The only real downside to the living roof, besides its initial cost, is that it requires more maintenance than the other options on our list. However, if you enjoy gardening, it probably won’t feel like work.
Changing your roof is no small task. But with the suitable materials, you can find one that lasts decades. If you feel like going green, you’ll want to think about picking an easy-to-maintain option.
The eco-friendly options for roofs have never been more vast. With so many different material choices, it should be easy to find a roof that meets your needs, saves money, and helps the environment.
Here at Baltic Roofing, we pride ourselves on not just our craftsmanship but on doing our part to help the environment. Contact us today to see how we can help make your home more eco-friendly! Contact a trustworthy roofing maintenance contractor if you need personalized help for your case.
About the author:
Louis Hanley – Community Manager of Baltic Roofing
Louis is a community manager for Baltic Roofing where they help the greater Chicago community with everything from high-quality roof replacements to skylight repairs. He is an expert on all things roofing and home improvement. Outside of work, he’s a huge Cubs fan and enjoys spending time with his dog, Roscoe.