We hear a lot these days about things that are good for the environment, and many of us strive to lessen our carbon footprint. When it comes to building materials, you may be wondering just how environmentally friendly it is, especially with the stuff that you have sitting on top of your house: your roof.
One newer roofing material is rubber. Yes, the stuff that used to be car tires is now something that can be used for a brand new roof. This reduces waste significantly as the tires are melted down and stamped into pretty shingle patterns that look remarkably like regular shingles. Rubber is waterproof and strong, it won’t allow water onto your roof deck as it is a substance that repels the wet stuff and it can be recycled over and over again, again reducing waste.
Another ‘green’ option for a roof is the use of slate. Yes, it’s more expensive but it also will likely outlast your house. It is a natural substance with an absorption rate of zero meaning no moisture is getting to that roof deck! There have been instances where a slate roof has been removed from a home and recycled into a beautiful roof on another home, after 100 years of service. The slate was fine, it was the nails and hardware that needed to be replaced.
The third environmentally friendly roofing product is metal. Sure, it will patina over time but it is strong, efficient and can be recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. A definite win-win for a green option.
The other roofing materials like wood shake and asphalt shingles are still great choices but they aren’t as ‘green’ as the others. Yes, wood is a natural resource and is water repellant, but it also deteriorates over time and can become a habitat for bugs and mold to live, which means you can’t reuse an old wood roof. What you do salvage may work for something inside a home, but you can’t reuse beams for another structure.
Asphalt shingles eventually wear out too. Although they generally last for 25 years or more, over time the granular topcoat will wear off and you will be left with a shriveled up bit of paper where all the shingle used to be. They can’t be reused or recycled so they end up in the landfill with the other garbage.
With so many options open to homeowners today you are sure to find the perfect roof for your home, and being environmentally friendly at the same time is entirely possible!