Solar Tiles and Daylighting
Solar coverings are one of the most complete and environmentally friendly options. Though expensive, solar technology is improving, making it consistently more efficient and easier on both the earth and your wallet. When affixed correctly, solar tiles are powerful enough to serve as both a sturdy roof and a natural provider of electricity and are the ultimate green choice for any climate. You’ll likely make up for your initial investment by way of a long-lasting roof and lower electric bills. A more affordable alternative that’s gaining in popularity recently is daylighting, which is the incorporation of skylights or light tubes to make use of natural lighting.
Natural and Recycled Coverings
If solar isn’t for you, another sustainable roofing option is a natural or recycled covering material. Depending on your local climate, options such as clay tiles, concrete slabs, wood, or recycled shingles are available. For those in warmer climates, tile and concrete materials are a good idea. Concrete may even help protect your home against strong storms. Wood and recycled shingles, on the other hand, are options for any climate. Reclaimed wood shingles are a popular choice among today’s homeowners, as are highly refurbished shingles made from personal and factory waste, including rubber and plastic. Some eco-enthusiasts are even installing green roofs, in which the top of a building is completely or partially covered with vegetation. They absorb rainwater, provide natural insulation, reduce heating and cooling bills, and encourage local ecosystems. While certainly a reasonable choice for rural homeowners, they also help beautify urban areas.
Eco-Friendly Accessories and Additional Options
While environmentally friendly roofing is becoming more accessible and affordable, you might find that traditional choices provide you with a better bang for your buck. If that’s the case, you may still be interested in looking into sustainable accessories. For example, you might ask if your professionals offer reflective membranes or coatings, which help to lower surface temperatures and, in turn, make your heating and cooling systems more efficient. Another option is low Volatile Organic Compound (or low-VOC) adhesives and sealants. All VOCs release substances into the air, creating the strong smell you might recognize when you use, for instance, a heavy-duty glue. However, low-VOC adhesives and sealants release fewer of these substances, making them better for you and for the environment.
Until recently, sustainable shingle and accessory options were quite expensive and existed only in a niche market. As technology continues to improve, they’ve become more widespread and affordable. While some of the most efficient green options, such as solar panels, might still be out of the financial range of many homeowners, choices such as using recycled materials and environmentally friendly adhesives make green roofing a realistic and rewarding decision.