Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

Environmentally Friendly Roofing OptionsGreen is more than just a color.  In today’s society, green is a key part of life.  Looking for more environmentally conscious methods of doing things is the norm for many people and businesses. 

With that thought in mind, it is imperative that roofing contractors have a firm grasp on the roofing options that are considered to be the most environmentally friendly. Here are 7 of the most environmentally friendly roofing options available on the market.

Cool Roof Coatings

You all know the value and demand intrinsic in cool roof systems. When applied by a professional roofing organization, cool roof coatings offer the following environmental benefits:

  • Reduced waste. These coatings pro-long the life of the existing roof. Delaying tear off means less waste in our landfills.
  • Energy efficient. The reflective nature of the bright-white formulation reduces electricity consumption to cool the building.
  • Reduced electricity demand. Less demand from utility companies reduces their need to generate electricity, causing a reduction in carbon dioxide and other hothouse gases.
  • Increased longevity. A coating can keep a roof leak-free for up to 20 years with regular maintenance, which again reduces waste by delaying tear off and replacement.

Solar Roofing

Unquestionably, this is the most cutting edge of the options discussed here. The most advanced solar roofing integrates the photovoltaic cells found in traditional solar panels directly into the roofing system.  The end result is a roof that is almost completely covered with photovoltaic cells. 

  • Energy efficient. Seriously… this option generates its own electricity.
  • Long lasting. Exactly how long in real-world conditions is still unknown as the technology is so new to market.
  • Reduced electricity demand. Less demand from utility companies reduces their need to generate electricity, causing a reduction in carbon dioxide and other hothouse gases. Think of this as cool roofing on steroids.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing systems are a very popular choice in different geographical locations.  They are strong, durable, and aesthetically appealing.  Environmentally, they offer additional benefits to consider.

  • Recyclable.  Whether using recycled materials for a new metal roof or recycling the materials from a tear off, metal roofing is 100% recyclable material.
  • Reflective. The reflective nature of metal helps naturally cool the building by reflecting some of the solar heat away.
  • Long Lasting. Metal roofing systems can last decades.  That longevity reduces landfill burden by extending the time before replacement is necessary.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are another roofing option considered by many as environmentally friendly.  Though lacking in some of the benefits of other choices, wood shingles do offer some specific benefits.

  • Recyclable. At the end of use as a roofing system, wood shingles are fully recyclable and reusable in various capacities.
  • All Natural. Though not directly an environmental issue, the natural, organic aspect of wood shingles appeals to many in the “green” culture.
  • Long Life Span. Wood shingles have an average life span of 15 to 20 years, depending on environment, maintenance, and locale. 

Clay Tiles

Extremely popular in certain environments and locations, clay tiles are attractive, easy to repair or replace and have a lot of environmental benefit to offer their building owner.

  • Energy efficient. Clay tiles are superb at reducing heat absorbed into the building as well as retaining warmth in cooler temperatures.
  • Low maintenance. These tiles require no additional coatings, treatment, or other chemical modification to perform.
  • Sustainable. Clay tiles are manufactured from highly sustainable materials and with only minimal environmental impact in the manufacturing process.

Slate Tiles

Slate tiles are the rich man’s upgrade to the clay tile option.  Incredibly sturdy and attractive, though very heavy and expensive to install, slate tiles also offer green benefits.

  • Durability. Chief among the environmental benefit of slate tiles are their extreme durability and longevity.
  • Abundant Materials. Like their cousin the clay tile, slate tiles are manufactured from materials not considered scarce.  However, it could be argued that the means to retrieve these materials is, in itself, damaging to the environment.
  • All Natural. As previously noted, all natural is a valued feature for many environmentally focused individuals.

Green Roofs

Also known as “living roofs”, green roofs offer a different approach to improving the environment.  Green roofs transform an existing roofing system into a garden area.  Obviously, this is not appropriate for all roof styles (imagine this on your steep-slope structure), but can be an attractive option to consider.

  • Increased oxygen. The presence of living plants increases oxygen in the surrounding areas.
  • Birds & insects. Additional living areas for birds and insects, particularly bees, which have been shown to be highly beneficial.
  • Moderately insulative. Though less reflective than some of the other options discussed, the presence of soil and greenery naturally reflect a portion of solar heat away from the building.  Additionally, heat is better retained during cooler seasons.

Want to Know More?

There’s no better time than now! The Choice Roof Contractor Group is here to help by:

  • Offering mentorship to new contractors
  • Providing information on current topics and trends
  • Offering marketing tips to help you break into new territory
  • Providing roofing contractors with shared ideas and support

With the help of our trusted members, your organization can become leaders in the environmentally friendly roofing options market. If you’re ready to learn more, call our team at (800) 670-5583.

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Written by: Diana Warwick
Diana Warwick
Diana Warwick grew up in a construction family. Over the decades, she has watched the industry change and evolve. Now, a recently retired RN, Diana is living her dream as a professional researcher and online author. Her strong research background, coupled with years of construction knowledge and innate curiosity, has led to her development as an integral part of a full-service marketing company that specializes in commercial roofing.