With the bigger push to “go green” and be more eco-friendly, some of the new roofing materials are also a lot more energy efficient as well.

Eco-Friendly materials for your new roof

You wouldn’t necessarily have thought of recycled materials when you think of roofing, but the staggering statistic is that around 90 percent of the materials for roofing these days are made out of recycled items. Metal roof sheeting is often comprised of recycled aluminum and steel. Rubber shingles, which are becoming a staple in the roofing industry, are most often created from old tires.

Composite shingles are another example of recycled materials, and they can mimic many popular styles like slate, shake or Spanish tile work. These shingles are not only fire resistant, but they can handle hail and other bad weather conditions better than a lot of other material choices. They are so effective, that most of them come with a 50-year warranty. They are among the most affordable of all of your options as well.

There are plenty of homeowners that really just don’t like the look of rubber shingles. Even if you do like the look, there is still the chance that they are harder to come by in your area or not yet permitted to be used on residential structures.

If you aren’t wild about the look of the composite shingles, this doesn’t mean that you are out of eco-friendly options. For those looking to save money and help the environment respectively, you can look into salvaged shingles from other buildings. Additionally, wood shingles offer a unique look and can be created in an environmentally friendly way from using re-purposed or reclaimed wood from old buildings and sustainably managed forests. For more information about these forests and what they offer, check out the Forest Stewardship Council.

Natural materials simply cost more than composites, not to mention heavier materials require more fossil fuels to transport. While wood shingles might seem like a good option, they cannot be guaranteed to function for more than 15-25 years at best. While aesthetically pleasing, slate and clay are brittle and far more susceptible to damages from hail and tree limbs falling.

If you want to save a little bit of money on your cooling costs, you can consider choosing a color of roof that is light. These lighter shades will reflect the sunlight rather than absorb them, keeping your house naturally cooler.

Might seem a little crazy, but if you really want to go green, you can choose a sod roof. This is a great insulation technique, and it can greatly minimize water runoff from the house. Best of all, the materials involved will never have to occupy space in any landfill. This can be a beautiful option for those that want to do something very different from their neighbors.

Unfortunately, this isn’t going to work for everyone. There are a few glaring concerns, starting with the design of the roof. If you have a pitch that exceeds 30 degrees, this option simply will not work for you. Additionally, there is a lot of upkeep to keep it looking its best and thriving. Lastly, sod roofs are very heavy, so it might require additional supports for your roof in order to sustain the weight.

But you do not have to choose to go all out to make more environmentally friendly choices. You will find options listed above that can show you some ways that you can help the environment, and yourself, as you tackle the upcoming new roof for your home.

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