Home and business owners of buildings due for a new roof now have the opportunity to consider replacing it with eco-friendly roofing materials. As landfills grow and the availability of non-renewable resources, such as petroleum and old-growth cedar decline, it not only becomes a “good citizen” accomplishment to utilize alternatives, but it is also becoming more cost effective to install them.
Here’s a rundown on eco-friendly roofing materials, some old standbys and some newly developed that not only are friendly to the environment, but are attractive, durable, long-lasting, and able to compete with non-recyclable, resource-hungry traditional asphalt shingles and cedar shakes. The most durable and long-lasting roofs are clad with slate. Slate, from quarried rock, when properly installed on a suitable substrate, will last for hundreds of years, and do so with minimum maintenance. Slate can also be obtained as a recycled material, salvaged from old buildings no longer maintainable, but with a slate roof still in good condition. The raw material for a another traditional roof, clay tiles, comes directly from the earth. Nearly as durable as slate, clay tile roofs are commonly found in regions that experience high winds and heavy rains. Hurricanes can tear down the building, but the tiled roof is still intact. Tiled roofs also protect the building from flying embers and are a great cover in forested areas subject to wildfires. Like slate, clay tiles are also considered recyclable as they can be removed from old buildings and installed elsewhere.
Roofs covered with metal panels are frequently installed in the northern states and will easily last more than 50 years. Laid in at steep angles, they’re perfect for snow country, protecting the roof from damage caused by high loads as the accumulating snow easily slides off. Metal roofs are economically manufactured from recycled products, such as cars, trucks, and other salvaged items. Once past their useful life, the metal panels can be recycled into other metal products, a superb example of an eco-friendly roof material. A variation on metal panels, manufacturers are now including recycled steel, aluminum, and copper into shake-like shingles. Several companies compete in this market with their own distinctively styled shakes.
Innovative companies are now finding ways to recycle the ubiquitous, discarded tire. By grinding up the tires into pellets and mixing the results with ground slate, they create shake-like roof shingles that have a life-time expectation of 50 years or more. A typical house installation consumes 600-1000 tires, reducing landfill requirements for this non-composting refuse.
Roofing companies, such as Clark’s Quality Roofing, are making sure they are up-to-date on the advantages of these environmentally-friendly roofing products, new and old, and should be a first resource for the shopper.