A roof takes up major real estate on your home, so you can make an impact by choosing environmentally friendly options when installing your roof. The following are four ways that can help you make the greenest roofing choice.
There are many recycled roofing options available. If you are putting in a slate or tile roof on your home, for example, look into using reclaimed slate and tile shingles. These are inspected and usually just as high of quality as new, but it's much better to reuse rather than manufacture new ones. You can also find asphalt shingles that contain recycled material. Further, don't forget to check in with your roofer to ensure they recycle your old shingles after tearing down the roof.
A properly ventilated roof has a longer life, simply because the shingle materials will be less prone to moisture and thermal damage. Further, proper ventilation helps prevent leaks, which prevents damage to your home. Fewer leaks, roof replacements, and damages is more environmentally-friendly compared to using excess materials to repair avoidable damage. At a minimum, a roof should have a ridge vent and vents along the soffit to provide for airflow. Additional vents may be needed depending on the size of your home and the roof style.
An issue in some areas are heat sinks. Heat sinks occur when a lot of dark colored items on the ground, like asphalt parking lots or your dark colored roof, absorb solar heat and cause the temperature to rise near ground level. This can have a detrimental affect on the ecosystem, it will also make your home hotter. A hotter home requires more energy to cool, which isn't very green. Opt for reflective shingles or a light colored roof to help counteract the effects of the heat sink. There are EnergyStar rated shingles out there, which can help you compare your options so that you choose the right one for your home.
Most people are on a budget when it comes to choosing their roofing materials, but try to choose the highest quality materials that you can within your budget. Quality roofing shingles will have a longer life, necessitating fewer repairs and replacements -- which is environmentally friendly. Tile, slate, and metal roofs have the longest lifespan, but even high quality asphalt shingles can outlast the lower quality varieties by a decade or more.
Contact a roofing contractor in your area for more help.