Eco-Friendly Roofing Options for Your Home

Like any type of construction, replacing the roof on your home is going to have an environmental impact. Not only are the shingles you remove going directly to the landfill in most cases, but everything from the frame out will probably get replaced, especially if there’s been damage. This could mean new insulation, plywood, tar, water shield, and of course, shingles or tiles (amongst other things). Each of these materials requires manufacturing, some are the product of mining, and all add to your carbon footprint. However, there are ways to minimize the impact inherent putting a new hat on your house in order to keep the elements out. Here are just a few options the eco-friendly consumer might want to consider.

First, you should think about ways you might cut back on the waste that occurs when you get rid of your old roofing materials. The shingles, in particular, may be recyclable. If you hire a green building contractor for your project, the company should be well equipped to manage this aspect of the process for you. But if you’re doing the work yourself or you’ve been unable to locate a green builder in your area, you might have to recycle them yourself. In this case, go to www.shinglerecycling.org to find a location in your area that will take your asphalt shingles and recycle them (thanks to the materials used, they are most often reused in road construction).

Now that you’ve found an eco-friendly way to dispose of your old roof, it’s time to explore your environmentally sound options for replacement. You might be surprised to learn that one use for recycled shingles is in the manufacturing of new ones. As a result, you could not only use the recycling process to get rid of a roof that’s no longer viable, but also to replace it. Even better, most recycled roofing comes with a long-term warranty that could last up to 50 years. Considering that most roofing materials are only guaranteed for 5-10, this is a major coup for the sustainable citizen looking to increase the longevity of building efforts.

You might also consider both metal and slate roofing. Although both are products of mining, an industry known for excessive pollution and waste, each of these materials can offer you far greater use value than most options on the market these days. In addition, you may be able to find recycled metal roofing to reduce the impact of the product. And slate is known not only for having a relatively low environmental impact, but also for its extreme durability. In fact, some companies that sell slate roofing provide a 100-year warranty for their products. That should tell you how long it lasts.

Before you decide on a product, you might want to contact your localĀ roofing annex to find out if they can provide you with eco-friendly or at least locally-sourced materials. And you should also seek out green contractors in your area to ensure that the job is completed in an eco-friendly manner. Also, you might want to consider technological options like solar shingles, which combine the energy-gathering power of a solar panel with your roofing materials to create a product that fuels your home while blending seamlessly with your structure. This is, of course, more expensive than the average shingle, but considering how much it could save you on utility bills, you’re likely to make your money back and then some.

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