Education Roofing Sustainable roof

How to Create a More Environmentally Friendly Roof

When we think about eco-friendly roofing options, pictures of rooftop gardens and solar panels come to mind. But that’s not always feasible in residential roofing, not to mention it can be incredibly cost-prohibitive. However, there are many eco-friendly decisions that you can make during a roof replacement that will increase the sustainability of your roof and can even save you money in heating and air conditioning costs. Check out these simple ways to create a more sustainable roof.

Roofing Material

The material you choose for your roof replacement can impact the environment when you consider the lifespan of the material, what components it’s made out of, and whether it can be recycled. However, when it comes to materials, the more sustainable options will always be more expensive. As long as you know that up front, here are how the roofing materials stack up in their sustainability.

  • Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice for homes in the United States as they are the most cost-effective. But they are made of petroleum products and cannot be recycled, so they aren’t the most sustainable option. However, if you want your asphalt shingles to stay out of the landfill as long as possible, choose architectural shingles over 3-tab shingles as architectural shingles can last 15-20 years longer on average.
  • Wood shingles and shakes are made of a sustainable resource and can be recycled. However, the process of making wood shingles is energy-intensive, and this material is not the longest lasting.
  • Slate tiles may seem like a sustainable choice as they can outlast even the home below them due to their longevity. However, mining, processing, and transporting slate takes a lot of fuel, and the weight of a slate roof requires extra framing.
  • Metal roofing is also energy-intensive to produce, but its longevity and the ability to recycle the materials at the end of the roof’s lifespan can offset the production. Additionally, many metal roofs are made of recycled content, making this durable roof a good choice for the sustainability-minded homeowner.

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Proper Insulation & Ventilation

It can be incredibly frustrating when you have to continually adjust the thermostat to try and keep a consistent temperature throughout your home. But did you know that your attic insulation and ventilation play a major role in temperature control in your house? With proper ventilation and insulation, not only will your roof last longer, keeping materials out of the landfill, but you will also reduce energy costs as the load on your air conditioner is lightened. Your roof replacement contractor should include airflow and insulation calculations in your proposal.

Brand Choice

While there are different choices you can make in the type of exterior roofing material for your home, there are many more layers to a roof with manufacturers that have varying sustainability practices. Your remodeler should absolutely share the brand of products that they plan to use in your roof replacement. Lower quality brands may not share sustainability information or have a corporate social responsibility pledge. They will also fail faster, meaning you will have to replace your roof sooner, prematurely adding your old roof to the landfill.

For example, Brothers uses Owens Corning and CertainTeed products. Both companies have committed to sustainability in their products and manufacturing practices.

Maintenance & Repair

No matter which roofing materials you choose, there will be an environmental impact from a total roof replacement. However, you can get the most longevity and energy efficiency out of your current roof with regular maintenance and repairs. In fact, inspecting your roof annually can extend its life by up to a decade! If you’re not comfortable getting on the roof, or you aren’t sure what to look for, call a professional roofing company to take a look. It’s essential to choose a company that can do small repairs and won’t just try to sell you a new roof when you don’t need one yet – because that’s certainly not sustainable!

If sustainability is an important factor in your home renovation, make sure to bring that up with your remodeler. Balancing wants and needs in a home remodel is something an experienced remodeler will be happy to help you with. They should work with you to find the option for your home, your budget, and the environment.

With over 30 years of repairing and replacing Maryland roofs, Brothers roofing experts have the experience to handle just about every roofing project. We will properly scope your roofing project, including ventilation and attic insulation, listening to your wants and needs to create a detailed scope of work. Schedule a consultation to get started today.


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