On Earth Day, let’s explore the world of eco-friendly roofing materials. While the roofing industry as a whole has grown to recognize the importance of sustainability, including those in the asphalt shingle roof industry, we want to explore some of the less-discussed options. All choices help reduce energy consumption waste, whether through a specific technology or by using roof materials.
Recycled shingles are an eco-friendly, low-maintenance option made up of 95% recycled materials, including rubber, plastic, and slate dust. Shingles using rubber, once removed, can be melted down to be reused for other purposes. Rubber is known for its insulating characteristics, making it an energy-efficient option that could help you save on your energy costs by keeping the heat in during the winter and cold air in the summer.
Euroshield, a rubber roofing industry leader, manufacturers five different types of rubber shingles ranging from shingles that mimic slate to wood shakes. Enviroshake is another manufacturer that specializes in recycled-content roof shingles. Their shingles use 95% post-industrial waste recycled materials in their roof materials and are completely recyclable at the end of their life cycle.
By powering your home with solar power, you are using a cleaner, more sustainable power alternative. Solar power doesn’t produce greenhouse gases and helps to provide you with energy savings. They are easy to integrate into your home as solar panels lay on top of your existing roof to bring you clean energy.
As solar panels become a more popular and affordable option, more manufacturers have started manufacturing their versions. LG Solar is consistently top-ranked by customers, and First Solar is the largest manufacturer in the US. SunPower is another popular option with a performance guarantee of 92% after 25 years.
Unlike solar paneling, which lays across your existing roofing, solar shingles become your new roof. This unique technology mimics conventional roofing materials’ appearance while creating energy and electricity for your home. Solar shingles provide a sleeker option than solar paneling but can be tricky to install on more complex rooflines.
Tesla has been the leader in the solar shingle industry for many years. Recently more conventional brands such as CertainTeed are creating their solar shingle lines with the Apollo II. Other specialized brands include Luma, a fully integrated luxury shingle product.
Green Roof Systems
Green by name and green in nature. Green living roofs are precisely that – roofs made up of living, green vegetation. By turning your roof into a garden, you can boost your home’s thermal retention while improving the air quality around your home. While more expensive, green roof technology is one of the most eco-friendly roofing options available.
Different manufacturers have different green roofing technologies. GreenGrid Module is installed through self-contained modules that can be moved around even after initial installation. LiveRoof has developed a patented hybrid modular system that provides the benefits of a custom-built green roof with modular sections’ flexibility.
Nothing is more eco-friendly than reusing past materials. One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. As other homeowners replace their clay tiles or slate shingles, they often sell them companies specializing in reusing salvaged clay, concrete, and slate tiles. Homeowners with historic homes may be interested in keeping the original materials intact and can with reclaimed tiles.
No manufacturers but many distributors across the US specialize in reclaimed tiles. The Durable Slate Company and Tile Roofs are both examples of companies specializing in reclaimed roofs.
A cool roof is a roofing system designed to reflect sunlight leading to less energy absorption than a standard roof. Typically this is accomplished through white or light-colored roofing materials that deliver high solar reflectance and thermal emittance. It is highly recommended in a warmer climate where AC consumption can be more prominent. These Energy Star shingles provide a reduction in energy needs while lowering your energy bill.
CertainTeed is one leader in the cool roofing industry. They’ve also developed technologies with their Solaris shingles that go beyond white roofs with dark, rich hues shingles that can achieve the same cooling results while maintaining an Energy Star rating. GAF and Owens Corning also provide cool roof and eco-friendly roofing solutions for your home.