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Four Tips For Choosing An Eco-Friendly Roof

A new roof gives you the chance to make your home more environmentally-friendly and ecologically sound. From choosing the type of roofing material to picking the color, the decisions you make today can help both the environment and your pocket book, since most green options also lead to decreased energy costs.

#1: Choose the Right Material

Not all roofing materials are created equal. When it comes time to replace your current roof, look for options that are both environmentally-friendly in the short and the long term. For example, asphalt shingles aren't eco-friendly in the short term, because they are made from petroleum products. They will also continue to leech these products throughout their life and eventually they will end up in a landfill. This can make asphalt a poor long term option from an ecological point of view.

Metal and clay or concrete tiles are much more environmentally sound in the long run, because they last longer and rarely need replacement. Most also leech fewer harmful chemicals. In the case of metal roofs, you can choose roofs made from recycled materials, which further minimizes impact.

#2: Go With a Cool Roof

Your roof directly impacts your home's energy usage. It can also affect the surrounding environment by raising or lowering temperatures near your home, which affects the local climate.

Cool roofs are made from light-colored, reflective materials. This reflects back the heat of the sun, causing less of a rise in temperature in the environs surrounding your home. If enough people in a single neighborhood opt for a cool roof, the entire neighborhood can feel the benefits of lower solar gain on an even larger scale.

Metal reflects heat well, especially if it's a light color, so it's often the preferred choice when designing a cool roof.

#3: Skip the Landfill

Standard asphalt roofs generally last for 20 years while a metal roof can last for 40 to 80 years. Climate, care and the quality of the materials can extend or shorten the lifespan. Fewer replacements means less waste in the local landfill.

Another eco-benefit of metal is it rarely goes to a landfill, even after it's reached its limit as a roof. Unlike asphalt shingles, metal is recyclable so your old roof will have a new life as something else.

#4: Harvest the Rain

You can harvest rainwater on any roof type, but smooth metal roofs capture and divert rain more readily to a catchment system. They also won't leech harmful petroleum products when wet, which would otherwise end up in the soil and water table. You don't need a large system with rain barrels and gravity-fed irrigation systems to reap the benefits of rainwater. Simply routing the drainage spouts from the roof to a nearby garden bed can provide no-hassle irrigation. Other options include routing the roof water underground via the spout, so it enters the water table instead of being lost to evaporation.

Metal roofs aren't just environmentally-friendly, they are also attractive. The choices today include everything from panels to individual metal roof tiles, so you can find a look that complements your home. Get in touch with a company like Walnut Creek Metals for more information.