Every roof should be replaced every 20 to 30 years because even the strongest materials can get worn down by the weather.  When it comes to replacing your roof, there are more options available than ever before.  Roofing materials have evolved a great deal and now incorporate environmentally friendly practices.  Thanks to the newly popular green way of life, roofing now has recycled and salvaged materials.

Roofing from recycled materials

People like recycling because it keeps the landfills from overflowing.  We are better able to manage natural resources with the use of recycled materials and the roofing industry is jumping on board.  Most roofing materials today are made of 90% recycled products.  Rubber shingles consist mostly of discarded tires and various metal roofing materials are made from recycled copper and steel.

The top concern people have with recycled roofing is that it will not look good.  In reality, however, recycled composite shingles closely mimic Spanish tiles and can withstand the weather and fire as well as the real thing.  In addition to looking great, recycled materials usually come with a warranty and because they are cheaper, you save money.  That being said, not everybody likes recycled shingles and often you cannot find them everywhere.  Some places have not even approved them for use.

Salvaging your shingles

If the composite roofing doesn’t appeal to you but you still want to live a more eco-friendly life, materials such as wood and slate can be salvaged from other buildings and used.  Wood shingles can be made from old pieces of a bridge or boards from abandoned buildings.  You can even buy wood shingles that are made from managed forests.

Recycled and salvaged shingles may end up costing more than composites and when it comes to heavy materials like slate, there are extra expenses because of transportation.  Regarding wood, you need to remember that it is not a fire-resistant material and it is vulnerable to wet climates.  Wood absorbs water and can rot easily from within so may only last 15 to 25 years depending on weather exposure.  Brittle materials such as clay can crack easily in harsh weather conditions so remember that this will impact its longevity too.

Go lighter and brighter

Whether you go with recycled or salvaged a guaranteed way to be eco-friendly is to choose lighter color materials.  Light colors reflect the sun which keeps your house cool in the summer, therefore lowering your energy bills.  Lighter colors also allow more light into the rooms allowing you to use natural light instead of electricity.

Truly going green

You can really go green by getting a true green roof.  An updated version of a sod roof with plants growing on it.  Having natural plants helps with natural insulation and cooling and the organic material is easy to manufacture.  This fresh green look may be unusual but it increases energy efficiency and will make your house the talk of the town.

It can cost a little more to install the green plant roof and not every house is ideal for one.  You cannot have a roof that slants more than 30 degrees and your roof must have access to plenty of sunlight.  These roofs also require regular upkeep and maintenance and you may consider installing some reinforcements because the soil can get heavy and may cause damage.

If you are wanting to be eco-friendly and the green plant roof is just a little too much, there are plenty of environmentally friendly options you can choose from.  Recycled and salvaged items are becoming very popular in housing.  If this is an option that interests you, please contact us for a consultation.  We will give our expertise and advise on the best green products for you, your budget and your home.

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