This is a guest post from Danielle of Roofing Vancouver B.C.
There are various factors to consider when choosing the right roofing material for your home or business. Longevity, durability, aesthetics, and availability are the main ones, but sustainability should also be at the top of your list. Of course, your budget also plays a huge role. Unless you have extensive roofing experience, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a reputable roofing company.
It’s important to remember that each of the factors above affects the other. For example, the cost may inform the durability of the roofing material. If you choose cheap materials, your roof may not last as long. Meanwhile, energy-efficient materials may be more expensive upfront, but they’ll cost you less in the long run.
Here are our top four choices for sustainable roofing on a budget.
Because wooden shingles and shakes are 100% natural, they’re some of the most sustainable roofing materials available today. Wooden shingles last a long time (between 30 and 50 years) and they’re good insulators. According to House Method, wooden shingles are about twice as energy-efficient as asphalt shingles that, by the way, are petroleum-derived and not at all sustainable.
Wooden shingles and shakes make for really attractive roofs. Another benefit of wooden shingles, which are usually made from redwood or cedar, is that they are naturally fire-resistant. If you’re using wooden shingles or shakes, make sure you’re getting FSC-certified wood and avoid ones that contain preservatives and additives.
Metal roofing materials are made of steel, zinc alloy, copper, or lightweight aluminum. Metal can be energy-intensive to produce, but they are one of the most durable and sustainable roofing options. They are typically made from recycled materials and usually last between 30 and 50 years. At the end of their lifetime, many are still 100% recyclable.
Aside from being long-lasting, metal roofs are attractive, impact-resistant, and require less maintenance than other roofing materials. They are incredibly durable and can withstand severe weather conditions. They’re also remarkably energy-efficient, keeping your home warm during cold weather and cool during warm weather.
White roof or cool roof
A cool roof is any roof that is white or light-colored. Regardless of the roofing material, a light-colored roof reflects the sun’s rays and has a cooling effect on a structure. A cool roof is a good sustainable roofing option depending on which material you use. But, overall, going for a white or light-colored roof is an eco-friendly choice as it significantly reduces your energy consumption.
With a cool roof, there will be less need for air conditioning during the day. This reduces your energy bills and is great for the environment.
However, you should keep in mind that not all cool roofs are eco-friendly. Those that use asphalt shingles, for example, aren’t sustainable. A good option is a metal roof painted white.
Green roof or living roof
If you have an existing roof that isn’t made of sustainable materials and you want to make it more eco-friendly, you can turn it into a green or living roof. If your roof is strong enough and if it’s flat or low-sloped, it’s a good candidate for this roof treatment.
Green roofs or living roofs have recently become very popular, but they’ve actually been around since at least the 1940s. These roofs are completely or partially planted with vegetation. A growing medium, a waterproof and root-proof membrane, and a pond liner are added to the roof to contain the grass, plants, and soil.
Green roofs may be expensive upfront but they do help you cut costs in the long run. According to The Spruce, they help insulate your home, reducing the need for air conditioning in the summer and lowering the heat island effect in cities. They also help reduce rainwater runoff, help cleanse the air, and allow you to grow a vegetable or herb garden if you don’t have sufficient outdoor space.
Are you thinking of installing a sustainable roof? What roofing materials are you considering? Before you purchase your materials, it’s best to consult the experts, as they’ll know which type of roofing will best suit the style of your house, the slope of your roof, and the climate in your area.