Five Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Roof's Eco-Friendliness

Posted on: 14 September 2016

If you're a business owner working on a green remodel of your facilities, the roof is one of the most important aspects of the building to consider. Whether you have the budget to get it replaced now or not, you can still find ways to improve your roof's eco-friendliness. Here are five questions to help you assess how eco-friendly your roof is now and whether it needs to change.

1. Is it recycled and recyclable or reusable?

Some roofing materials are easier to recycle than others. For example, metal roofing is a routinely recycled material, and if your metal roof wears out, you can send the material in for recycling again. Asphalt shingles are recyclable as well, but they're not generally recycled into new roofing material, so buying asphalt shingles still means you're increasing the demand for the raw materials and manufacturing needed to create asphalt roofing. Some types of roofing, such as tile and slate, may not be technically recyclable but could potentially be reused (or "reclaimed") for another roof a few decades down the road.

2. Does it have a cool roof coating?

A cool roof coating is a specialized material that your roofing contractor can apply over the top of an existing roof. It's typically light in color and is formulated specifically to reflect both light rays and thermal rays. This is important because cool roofs can not only help mitigate the urban heat island effect, but can also help you use less energy on your AC during the summer (which is not only good for the environment but also good for your budget).

3. Is it well-insulated?

Having proper insulation under your roof is another way to prevent excess heat from entering the main part of the building. In addition to traditional insulation, you can use a radiant heat barrier installed just under the roof's surface that reflects radiant heat back towards and through the roof. This can boost the effect of your insulation and reduce AC needs even further. Be sure to have the barrier installed just a few inches from the inside surface of the roof; if installed on the attic floor, it may be quite ineffective.

4. How durable is it?

The more often you have to replace your roof, the more materials you'll use. So the more longevity and resistance to damage your roof has, the better it can be for the environment. Metal, tile, and slate are all long-lasting types of roofing material that don't lose granules to rain and hail the way asphalt shingling does.

5. Does it help with stormwater management?

Stormwater runoff can create problems by carrying pollution to local waterways, collecting heat from roofs and roads and then depositing it in marine ecosystems, and wreaking other similar types of havoc. A green roof (literally green with plants growing on it, not just eco-friendly) can minimize your contribution to the runoff problems in your area, making it a great eco-friendly choice.

These five points can help you take a closer look at which aspects of your roof are helping the environment and which areas need to be improved upon. Talk to a commercial roofing company for more suggestions. 

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Time for a New Roof?

Hi, my name is Mitch. Before retiring a few years ago, I worked in the roofing industry. Over the years, I worked in nearly every capacity, ranging from apprentice to general manager of the company. I know that purchasing a new roof for your home can be expensive and a bit intimidating. My goal is to provide useful advice to help you make informed decisions when it comes to your new roof. I'm going to share information about different roofing materials and why you may want to consider one over another. I'll also share where you can cut costs, and how to choose a reputable roofing company. I hope you find this information valuable.

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