Homeowner's Knowledgebase

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July 22, 2016




How to Make Your Roof More Environmental

Energy efficiency is a hot topic these days. Interestingly, many programs aimed at reducing the household eco-footprint begin with the roof. New or existing, there are ways to boost the efficiency of a roof through simple additions and/or an overhaul of some materials used.

Two Popular Eco-Friendly Roofing Accessories

Innovators continue to release new eco-products for the home. Unfortunately, these technologies are not always feasible or readily available. So here are two easy additions you can make to your roof without devastating the bank.

  1. Solar panels:Solar panels are becoming more affordable every year. In fact, there are now companies that will cover the cost of installation in exchange for energy. Even if financed, southward-facing panels can save money on electricity and yield a positive return within five years.
  2. Barrels:During rainstorms, lots of runoff goes to waste. By installing barrels to catch water from the eaves troughs, you can do your gardening and outdoor cleaning without fresh city water.

Most Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials

Despite their popularity, asphalt shingles are amongst the least environmental roofing materials. That said, more manufacturers are investing in recycling programs for second-life shingles. Nevertheless, the best material for recycling is still metal.

Metal is a cool roofing material because of its high reflectivity. Unpainted metal roofs exceed Energy Star solar reflectance standards by 60%! Even painted, this range varies between 10% and 75%. The lighter the colour, the higher the spectrum. This is because light-coloured roofs bounce UV rays back towards the sun. One study suggests white roofs are three times more eco-friendly than green roofs.

The term green roof is literal: it uses vegetation to add insulation to the home and purify the airflow. They look like roof-top gardens, adding natural elements to urban homes. But beyond aesthetics, green roofs combat heat island, a climate effect where bustling metropolises are warmer than their sprawling outskirts. That said, green roofs are much more difficult to maintain and install.