We are surrounded by lush greenery all year long in the Pacific Northwest and never take for granted the nearby forests that are our playground. This has lead to a deep appreciation for our natural surroundings. So we follow “leave no trace” practices when we hike and implement “green” lifestyles even when we return home.
We want to continue to enjoy the great outdoors for many years to come, so we care for it the best we can, which is why we ask about sustainable roofing materials when it’s time for an updated look for our homes.
At Executive Roof Services, these values are important to us too, as a business and individuals, and we’d like to share our knowledge with you. Let’s first discuss what makes something sustainable.
Sustainability is both “the ability to be maintained at a certain level” and “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.”
With those definitions in mind, it’s clear that various angles have to be considered if you really want sustainable roofing materials on your home. Ask the following questions:
▪ Where were the materials sourced?
▪︎ How were the materials sourced?
▪︎ Is the product easily up-cycled or recycled after its removal from your roof?
▪︎ It is a higher quality product that will last a long time?
▪︎ Can the color itself help minimize energy use within the home?
Now that you have a baseline of questions when choosing the material, here are some options available:
Metal roofs are an increasingly common option to select. While shingled roofs regularly last 15 to 20 years, a metal roof can easily last up to a whopping 50 years. It also does a great job at weathering the elements from strong winds, heavy snow, and aggressive rain and hail.
A benefit to the homeowner is it also requires minimal maintenance. However, it should also not be neglected. If a metal roof is damaged, it’s harder to repair and often requires complete replacement instead, which is quite costly.
Thankfully, once the roof is removed, it can often be recycled rather than immediately landing in a landfill.
TPO is a single ply roofing membrane used on homes and commercial buildings and is also known to last many years, often an expected 30 to 50. While much success has been seen already, this is a newer roofing material in the market as it was introduced in the 1990s.
It was designed to perform better than both PVC and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer). In fact, it’s as UV-resistant and heat resistant as EPDM and can be heat welded like PVC.
If TPO is on your list you should know that it’s a combination material made from a TPO polymer base, polyester-reinforced fabric center, and a thermoplastic polyolefin compounded top ply.
While homeowners often opt for TPO because of its great price point, it’s the sustainability features that make it a real winner. It’s considered a “cool” roof, reflecting light from the sun, which means lower utility bills for you as your home stays cooling, reducing your air conditioning costs on hot summer days.
This is a surprising option as many people will assume this material would be too heavy to place on the top of a home. This is a misconception though as its actually fairly lightweight.
Like metal roofing, concrete will last a very long time and is light on maintenance too.
What precludes many from jumping at this option, however, is the high upfront cost and variability in product quality.
While concrete is a great sustainable roofing material, it’s not the top choice as it often just ends up in the landfill once removed.
Shingles are a classic option and one of the “greenest” choices too when you opt for recycled shingles. These are often made from recycled waste like plastic, rubber, post-consumer waste, and post-industrial waste.
These shingles are also surprisingly durable and look great too! No one will ever know the shingles on your roof are recycled waste, unless you want them to.
While you will want to inquire as to how the slate was sourced and where it was sourced from, if it’s a local product it might just be the sustainable roofing material for you. That’s because it’s extremely durable and can easily last a century before it needs to be replaced. For this reason alone, it has one of the highest price points.
But it’s important to keep in mind that you pay for what you get. Slate is one of the most aesthetically beautiful choices of all roofing materials and comes in varying thickness, sizes, and colors like gray, green, purple, red, and more.
It’s also one of the most fire-resistant materials. In fact, the slate tiles themselves are completely fireproof. Not only will this keep your home safe for decades to come, but could also benefit your home insurance rates.
According to Home Advisor, roofing waste accounts for more than 5 percent of waste that ends up in landfills each year. The longevity of slate alone makes this an excellent choice when selecting a sustainable roof.
CertainTeed produces a variety of roofing materials and is committed to sustainable practices. Not only is the producer limiting manufacturing waste, but continuing to add energy efficient products to the market.
Two featured “green” products include the solar reflective asphalt shingles and solar reflective metal roofing, both of which are available through Executive Roof Services. While the products are not the most long-lasting on the market, they are durable enough that great warranties are provided, including a lifetime limited transferable warranty, 10-year SureStart warranty, 15-year StreakFighter warranty against streaking and discoloration caused by airborne algae, and 15-year, 110 mph wind-resistance warranty.
No matter what roofing materials you are looking for, we have something to fit your personal preference, lifestyle, and budget. These are just a few materials you can choose from at Executive Roof Services. Reach out to learn more about these products, or discover another that is even better for you.