Here in the Pacific Northwest, people are becoming more and more conscious about their everyday impact on the environment—from limiting the use of plastic bags to composting food waste. This eco-conscious mindset is also spilling over into bigger purchase decisions such as energy-efficient appliances and roofing materials.
To add more context: 11 million tons of asphalt shingle scraps end up in U.S. landfills each year, according to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Association. However, not all asphalt shingles are recyclable, and they can take up to 400 years to fully break down. To help reduce the number of asphalt shingles ending up in landfills, here are three eco-friendly roof materials you’ll want to consider.
While they’re not as common as asphalt shingles, metal roofs are quickly gaining popularity across the country. A 2018 survey found that roofing contractors are anticipating a 69% increase in sales for metal roofing. This comes as no surprise considering that metal roofs have a lifespan of 50 years or more, are virtually maintenance-free, and are made from mostly recycled materials. Once they’ve reached their lifespan, they’re 100% recyclable.
Another appealing benefit is that metal roofs can sometimes be installed right over existing shingles, helping to reduce the number of asphalt shingles that end up in landfills. At State Roofing, to assess whether or not this is possible, we will first analyze the integrity of your current asphalt shingles and its underlayment. Doing so will help us determine if the old roof should be torn off or whether the metal roof can safely be installed over the existing shingles.
Metal roofs are also notable for their energy-efficiency during the warmer months. Instead of absorbing heat, metal roofs have the ability to reflect solar radiation. This ultimately saves homeowners up to 40% on their air-conditioning costs such as running AC units or fans.
Let’s not forget about the ultimate way to make your own energy-efficient—installing solar panels. The standing seam roof that we offer here at State Roofing allows solar panels to be easily snapped right into place. This eliminates the need to drill into the roof to penetrate the membrane, which significantly increases the risk for potential leaks. By snapping the solar panels on to the standing seams of our metal roof, you eliminate this penetration risk.
In 2015, around 246 million used tires were generated in the U.S. alone. Recycled rubber roofing was developed to help reduce the number of used tires ending up in landfills. In fact, when a homeowner installs a recycled rubber roof, they’re diverting 250 to 1,000 rubber tires from the landfill.
At State Roofing, we offer two different recycled rubber roofs: Euroshake and Euroslate, both of which are made from 95% recycled materials. Once recycled rubber roofs come to the end of their lifespan, they can be recycled again.
Additionally, recycled rubber roofs excel in insulating your home, resulting in financial savings for you in the long run.
Composition shingle roofs shouldn’t be mistaken with asphalt shingles. While they’re also a cost-effective option like asphalt shingles, composition shingles are made from recycled materials. Specifically, they’re composed of asphalt, tar paper, slate, shake, laminate, and wood.
In terms of energy-efficiency, composition shingles don’t absorb the heat from the sun, so you’ll see a decrease in your energy consumption during the warmer months.
Bonus tip: cool roofs
While cool roofs aren’t a specific roofing material, they’re another way to achieve an eco-friendly roof. In dense areas, there’s a phenomenon called the heat island effect. These areas are hotter than nearby suburban and rural areas. The Environmental Protection Agency outlined how this negatively impacts the environment:
- Increased energy consumption
- Elevated emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
- Impaired water quality
Homeowners don’t have control over how dense their neighborhood becomes, but what they do have control over is the color of their roofs. Cool roofs are made of materials that reflect sunlight and heat away from the building, such as metal roofs or composition shingles.
To achieve a cool roof, pick a lighter-colored roof because lighter-colored roofs reflect 75% of the sun’s energy and emits 92% of the heat that it absorbs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. How does color impact heat absorption? A darker-colored roof only reflects 5% of the sun’s energy and emits 90% of the heat it absorbs, leading to homes with higher internal temperatures. At State Roofing, we offer a wide variety of colors for our roofing material, whether you’re looking for metal roofs, recycled rubber roofs, or composition shingles.
More and more homeowners are adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle by making conscious decisions in the materials used in their daily lives. Considering that 11 million tons of asphalt shingles get dumped in landfills each year in the U.S., it comes as no surprise that people are thinking about how their choices impact the environment. To combat this excess waste, consider getting an eco-friendly roof. Metal roofs have been around for a very long time and are now just gaining popularity. They’re made from mostly recycled materials and can be recycled once they’ve reached their lifespan. Recycled rubber roofs were developed to help divert used tires from piling up in landfills. This roofing material is made from recycled rubber tires, and when a homeowner installs a rubber roof, they’re saving 250 to 1,000 rubber tires from getting dumped in landfills. Composition shingles are not to be mistaken for their non-recyclable counterparts: asphalt shingles. Composition shingles are also made from recycled materials and don’t absorb the heat from the sun, helping to reduce cooling costs during the warmer months. Another thing to consider is a cool roof, which is a lighter-colored roof that will emit more of the sun’s energy than it absorbs.
Are you thinking about getting an eco-friendly roof? We can help answer any of your questions. Whether you’re in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Bellevue, or Snohomish, give us a call at (360) 794-7164 or fill out our contact form for further inquiries or to request a free estimate.