Seattle has a unique eco-friendly culture. We’ve banned plastic bags from the city, and we sort our garbage into compost or recycle bins. While we’ve taken great measures to promote general eco-friendliness, Seattlelites are bringing these practices into their own home. Homeowners in the area are looking for ways to decrease their footprint by being conscious about how they outfit their homes. As many may not be aware of, installing an eco-friendly roof for your Seattle home is one of the greatest ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Here’s how to have an eco-friendly roof in Seattle.
The first factor to look for when considering a green roof is finding a roofing material that’s made from recycled material and that can be recycled after it’s reached its lifespan. Why? Landfills are overflowing with waste, and asphalt shingles are culpable for adding to this waste. In fact, an estimated 11 tons of shingle scraps end up in U.S. landfills every year, adding significantly to this waste, according to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Association. In addition to generating excess waste, asphalt shingles also take 400 years to fully break down. When you do the math, they’re getting dumped in landfills 20 times faster than they break down since they typically last only 20 years. To put it simply: asphalt shingles are piling up in landfills faster than they can break down.
Using a roofing material that was made from recycled material will help cut down on this excess waste. Here at State Roofing, we offer a variety of eco-friendly roofing options.
1. Metal roofs
Metal roofs are made up of mostly recycled materials, and they can be recycled after reaching their lifespan. In addition, they’re a great option for reducing asphalt-shingle waste because they can sometimes be installed right over existing asphalt shingles. Of course, we at State Roofing will analyze the integrity of your current asphalt shingles and its underlayment to determine if this is feasible. This assessment will help us find out if the old roof should be torn off or whether the metal roof can be safely installed over the existing asphalt shingles. What makes metal roofs ideal for Seattle is that they’re water-resistant and don’t retain moisture. Perfect for our year-round wet weather. Plus, some metal roofs, like our standing seam metal, are solar ready. An added eco-friendly bonus!
Composition shingles are not only cost-effective just like their asphalt shingle counterparts, but they’re also eco-friendly (unlike asphalt shingles). The difference between composition shingles and asphalt shingles is that composition shingles are made by combining various recycled materials such as asphalt, tar, paper, slate, laminate, and wood. Composition shingles also have algae and moss inhibitors, so your roof can remain relatively free of moisture-related growth that comes with living in a wet environment like Seattle.
Recycled rubber roofs are another eco-friendly option. There’s an alarming number of used tires that end up in landfills—246 million in the U.S. to be exact, and recycled rubber roofs were developed with the goal to reduce the number of used tires ending up in landfills. When a homeowner installs a rubber roof, they’re deterring anywhere from 250 to 1,000 used tires from landfills. Another great advantage is that any scraps that are created during the installation can be recycled again.
Seattle is a rapidly growing city, and it’s growing denser and denser by the day. There’s a phenomenon called the heat island effect, which describes dense areas—like Seattle—that are hotter than suburban and rural areas nearby, especially during the summer months. This effect can have a negative impact on the environment in which the Environmental Protection Agency has outlined:
- Increased energy consumption
- Elevated emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
- Compromised human health and comfort
- Impaired water quality
While homeowners don’t have much control over the increasing density of the city, there are ways to help reduce your own energy consumption. One way is to install a cool roof. These are roofs that are made of material that reflect sunlight and heat away from the building. As a result, you’re reducing your home’s internal temperature.
To achieve a cool roof, pick a lighter-colored roof, which will reflect 75% of the sun’s energy and emit 92% of the heat that it absorbs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In contrast, a darker-colored roof only reflects 5% of the sun’s energy and emits 90% of the heat it absorbs.
Another way to have an energy-efficient roof is to install a metal roof. Metal roofs can also reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing the heat. This can ultimately lead up to a 40% reduction in air-conditioning costs during the summer.
We also can’t forget that Seattle is a four-season environment, so we definitely experience cooler temperatures during fall and winter. If your priority is to keep your home warmer during the cooler months, turn to rubber roofs. They’re great for insulating your home and retaining heat, so you’ll save money on heating costs.
Look for roofing material that generates power
Solar panels are the obvious answer to this. One single solar panel can generate up to 320 watts, which equates to about five 60-watt bulbs. If that one single solar panel sees 4 hours of direct sunlight in one day, it can generate 1,280 watts. That translates to an average 38.4 kilowatts per month.
The metal roofs we offer at State Roofing come solar-ready. This means that instead of puncturing holes in the roof, solar panels can instead be snapped onto the metal roof. In doing so, you’re also eliminating the risk of creating access points for water penetration.
It’s easier than you think to have an eco-friendly roof in Seattle. The first step is to find a roofing material that leverages recycled material such as metal, recycled rubber, or composition shingles. Then the next step is to ensure that roofing material promotes energy efficiency, whether it’s by installing a lighter-colored roof, a metal roof that reflects sunlight, or a rubber roof to help insulation. If you want to really impress your earth-conscious neighbors, install solar panels that will generate power for your home.
Thinking about going green with your roof? Give us a call at (360) 794-7164 or fill out our contact form for further inquiries or to request a free estimate in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Bellevue, Snohomish, Sammamish, or any surrounding areas.