What Is A Green Roof?

The latest trending about residential roofing is “Going Green”.  It means conserve the environment and huge saving in utility bills.

The main reason for homeowners hesitating to switch from conventional to green roofing is probably lacking of knowledge with this new technology.  Many are not aware that there are a big saving installing green roofing either.  This is by far the most excellent way to save money and eco-friendly at the same time.

The Green Roof mention here is not the same as the conversion of the flat roof to vegetation, sun deck or a mini putt putt golf course. Those vegetation roofs are considered as a living roofs which can be very extensive and intensive.  There are added expense and complexity in the installation process.

What you should be looking into are the type of green roof that is using synthetic shingles, cedar shake, tile and metal roofing.

The following are a few pointers to consider when you are shopping for a new green roof that is environmental friendly and easy on the wallet.  Firstly of all, find a eco-friendly roofing materials that has little to no negative effect on the environment.  Understanding the manufacturer’s production process incorporating green practices and using what type of chemicals to avoid pollution will help you to narrow down the selection criteria.  Secondly, read the warranty print making sure that the material you are choosing is durable and hold up to the promises.  Thirdly, source the material from the local and this will help to reduce cost on transportation and pollution from emissions.  Lastly, look into the heat reflecting abilities roof to reduce high heat and UV resistance to slow down the roof decay.

Conventionally, the most common roofing material is asphalt shingles because of the cheaper price compared to other options.  However, they are also the least environmental friendly roofing material.  Asphalt roof is not only effect negatively to the environment, it also has a shorter life span of all the roofing options like 15 years at the most.  However, there are a greater composition of asphalt shingles that have a 50 years warranty but it virtually has the same bad side effects.   

In the hot weather or high heat region, it will release toxic gases.  The UV- rays will deteriorate the shingles quicker as well.  And when it rains, the toxic chemicals  release from the hot baking sun will leach as well.  The asphalt is rarely recycled and contributed about 11 million tons of waste in the United States landfills.

Americans love the cedar shakes roofing because of its charm and character they added to a house.  In this case, look is deceiving because it is also a poor roofing choice.  Cedar shingles are crafted from old growth trees.  It is a non-renewable resource because it takes a long time to mature.  It is not only require a high maintenance and upkeep to function, it is very time consuming and tedious to install usually required a professional roofer to do a proper job.  They are also extremely inflammable and most municipals ban the usage of this type.  Instead, opt for a recycled synthetic shingles that use composed of wood fibers and recycled plastic.  They are UV resistant, fire resistant, light weight, long lasting with a lifespan of up to 50 years generally.

My best recommendation of the green roofs are tile and metal roofing.  Its my all time favorite because both of them are very long lasting and extremely durable.  With a proper maintenance and installation, a slate tile roof can last for over hundreds of years.  There are little waste, no pollution and energy saving in the manufacturing process.  

Best of all, both the tile and metal roofing have recycled version for sales.  They have different types of style and types for selection plus a wide range of colors as well.  They also have UV reflective capabilities.  So, what is the catch?  Well, the cost of course!  The materials are expensive compared to the other alternatives and the installation cost is much higher.  This is due to the weight of the material and it will require more structural support.  And, an experienced roofer is highly recommended for a proper installation which will be added to the overall cost of this type of roofing.

Now, at least you know the pros and cons of the conventional versus the green roof.  The choice is all yours either to go for the green and make a substantial impact on earth or just whatever?