Ways And Benefits of “Going Green“ With Your Roof
“Going green” with your roof can come in various forms. Some people take it literally and grow plants on their roof space. This is a great solution, but is also time consuming and takes a lot of maintenance. If this is too much for you, you could opt for other solutions. You could recover and recycle material from building construction, repair and demolition, for example.
What you need to take into account are the practices that a company uses in order to provide roofing materials. This requires some research. It is of no use to go for something that looks green, only to find out that hazardous materials were used to make it, and a lot of resources have been simply wasted.
You could be energy smart and make your roof “cool”, so that it reflects the heat during the hot summer days. Or, if you have the necessary budget, you could also incorporate solar panels into your roof. It is essential that you have the longevity of your roof in mind. The longer it lasts, the less waste comes out of upgrades and repairs. Therefore, you should look for long-lasting materials to improve your roof’s lifespan.
In this article we are going to discuss some of the best ways that you can “go green” with your roof, and the benefits you get to reap.
A single-ply thermoset roof consists out of a roof cover that is made out of oil and natural gas, cured and bonded to the materials that are used for roofing. This is a properly-sealed roof which truly insulates the building. What differentiates them from other roofing solutions is that they are made in a factory instead of being constructed at the site. This, in fact, gives them a more dependable quality. Thermoset covers are really good at enduring sunlight’s damaging effects. They are generally made in black, but you could also opt for white, which is the perfect floor for a “cool” roof.
If you are truly considering roof longevity, then you should think about tile. Houses in warm climates are well-known for using it, and it’s considered green material due to its shape, composition, and the capability to be recycled. If it’s shaped as a curve, it considerably improves ventilation. It also comes in a wide variety of colors, which includes light ones that reflect the heat back into the atmosphere. What is also great about tiles is that they are heavy – the thermal mass makes sure that the cool air stays inside during the hot days.
It may sound counterintuitive to go for a metal roof when aiming for green and cool. But, these aren’t the 1950s, and it’s not common metal that is in question. What you’re looking for is, in fact, not bare but specially coated metal. Next to the special coat, you should paint your roof a light color or incorporate a light-reflecting pigment. The advantage of this kind of roofing is that you can install it over an existing roof. Furthermore, its durability is one of its best assets, and you can recycle the material.
Tar (modified bitumen)
Again, hot tar is not something you would normally associate with a fancy looking roof, but the tar that we are discussing here is modified to suit the purpose. It’s modified with plastic and given a layer of reinforced material. What’s great about it is that it’s a cap sheet. This technology can be applied as a cover to an insulated roof, or it can be your primary roofing system. Some products have an attached adhesive, while others require torching or hot-mopping. Furthermore, some of them are resistant to fire and wind, and can also be a perfect “cool” roof with proper surfacing.
The foundation of this technology is a flat roof, which is then built up with layers of asphalt and other material that is coated with asphalt. What makes it cool is its top layer which can consist out of something such as gravel colored in white. It is most often referred to as a tar and gravel roof. The reason that it’s also called “built-up” is the fact that it consists out of at least four layers of tar and reinforcing materials like glass fiber or organic mats. The layers make this kind of roof perfectly insulated, and if you choose the right materials, you can make it into a “cool” roof as well.
Clay and Slate
Tiling your roof with clay and slate gives you a natural roof with great longevity. Red clay tiles and slate are a solution common for homes that are built in Spanish revival design. What’s great about these materials is that they last even longer than metal – up to 100 years. As previously established, you can go for lighter colors in order to make your roof cool. The best option to go green is to use salvage tile. This solution, unfortunately, is a bit expensive, as the cost of clay and slate tiles is high. The fact that they are extremely heavy also means that the roof requires reinforcement, which further ads to the cost.
The perfect “green” solution to your roof, which can drastically decrease your energy bills in the long run, is to install solar panels. Today, they are less expensive than before, and can fit many different roofs. The most important part of your roof to cover is the one facing south. The downside to this solution is that, even though it’s a great solution for a longer period of time, the initial cost of installing the solar panels is still high, so make sure that you’re not going to move any time soon if you are going to install them.
If you really want to take the “go green” term literally, seal up your roof, choose the plants that you desire, plant them in a thin layer of soil on top of another that is waterproof, et voila – you’ve got yourself a living roof. This is a great solution as it has insulation properties and also offers thermal resistance. Furthermore, it lowers the costs of air-conditioning, helps you to be safe from floods, and is a long-lasting solution. Of course, it needs proper maintenance, just like having a garden. If you want to go for this option, make sure that you have the proper budget, as it’s not cheap. It’s also weighty, so you need to improve your roof’s structure beforehand.
A “green” roof has various benefits for both yourself and the world around you. By decreasing your home’s energy costs this way, you are burning fewer crude oils, and therefore doing a good deed for everyone. Roof restoration experts from Sydney say that a home that is eco-friendly has increased value, and is essentially more durable. All this makes your house a healthier place to live in, and can also do magic for cooling your home during the hot summer days. If you have the budget, you can incorporate solar panels into your roof and reap the benefits of the energy that they produce. A living roof is a costly, but a wonderful and healthy solution. Take the “green” ways discussed in this article into consideration, and make the best out of your home.
Image credit: flickr
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