Searching for ideas to make your home a greener place to live, with a smaller eco-impact? This Earth Day, start by looking up – the roof over your head can make a big difference to the environment.
Most people never think about their roof until there is a problem with it. Planning ahead is the key to making wise, eco-friendly home choices. Consider these Earth Day roofing facts:
- Did you know that asphalt shingles are a petroleum product, with a big environmental impact? Not only are asphalt shingles adding to dependency on fossil fuels, they need to be replaced every 15-20 years, and there is no good way to dispose of them – landfills are full of asphalt shingles.
- Eco-friendly products, including metal roofs, are rapidly replacing petroleum-based asphalt shingles.
- Highly reflective “cool” colored metal roofs look just like traditional roofs, provide year-round relief from high energy costs, and are sustainable, green building products.
- Roofing tax credits are available. Homeowners who install a new metal roof can be eligible for a $500 tax credit.
- Installing a metal roof reduces a home’s energy needs. Tests conducted by the independent Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) prove that a cool metal roof can save a homeowner up to 25% in cooling costs compared to a dark-gray asphalt shingle.
- ORNL’s field tests have also shown the combination of venting and increased reflectance can reduce the heat penetrating the roof deck by about 45 percent for stone-coated metal roofs compared to an asphalt shingle roof in certain climates. Ongoing research with standing-seam cool-colored metal roofs is showing similar results.
- Metal roofing provides a market for recycled materials. An old car, dishwasher or refrigerator can be recycled to re-roof a home. All steel roofs contain a minimum of 25% recycled content, and many have a much higher percentage. At the end of its useful life, metal roofing is 100 percent recyclable — other roofing materials are routinely removed and disposed of by the ton in landfills.
- Photovoltaic Systems and Solar Panels can easily be integrated into metal roof systems, making them an even better choice. Metal roofs can also allow consumers to harvest rainwater for reuse.
For more information about Earth-friendly metal roofing, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance website at www.MetalRoofing.com. You can also use our free tool to see how your home could look with a new metal roof.