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Make A Difference And Go Green With A New Roof

By Braden Trevino on November 18, 2010

One of the best ways to go green is with a green roof installation. Residents want to find long-lasting ways to reduce energy bills and clean up the environment at the same time. Green roofing has already taken off in commercial roofing projects and is picking up steam in the residential sector. The biggest reason homeowners have held back from making the switch is a lack of knowledge in regards to green roofing. One of the main questions is what exactly is a green roof? There are also people who are not totally convinced that green roofs amount to huge savings. The truth is green roofs are an excellent way to save the environment and money at the same time.

For starters, a green roof is any roof that utilizes a green technology. Often people think that green roofs have grass, shrubs and other vegetation growing on it. Any roof that has vegetation is actually a subset of green roofs called 'living' roofs. Living roofs are seldom used as a residential roofing alternative because there is a lot more work, planning an expense that goes into a roof installation. Luckily, there are plenty of other green roofing options on the market that do not require a park for a roof. Cedar Shingles, recycled synthetic shingles, tile and metal roofing products all make for great green roofing options.

A new roof that is eco-friendly and relatively inexpensive is the main goal then here are a few things to consider. First, make sure that whichever roofing material is selected fits the following criteria to ensure it has a minimal impact on the environment. Homeowners should look for roofing materials that are durable. A durable roofing material will last a long time and hold up to the elements, meaning a longer lifespan. Purchase roofing materials that are local. Local roofing materials cut down on transportation expenses and pollution from emissions. Try and find roofing materials that cut down on chemicals, energy use and pollution out puts during the manufacturing of the product. Manufacturers have become more conscious of the demand for green roofing products and have taken measures to meet consumers' needs. Finally, the last things to consider when looking for a new roof are heat reflecting abilities to reduce unwanted heat, high UV resistance to slow down roof decay and added curb appeal.

The most commonly used residential roofing material is asphalt shingles because they are the least expensive roofing option. On the flip side, they are also the least eco-friendly roofing material available. Asphalt shingles also have the shortest lifespan of all roofing materials, usually lasting about 15 years. They are prone to rapid deterioration from UV-rays and in hot weather they release poisonous gases into the atmosphere. They also release harmful chemicals every time it rains. They are not recycled often, which adds over 11 million tons of asphalt roofing waste to U.S. landfills. Nonetheless, it should be pointed out that there are longer lasting asphalt products on the market, but they have the same negative issues as their shorter lived counterparts.

Cedar shakes are another popular yet expensive roofing choice. They are beloved for the instant character and charm they bring to any home. The major downside is they make for a poor roofing material. A huge problem with cedar shingle roof installation is they typically require a professional and is very time-consuming. Another major issue is cedar shingles are very flammable and are outlawed in many counties. Another problem is that the best type of cedar shingle is crafted from old-growth trees, which is a non-renewable resource becase of the long time it takes to mature. There is also considerable maintenance that must be upheld to keep them in good condition. Recycled synthetic shingles are a good substitute for cedar shingles and are composed of wood fibers and recycled plastic. They offer great UV protection, durability and fire-resistance. They can last up to 50 years.

Two of the best green roof alternatives are tile and metal roofing. Both products are very durable and long lasting. For example, with proper maintenance a slate tile roof can last for hundreds of years. During their manufacturing process there is little waste, pollution and energy use. Both have recycled versions on the market. Both metal and tile roofing have many styles and types to choose from. They come in a wide range of colors and have great reflective properties. On the flip side, a major low point is both materials are expensive compared to other roofing alternatives. Also because of their weight, they are very expensive to transport and require more structural support adding to the overall cost. Expert installers are also highly recommended for any roof installation involving these materials.

Before installing a new roof, do some research to find out which green roofing option works best for your home. Switching to a green roof will help cut down on utility bills and moved the world towards a greener tomorrow.

Braden blogs about an assortment of home improvement subjects including , green roofing and window replacement. He enjoys writing helpful articles that people can follow to achieve their home improvement or renovation goals.

Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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