How Eco-Roofing Can Go a Long Way—Despite the Initial Cost

There’s no denying that the increasing concern over the condition of our planet will continue to fuel the demand for sustainable materials. In fact, they’re slowly replacing those that pose harm to Mother Nature. The same trend is evident even in the ever-expensive eco-roofing systems.

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Many people love the idea of living a sustainable lifestyle but are daunted by the pricy cost of these eco-friendly materials. Despite the saving measures, the roofing estimates are still jaw-dropping. However, in the long run, no one else can reap the benefits but you.

Technological innovations and even traditional roofing promise energy-efficiency and waste-reducing features, so what’re these cleantech alternatives?

Solar Roof

After Tesla introduced its solar roof last year, the world went abuzz and people were asking questions here and there. As per Elon Musk, this is more affordable, durable and eco-friendly alternative. But this breakthrough comes with a price at $21.85 per square foot, making it quite expensive for an ordinary household.

Nonetheless, there are cheaper alternatives like installing solar panels. The addition of these energy-saving panels is becoming a trend, as homeowners are looking into being economical through sustainable energy sources.

If your area is blessed with a sunny climate, you’ll certainly benefit from solar roofing. The sun is the most abundant source of energy, being readily available every single day. It’d definitely be a waste if they’re potential power is unutilized.

Tiles

The one that stood the test of time is none other than tiles. Roofing tiles were originally intended to prevent fire from spreading fast. In the olden days, houses were made of light materials, including the roof. Thus, the concept of tiled roofs was born. Did I mention these were handmade clay tiles during the time?

The only drawback with clay tiles is that they’re pretty heavy to transport and quite tricky to install. But with improved technology, this concept has evolved into nature-friendlier versions, like recycled tiles.

Lightweight alternatives are now available in the market and they also come in different shapes and sizes for customers to choose from. Concrete tiles come as an option for those who want a different finish or prefer a more affordable price.

Whichever is your choice, rest assured that you’re doing the Earth a favor by using natural materials. These tiles are commonly made of clay or dirt, mixed with aluminum, silica, carbonaceous material, magnesium, water and other natural components.

Slates

Another historical material on the list is the slate. Just like the tiles, slates give out a rather historical charm to any abode. While clay tiles radiate a more rustic appeal, slates exude classic elegance. Added to that is the technological feat with fiber-made slates – the cheaper, lightweight and synthetic substitute for the heavy and costly natural slate.

Aside from the natural components, slates can be readily recycled. Thus, you don’t have to worry about landfills when the time comes you have to replace your roof. But that should wait perhaps around 50 to 80 years.

If you opt for the natural, your house should be able to support the weight of tiles and slates, so these options aren’t entirely for everybody. There are homes designed for lightweight roofing systems like shingles and steel, so you can’t easily install this one at home without overhauling your roofing foundation.

Metal

This comes in a variety of steel, stainless, aluminum, copper and alloy.

What makes this alternative eco-friendly is that many green initiatives prefer metal roofing to other materials, due to its recyclability without losing its strength. Other than that, metal aids in the cutting of electricity costs by 20% by reducing attic temperature. Furthermore, the material has minimal carbon footprint compared to asphalt shingles.

The only drawbacks would be the noise. When rain falls, the sound of the downpour hitting your metal roof can ruin the supposed cozy and laidback moment. Fortunately, you can install insulation between the metal sheets and your ceiling to lessen the noise. Another way is to install an underlayment between the metal and sheathing.

For other possible noise-deadening techniques, ask your roofing contractor for suggestions and recommendations.

Living Roof

Instead of leaving your flat roof bare, why not make a garden out of the available space? Not only would it fill in the void, it’d also add attraction to the total look of your home sweet home. Add a few seats and a garden table and it transforms into a sanctuary.

A rooftop garden is especially efficient during hot and wet seasons. The plants absorb the water during downpours, minimizing rainwater runoffs and flooding. In hot seasons, they provide insulation against the scorching heat. Should you need a retreat, the breeze and greens the plants are absolutely worth the price and maintenance efforts.

Reflective Coating

In the event your roof doesn’t require any replacement at the moment, yet you want to save electricity bills in summer, you can opt for a reflecting coating. That way, the specialized paint would serve as an insulator, reflecting the heat of the sun instead of absorbing it, warming up the house in the process.

According to the Department of Energy, homeowners aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this initiative. In fact, a cool roof reduces local air temperature (aka urban heat island effect), lowers peak electricity demand and reduces power plant emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and mercury).

Our roofs are our primary protectors from harsh weather conditions, so it’s only imperative that they’re well-equipped and well-maintained to serve us better.

In the attempt to mitigate global warming, many companies all over the world work hand in hand to come up with eco-friendly innovations. Sure these advances are costly for the majority of households, but if we have our own and the planet’s future in mind, eco-initiatives like these are worthwhile investments.

Ultimately, all these boil down to our decisions. If you have a heart for our suffering planet, you’ll pretty much be willing to get out of your way and make the necessary lifestyle changes for the common good.


Abigail Sabijon is the managing editor of Scoopfed.com. Before stepping into the blogosphere, she was a university instructor and language teacher. When she’s not writing, she’s either spending time with her husband or cuddling with her favorite kitty buddies.