Searching for ideas to make your home greener, 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. Planning ahead is key for making eco-friendly home choices.
Consider these Earth Day roofing facts:
- Did you know – asphalt shingles are petroleum-based, with a huge environmental impact? Asphalt shingles increase dependency on fossil fuels, must be replaced every 15-20 years, and there’s no good way to dispose of them – landfills are full of asphalt shingles.
- Eco-friendly products, including metal roofs, are rapidly replacing petroleum-based shingles. McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics’ survey showed metal roofing now comprises 11 percent of the residential re-roofing market, more than doubling in just ten years. Visit the Metal Roofing Alliance.
- Highly reflective “cool” colored metal roofs look just like traditional roofs, provide year-round relief from high energy costs, and are sustainable products.
- Roofing tax credits are available. Homeowners who make energy efficient updates to their home-including the installation of a painted or coated Energy Star labeled metal roof by December 31, 2010 — may be eligible for a tax credit worth 30 percent of the material costs up to $1,500 per home.
- Installing a metal roof reduces a home’s energy needs. Tests conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratories prove that a cool metal roof can save a homeowner up to 25 percent 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 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 percent recycled content — many have a much higher percentage. At the end of its useful life, metal roofing is 100 percent recyclable.
- Photovoltaic Systems and Solar Panels can be integrated into metal roof systems, making them an even better choice. Metal roofs can also allow consumers to harvest rainwater for reuse.
Source: Metal Roofing Alliance