From best roof tiles installing solar panels to using gray water, homeowners can take steps to make their homes more environmentally friendly. However, for a home to be truly environmentally friendly, the building itself must be made of green, energy-efficient materials. This includes the roof over your head, and a damaged roof made of unsuitable materials can undermine your efforts to protect the environment. If you need to replace the roof of your home, or if you are building a new home and need to choose the right roofing material, traditional roofing can be a surprisingly eco-friendly choice. By choosing the right roofing shingle materials, you can reduce your home’s energy use and carbon footprint in a number of ways.
Roof tiles can be made from many different materials, and certainly some are more environmentally friendly than others. The following commonly used roof tiles are environmentally conscious options that also have many practical benefits.
Traditional clay tiles have been used to protect homes from the elements for hundreds of years and have always been valued for their ability to keep a home cool in hot weather. Clay roof tiles have excellent thermal insulation properties and help prevent unwanted heat transfer through the roof and attic. Installing them in the ceiling can reduce dependence on air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps.
This effect is enhanced if you choose clay tiles made of white or light clay. Light-colored roof tiles reflect a significant portion of the sun’s light and heat energy, instead of absorbing it. This can be especially useful for keeping the upper floors and attics of your home cool during the summer months.
Unlike other types of roof tiles, clay tiles are made from organic materials and contain very little synthetic, non-biodegradable materials. They are also durable and long-lasting, and a well-maintained clay tile roof can last for decades before needing replacement. This makes clay tiles very durable and adding them to your home will not significantly affect its overall energy and carbon footprint.
These benefits do not come without a cost, and clay tiles can be expensive compared to concrete shingles or asphalt shingles. However, their attractive appearance and overall desirability can add significant value to your home, and you may find that installing a roof increases the selling price of your home by more than what you paid for the bricks themselves.
Clay tiles may be tough, but they can be susceptible to heavy impacts from falling tree limbs, large hail, or falling chimneys. If you are looking for eco-friendly roof tiles that can withstand all kinds of punishment, concrete tiles can be the right choice.
Like clay tiles, concrete tiles are mostly made of organic materials such as sand, cement, and aggregates. If you choose colored concrete tiles, they can be pigmented with natural iron oxide dyes, minimizing the synthetic content of the tiles as much as possible.
Concrete tiles rival clay tiles in terms of thermal insulation properties and can trap warm air in your home in colder weather and keep out the sun’s heat in the summer. They are also recyclable and when your concrete slabs reach the end of their long life, they can be crushed and recycled as concrete or made into cement as a base for new concrete slabs.
If you are interested in installing concrete pavers on your roof, be aware that they are quite heavy. Your existing roof trusses may need strengthening or replacement to support the additional load, which can increase installation costs. However, concrete slabs are often significantly less expensive than other types of roof tiles, so they can still be a cost-effective option if your roof needs strengthening.
If you have questions about choosing an eco-friendly roofing material, contact the brick and shingle experts at Western Roofing.