How To Go Green With Your Roof

Upgrading an aging roof to something environmentally-friendly or installing a green one on a new home is a great investment for your home. But what’s green, and how can you do so without going over-budget? With a couple of tips and insight, there are green options for your roof that can help you contribute and save money on your investment over time.

Understanding “Green”

Green roofing options can include using materials that are sustainable and responsibly manufactured or ones that are living installations.

Living installations are quickly becoming a popular option for roofing, as they look aesthetically appealing, don’t contribute to storm runoff, and help remove impurities from the air. But living roofs also require some care to be sustained, need to be installed properly to avoid leaks, and require additional structural enhancements due to weight.

Non-living roofs that are green come in the form of sustainable materials usage. Sustainable materials have a wide range of prices and lifespans according to material, but range from inexpensive recycled plastics to budget-busting clay and slate tiles. If you want the most longevity and low-maintenance, choose a higher-end product that will last.

Understand Your Climate

Installing a green roof that lowers energy costs, is easy-to-maintain, and contributes to the environment depends on your climate. Depending on your particular climate, consider a few things that will help you decide which roof works best for you:

  • What are the temperatures like? Installing a green roof that lives can be a real asset to both you and the environment. Completely green roofs, or ones that include living ecosystems will contribute to cleaner air, lowered energy costs, and better insulation, but they require moderate climates to stay alive. If you live where there’s limited sun or harsh winters, installing a living green roof may not be for you.
  • Where’s your home located? The physical location of your home in proximity to other buildings, plant life, and terrain can have a big effect on how your roof survives. If you want a living roof, you have to consider the amount of coverage your home gets on any given day.
  • What are the extremes? The extremes of your home’s physical location can have a big impact on the type of green roof you have installed. Even if your home has enough sun and minimal shade to sustain a living roof, extreme conditions like hurricanes can leave a living roof more susceptible to damage. If you live in an environment that gets intense storms and wind, opt for green roofs that are made from sustainable materials instead of living installations.

Green roofs, living or non, are a great investment for any homeowner as they can lower energy costs, improve insulation, and are desirable on the housing market. Though green roofs come in many forms, with materials and technology improvements there are possibilities for green installations on almost any budget.

Author: Kim Wilkerson

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