Eventually, you will need to repair or replace your roof for various reasons. Your roofing is your first line of defence from the elements, and it can last anything from 15 years (asphalt shingles) to 70-100 years (clay or slate tiles). While you may not have an opportunity to make lots of changes to roofing supplies and materials during small repairs, when your roof needs major repair, you can benefit from choosing products that reduce the negative impact on the environment. This article highlights how to make eco-friendly choices for various roof types.
1. Recycled shingles
Recycled shingles are usually made from recycled waste materials including wood fibre, plastic and wood as well as home and factory wastes. These are affordable yet surprisingly durable and aesthetically pleasing shingles which can be finished to resemble your regular asphalt shingles. Recycling helps divert waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and reduce demands on virgin raw materials. In addition, during repair, ensure that all asphalt shingles you remove are not mixed with other waste because it can be collected and taken to a recycling centre for use in making new shingles.
2. Wood shakes and shingles
These were a more common choice in older homes found in rural settlements. They were usually made from old western cedar trees, which impacts their sustainability as a roofing choice. When repairing or replacing a wooden roof, you can go for reclaimed lumber shingles, made by factories that specialise in utilising wood from old water/wine barrels, mills and bridges among other sources. If you're fixed on getting cedar roofing, find a company that specialises in making shakes and shingles from sustainable plantations — this is going to cost you, though.
3. Slate and clay tiles
Slate and clay roofs are extremely durable and known to last more a very long time. However, making slate tiles is energy-intensive, from mining to production. There are tile manufacturers who specialise in providing recycled slate or clay tiles. Clay tiles don't last as long as slate but are much easier to make and are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their lifetime.
4. Metal roofs
Most metal roofs on the market today contain some amount of recycled material — some options are even made with 95-100 percent recycled material. Metal roofing can last up to 50 years, meaning that repair or replacement is few and far-between, and when removed, the materials can be recycled indefinitely.
In addition, metal roofs are the best for rainwater collection, unlike asphalt shingles which leach some chemicals into rainwater, making it unusable for irrigation.