When most people think of green and eco-friendly homes, they think of energy-efficient appliances, recycled building materials and perhaps installing solar panels. However, one green building solution that you should strongly consider, whether building a new home or renovating an existing one, is switching to a metal roof. Although they have the reputation of being unattractive, today's metal roofs come in a wide array of colors and patterns and can even be made to resemble asphalt roofs, if that's what you desire. They offer a number of green building benefits, including:
Lower heating and cooling bills.
Metal roofs reflect more sunlight than traditional asphalt roofs. This leads to lower cooling bills in the summer. Energy savings vary based on home design, how your roof is vented, and which color of roof you choose. Remember that the lighter your roof, the lower your energy bills will be in the summertime.
Easy integration with solar panels.
Solar panels are heavy, and some traditional roofs cannot support them without modification. However, metal roofs can easily support the weight of solar panels. Plus, the metal used to make roofs (generally an aluminum-zinc alloy) is lightweight, so it places less strain on your home's walls than an asphalt or wooden shake roof, meaning that the added weight of the solar panels won't put as much strain on your structure. If you are strongly considering adding solar panels to your home, ask your roofing contractor about metal roofs with integrated solar panels, which offer a sleek appearance and allow you to tackle the installation of both the roof and the solar panels in one process.
A long life expectancy.
Replacing asphalt shingles every 20 – 30 years results in a lot of waste, and often these shingles are not recycled. They end up sitting in a landfill for centuries. A metal roof lasts for at least 50 years, and often much longer if you're careful to have it coated in rust-proof spray every 10 years or so. This means a lot less waste – and less headache for you, since you likely won't have to replace your roof again within your lifetime.
Manufactured from recycled materials.
Most metal roof manufacturers use recycled materials to make their roofs. Thus, you are reducing the amount of waste that's headed for landfills by choosing a metal roof. When your roof does finally reach its final days, it can be recycled again.
If you're designing a green home, a metal roof is the way to go. Contact a roofing contractor in your area, and start exploring roof designs that would work for your home. Once your metal roof is installed, it will provide you with decades of energy savings.