It is our collective duty to try and be more sustainable and eco-conscious in our daily lives, but one of the places we tend to be less ‘green’ is the home. Making sure you have an environmentally-friendly roof is a great way to reduce your impact on the planet.
What makes an environmentally-friendly roof?
There are a couple of ways of defining an environmentally-friendly roof. One is energy efficiency. An energy-efficient roof is more environmentally friendly than other options because it retains the home’s heat and reduces how often you need to use your heating or cooling systems, which have an environmental impact.
The other way of defining an environmentally-friendly roof is if it is created from greener roofing materials. These materials have a much lower carbon footprint than those that have an intensive manufacturing process, or can only be used once and can’t be recycled at the end of their lifespan.
Steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient
Using the first definition of an environmentally-friendly roof, the following are some changes you can make to improve your energy efficiency.
1. Improve the roof’s insulation and ventilation
One of the simplest ways to improve your roof’s energy efficiency is to improve its insulating properties. Part of this comes down to the choice of material, but it’s just as important to have the right type of insulation.
If you have a liveable loft space, you will need insulation between the roof rafters but, if not, loft floor insulation will suffice. Sufficient roof ventilation also extends the life of your roof by reducing condensation and damp.
2. Consider installing solar panels
Solar panels are great for improving your home’s energy efficiency because they generate their own renewable power, making you less reliant on the grid. They can be installed on most roofs, but work best on pitched roofs that are south-facing.
3. Monitor energy use with a smart meter
While this is not a roofing-specific change, it helps to know how much energy you are using and where, so that you can alter your habits accordingly and reduce your energy bills.
Environmentally-friendly roofing materials
For a truly sustainable roof, you should also consider using eco-friendly materials when your roof needs replacing.
Metal is a popular roofing choice because it is light and easy to install, but most metal roofs are also endlessly recyclable, making them a good eco-conscious choice.
2. EPDM rubber
While it’s not a natural material, EPDM rubber is a non-toxic roofing material that is also recyclable, and old rubber products such as tyres may be recycled and used in its construction.
Slate is a natural material, meaning the manufacturing process for slate tiles has a very low environmental impact. Slate can also be recycled at the end of its roofing lifespan.
4. Wood shingles
Wood shingles are made from the leftover materials that come from lumber preparation at sawmills, making them a very green option for your roof. They are also good insulators and can be recycled at the end of their life for other uses.
5. Living roofs
Only suitable for roofs that have been prepared for this purpose (which are also usually flat roofs), living roofs encourage the growth of plant life and other greenery. This encourages biodiversity and helps to provide oxygen, reducing the carbon footprint of your home.
The most environmentally-friendly roofs are those that combine both definitions – constructed from sustainable materials while also improving the home’s energy efficiency. Having such a roof will bring long-term benefits that you will enjoy for years to come, and could potentially increase your home’s value.If you are looking to get a new roof installed, you can view our roofing services.
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