Among the most known of the eco friendly roofing materials is wood shakes and shingles. The major disadvantage of this material is that it is made from old growth western cedar and even though the energy spent to produce it is relatively low; its harvest is not guaranteed in the long term. The shingles are flammable and cannot be utilized in places with bushes or trees due to risk of forest fires.
Recycled shingles are the most popular eco friendly roofing materials. They can be made up of wood fiber, plastic, rubber and some are even made from waste obtained from homes and factory waste is also used. They are not only durable but they are also appealing and they help to divert waste from the landfills thus reduce the reason for extraction and possibly processing other raw materials. This lowers the energy used thus reducing pollution. Some even come with a 50 year warranty with good fire ratings that can lower insurance rates.
Slate is a material that is not only natural but can produce a very durable roofing tile. In fact it can last hundreds of years. There are many companies that offer eco friendly roofing materials that are made of slate with some offering a 100 year warranty. Mining of slate can be an expensive process but there are companies that offer salvaged slate for roofing. Clay tiles are also eco friendly and durable roofing materials but they don’t last as long as slate. Remember in order to use slate or clay tiles; the framing of your roof needs to be strong so that it can support the weight of the tiles. Consult with a structural engineer and determine whether the frame you have in place will hold up the weight.
Another environmentally accepted roof material is recycled rubber shingles. These are created from old steel belted radial tires and with ground slate you can have the material in question coated. Its biggest advantage may be its long life. However before going with this option you should verify with your area’s building department to see if certain material roofs are allowed in your area such as those made from rubber.
Using eco friendly roofing materials is one way of protecting our fragile environment and we should all strive to do our part. Choosing environmentally friendly materials to build with is a small way of protecting our environment from man’s destructive ways.