Start with the material. Like I said, asphalt has become the passé choice for material. Choosing your material from recycled goods provides an endless amount of option. From plastic, wool to carpet and tires, shingles can be made from many recyclable product and many look like wood, according to GreenYour.com.
These options are almost all more durable than asphalt as well so even if you aren’t too concerned with the environmental aspect, a longer lasting material will ensure you don’t have to worry about your roof for a very long time, much longer than the 15 or so years of life for asphalt shingles.
The most durable choice? Simple: steel or aluminum. Metal has become quite popular with new construction and can last upwards of 100 years. It’s a good insulator, reflects the sun and usually contains some recycled material. Plus it looks cool, too. One downfall of metal roofing can be rust if the shingles get scratched or chipped. The remedy is as simple as making sure they’re coated for protection.
Recycled carpet shingles can look a lot like wood and is a lightweight product. Shingles made from recycled plastic-think grocery bags, milk and juice jugs-are also lightweight, but also water and bacteria resistant Shingles made from recycled tires look like asphalt shingles but have better insulation and can withstand most atmospheric elements and look pretty darn chic.
These tires have come a long way from the road.
And if you have classical tastes and truly prefer a wood-shingled roof, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t also have an eco-friendly roof. Wood shingles are supposed to last from 30-50 years so they can be worth the cost and labor. Aside from their aesthetic appeal, wood shingles offer a completely unique roof and they help insulate your attic and allow for good air circulation throughout your house. The biggest environmental concern with wood shingles is that they require trees being cut down. So make sure to buy shingles from wood harvested sustainably and use shingles made from recycled material, of course!
Whatever your budget is, you should be able to find a green roof that suits your tastes. Many roofing companies in Denver, however, will tell you to make sure your roof needs to be replaced if you’re on a tight budget. Often, a much cheaper fix will preserve your roof and avoid a costly replacement. Of course familiarize yourself with your local laws regarding building restrictions.