What’s the Most Environmentally-Friendly Roof?

Grant Findley of Findley Roofing & Building

Until green roofs are mainstream, what’s the most environmentally-friendly roof?

If your customer is in the market for a new roof and wants to ensure that keeping their property protected is as positive a process as possible for the environment, too, then there are some key facts of which you may not be aware. While everyone knows about the energy-saving benefit of solar panels and the unquestionable benefits of a modern green roof, there are more practical materials available that are also environmentally friendly.

Rubber roofing

Firstly, because it’s usually the one that’s most surprisingly beneficial to the environment, rubber roofing, often used on flat roofs, is actually pretty eco-friendly overall. The presumption that EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofing is actually bad for the environment is widespread, essentially because it’s… well… rubber! However, in truth, this material is largely made from recycled tyres – so, you’re making use of an otherwise useless material when installing a rubber roof.

Reclaimed slate

Coming pretty much straight from the ground and onto the roof, slate itself is a natural material that leaves no pollutants in rainwater and takes minimal effort to ready for use in a roofing system. Hence, when you choose reclaimed slate for your roof, you’re reusing an already environmentally-friendly material, which also delivers an incredible visual appeal.

Unfortunately though, slate, like concrete, is too heavy for use in many modern roofs (such as those on new-build properties). Therefore, you will need to check with your developer or roofing contractor if this material is suitable for your property.

Reclaimed clay

A lighter option to slate, and also another instance of a completely natural material, reclaimed clay tiles are an ideal option for homeowners seeking an eco-friendly roofing approach. Although they are originally manufactured, any reclaimed tiles available cut down on the number of new tiles used in a roofing system. The bonus of using clay, too, is that it’s widely used by professional roofers in Darlington, Donegal, Dundee – and everywhere. For an environmentally-friendly option, ask your roofing contractor about reclaimed tiles.

Shingle roofs

Like clay, rubber and reclaimed slate, the shingles used to build roofs are all composed of completely recycled or natural materials. Often, reclaimed slate that is no longer fit for purpose is used in the shingles, and nobody who ever looked at a roof of recycled shingles would ever think that it was made of what is, essentially, building waste. As very little energy is used in the production of these shingles, they actually make the most environmentally-friendly alternative to a green roof available.

White roofs

You might not find the need for a white roof in the UK, but they’re energy-efficient nonetheless. Reflecting the sun’s rays and keeping the interior of a property cool, they’re generally more popular with holiday homes and chalets, decreasing the need for air conditioning to be used so frequently. Until green roofs become a genuine option for homeowners, or solar panels become affordable for everyone, then a white roof, or any of the other options above, are your customer’s best bet for an environmentally-friendly roofing system.

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