Roof replacement is a necessary fact of life, but today's modern roofers offer you hundreds of options that can drastically affect your roofing experience and the roof itself. If, for example, you feel compelled to plan for an earth-friendly roof replacement, you have every opportunity to do so. You'll need to consider these three environmental effects of roofing and select the options that are the least invasive and damaging to the environment.

1. Energy 

Your roof design can either preserve energy or waste it. Some of the ways your roofing decisions can waste energy include:

  • Manufacturing processes
  • Transportation
  • Electricity used for cooling

As you can probably imagine, the cooling aspect can potentially have the largest "footprint" because it continues for the entire life of the roof. One way to diminish the amount of electricity used for cooling is to install a light-colored roof. The other two energy drains can be counteracted by sourcing locally made materials (as local as possible; even sourcing materials made inside the country is better than using something made overseas) and selecting a roofing material that has natural sources and isn't too far removed from them. For example, slate roofing is made of a natural material with just enough processing to get it into uniform shapes, and wood shakes are similar (with the addition of necessary treatments against rot and insects). 

2. Urban heat island effect

This is another problem with dark colored roofing that absorbs light. Not only does it inflate your cooling bill (and energy usage), but it holds and stores heat so efficiently that it can become up to ninety degrees hotter than the surrounding environment. On a hot day, that's hot enough to cook any type of meat! You can imagine how a city full of such efficient heat storing mechanisms will really disrupt the local ecosystem by radiating the stored heat slowly day and night. This is why light-colored "cool roofs" are so important.

3. Waste

Have you watched roofers in motion during a roof replacement? They often toss trash down into the yard to get it out of the way while they're installing a new roof. This trash can include not only all of your old roofing materials but also any packaging that the new materials came in. Roof replacements send tons of waste to landfills on a regular basis. You can reduce your waste by recycling your old roofing materials and being sure to select a new roofing material that can be recycled or, like masonry tiles, re-used.

Take thought of all these considerations when you're planning a roof replacement. The environment will be better off for it and maybe you can start a cool roof trend!

To learn more, visit a company like B & J Roofing

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