Your home is your castle, your haven, your oasis of peace and comfort. In this rushed, busy world we all need to find ways to step back and to relax. Our homes should serve as safe places that help us recharge our energies and go out and enjoy the world. But, does this come at a price?
We use up a lot of energy, we consume huge amounts of natural resources. But there are always options. One option that can minimize the negative impact we have on the environment is energy efficient roofing options. The long-term benefits contain the best of both worlds – doing a good thing for nature, and helping out your budget.
Roofs and energy efficiency
If you’re wondering how roofs help your environment and help your general energy efficiency, it’s because of several factors. First, they decrease your air conditioning needs, and makes the roof more resistant to harsh weather. This, in turn, reduces your energy consumption. Furthermore, at a communal level you will reduce the urban heat island effect, and will minimize power plant emissions. Second, they either require minimal repairs and maintenance, wasting fewer resources, or the materials used are recyclable.
Before you continue, do note that energy efficiency and roofing depends on two things. First, your geographic location (i.e. the weather you face on a regular basis) and how the materials are set up. Properly processed asphalt shingles can be a godsend in one area, while regular asphalt shingles can make your life living hell in another.
The first option you can try out is getting a coating on your roof. These coatings are usually some sort of white or other reflective pigments. These deflect sunlight coming directly on your roof, instead of absorbing the heat. These also protect your roof from UV light and other damage. These are the most varied option out there, and you can find some for basically every roofing type and material.
Shingles and tiles
The first two options you can try out are shingle and tile roofs. First, shingle roofs are made from overlapping panels. These panels are usually made from a type of fibreglass asphalt, wood, polymers, metals, slate, etc. Tiles are simple plates placed on your roof, and can be made from similar materials shingles are made of. What makes these options energy efficient form the start is that these are green, recyclable materials. They are also beautiful items that will last for a long time. For example, if you do need to have some slate roof restoration done, know that it’s enough to get it fixed up once every couple of years.
Now, to make them greener and energy efficient, you have a couple of options. Getting special types of materials, like asphalt coated in solar reflective granules, or having tiles glazed with waterproof coats. These are enough to prolong their lifespan, and improve their reflective capacities.
Metal roofs are efficient in that they have low heat absorption, which makes them perfect for warmer regions. Most often they naturally reflect the sun’s rays, and are even great with rainwater and snowfall. Namely, snow and rain just slide off of them. However, you can improve their effectiveness even more by adding extra reflector coatings, as well as simply just painting it.
An interesting option is trying out a green roof. Also known as living roofs, this type means that you have living vegetation on your actual home. This is a beautiful and timeless option, but can be quite expensive due to both its initial cost, and the upcoming maintenance expenses. They can be anything, from simple moss covering, to a full-on garden for flat roofs.
They are very good at managing rainfall, and are of course beautiful. However, these also provide fantastic insulation, and help you with both heating and cooling your home. You will avoid the aforementioned urban heat island effect as well.
You can always go with specific roofs made from artificial materials. Things like single-ply membrane setups, built-up roofs, and modified bitumen sheet membranes are interesting options that are pretty cost effective and energy efficient. However, these are not the most recyclable of materials out there.
All of these are basically set up from several layers of materials, reinforced with various fabrics or adhesives. They can all be made energy efficient by dishing out money for special, reflective and cooling materials. Furthermore, adding reflective mineral granules, or get marble chips and grey slag ballasts will add to their effectiveness.
And there you have it folks, a way to keep your home as energy efficient as possible. Going green has never been so easy, especially when you know you can save some money while doing it. So, think about the materials you are supposed to use, and how you can improve them. Metals are great because of their low heat absorption, but can they be made better? Shingles and tiles are usually recyclable, but how about coating them with something reflective and durable? And if you can afford it, getting a literally living roof may just be the thing you need and want.