Answering Your Questions About Roofing

Green Roofs: Are They Really the Best Choice for Eco-Friendly Homeowners?

by Donald Evans

If you're looking for ways to make your home more earth-friendly, one option you're sure to come across is green roofs. These are roofs that contain a layer of soil and plants that are rooted into that soil. On the surface, it seems like a good solution to the earth's problems. The plants make oxygen and eat up greenhouse gases. However, green roofs are not for everyone. There are some other eco-friendly roofing options that are almost as effective and easier to implement. Here's a closer look.

What are the challenges of green roofs?

Though they do eat up greenhouse gasses and do a good job of insulating a home, green roofs do require a bit of maintenance. When rain is scarce, you need to water the plants on the roof so they don't die off. Some homeowners use a hose to do this, while other have a drip irrigation system installed. Green roofs are also heavy. Your home structure may not be able to support one if you don't have some changes made to your walls and foundation. Furthermore, most roofing companies don't offer green roofs, so you'll have to seek out a specialist to work with.

What are the alternatives to green roofs?

If you have a green roofing company in your area, don' have a lot of droughts, and know your home has a strong foundation, then a green roof could be a good choice. However, if these challenges concern you, there are a number of other eco-friendly roofing options to consider.

Cool Roofing: Cool roofing is essentially any roof that has been painted white or a light color. This allows the roof to reflect more sunlight, rather than absorbing it. As a result, the house stays cooler and your energy costs go down. This is a great choice if you live in area that stays warm year-round.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofing is a good option in temperate climates where the winters are cold and the summers are warm. In the summer, it reflects sunlight to reduce heating costs. In the winter, it gets slippery so snow slides down it rather than sitting on the roof and cooling your home.

Eco-Friendly Shingles: Conventional shingles may not be the "greenest" choice for your home, but, today, there are many shingles made from recycled materials. There are also light-colored shingles that reflect sunlight and models that are supremely insulating.

If you like the idea of having plants on your roof, then green roofing might be a great choice for you. However, you should never feel like this is your only earth-friendly roofing choice. Talk to a contractor like Roof-Rite Roofing, Inc about your options.