Are Green Roofing Materials as Effective?

Materials that comply with “green” construction standards are quickly becoming the norm in many areas of the United States. Consumers have become conscious of the damage done to the environment by the continuous manufacture and use of materials needed to construct homes and commercial buildings. Northern climates like Toledo OH require consideration of the extreme winter temperatures that affect not only the longevity of the materials, but also the energy costs involved to keep home interiors comfortable. Environmentally friendly roofing materials can help to minimize pollution effects, preserve natural resources and cut energy use.

What Are Green Roofing Materials?

Hands of roofer laying tile on the roof. Installing natural red tile.

Green roofing materials are those that come from natural products or can be recycled from manufactured products. The materials are considered “sustainable” because their production does not cause undue pollution of the environment or can reuse materials that are already made. In addition, recyclable materials can help to insulate home interiors so that less energy is used for heating and cooling. This benefit preserves the environment and also lowers energy costs for homeowners.

Recycled Shingles
Recycled shingles are made from various types of materials that can be re-manufactured into serviceable roofing material. Wood fiber, rubber and plastic are some commonly used materials for this purpose. Green roofing made from these products provide both an attractive surface, with good durability, as well as eco-friendly roofing that slows the accumulation of discarded building materials.

Wood Shingles/Wood Shakes
Wood shingle and shake roofing has been used in the northeastern region of the United States for hundreds of years. Their natural appearance and long wear make them a practical choice for many home styles. They are made from natural materials and can be re-used. The difference between shakes and shingles lies in the way they were first produced from wood materials:

  1. Wood ShinglesWood Shingles
    Shingles are sawn on both sides from a block of wood and are thinner at the butt end.

  2. Wood Shakes
    Shakes are split from the wood block and sawed at the ends at an angle. In many cases the shakes are split on one side and sawed on the other.

Slate Tiles/Clay Tiles
Clay tiles offer an attractive material that uses natural materials that do not pollute the environment. Clay tiles that are still in good condition can be re-used. Slate is another natural material that can last for up to 100 years. Slate in good condition can also be recycled for other uses.

Four windows reflecting sunlight on to a roofMetal Roofing
Metal roofing offers durability, attractive appearance and the ability to recycle the materials at the end of its lifespan. Metal roofing requires professional installation, but any damage that is sustained over the years can be repaired easily.

The green building material movement has revolutionized how construction is done in the United States. Today, environmentally conscious homeowners in Toledo OH have a number of good choices for roofing materials that can provide a good appearance and recycling capability, as well as energy savings throughout the year.