With all of the hype surrounding sustainability and green practices, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially when it comes to building materials. Metal roofing, however, has a clear record of being one of the most earth-friendly options on the market. Metal roofs are highly reflective, long lasting and recyclable, all of which make metal roofing the green choice to beat when selecting a roof for your home.
The sun has a great deal to do with heating and cooling costs. The coatings on metal roofing panels reflect the sun’s rays, while most asphalt shingles absorb that heat, leading to higher energy bills. The Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of a metal coating indicates how well that color reflects the sun. The higher the number, the better the reflectivity, which translates into savings and money in your pocket. Color theory states that light colors reflect light better than darker colors, which are absorbed. The theory plays out on metal roofs: lighter colored metal has higher SRI numbers than darker colors. Therefore, light colored metal roofing panels are a better choice when energy savings are the goal. As an added benefit, solar panels are easily installed on metal roofing, thereby increasing the green factor and lowering those energy bills.
Metal roofs are replaced less than asphalt shingles because of the impermeability of the material. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, a metal roof can last between 30-50 years, much longer than shingles, which average a 20 year life span. Also, because metal roofing is lightweight it can often be installed directly over a shingle roof, keeping those shingles out of landfills. Twenty billion pounds of shingles end up in landfills each year, and metal roofing use can significantly lower this number.
Asphalt shingles are manufactured with crude oil, and it can take up to 300 years for shingles to break down in a landfill. Byproducts of shingles are extremely harmful to the environment. Metal roofing panels, on the other hand, are 100% recyclable and are made from a minimum of 25% of that recycled material. The recycling process for metal is also easier and more available than that for asphalt shingles. Metal roofing is therefore a superior solution for keeping building materials out of landfills.
Metal roofing can lower your heating and cooling bills by reflecting the sun. It is long lasting and recyclable. All of these traits work together to make metal roofing the green choice for your new roof.
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