The most common environmentally-friendly roofing systems include some of the most popular ones on the commercial and residential markets. Below is a list of these systems, and the qualities that make them safe for the environment and surrounding eco-systems. This list includes asphalt shingles, metal, clay tiles, concrete tiles, slate, wood shakes, fiber cement, and recycled roofing.
- Asphalt Shingles – This is one of the most cost-effective and common options for residential roofs. They are considered the least attractive, and do not last as long as other roofing materials, but they are made of natural materials, making them perfectly eco-friendly.
- Metal – Metal is 100% recyclable, and can be reprocessed over and over again. Recycling metal lowers the need to mine more, reducing natural ore deposit depletion rates. An old metal roof is still useful and valuable, and can be repurposed, endlessly. Steel and light-weight aluminum are the most common metals used for metal roofs.
- Slate – Slate is a natural element of the earth and highly durable. It lasts a long time, but comes with a hefty price tag. It is one of the more attractive roofing options. Slate is also 100% decomposable and recyclable.
- Clay – Clay tile roofs are referred to as “terra cotta” in the industry. They are made from natural resources, mostly clay and water, which are 100% natural. You must be careful choosing the coating, however, as some are slightly toxic if they runoff into the natural water sources.
- Concrete – Concrete tiles are similar to clay tiles in terms of eco-friendliness and natural composition. Concrete is made from natural aggregates, like cement, stone, gravel, and sand.
- Wood Shakes – Wood is a natural element that comes from trees, making it 100% eco-friendly and safe for the environment. Cedar is the most common material used for wood shake roofing systems, but other types of lumber are frequently used as well. Just be sure to choose FSC certified wood.
- Fiber Cement – Fiber cement board is an excellent green roofing option since it is primarily composed of cement and cellulose fiber, both of which are biodegradable.
- Recycled Roofing – Using recycled product is a terrific eco-friendly practice, and roof systems are no different. Plastic and rubber roofing are recyclable, and can be manufactured to resemble higher-end materials, like wood shake and tiles.