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In today’s eco-friendly environment, keeping up with green policies and sustainability can be an important factor in roof repair and maintenance. You may want to preserve the overall original design, but how do you make sure that what you are replacing or repairing is also taking into account energy efficiencies inside the house or commercial building providing the ability for the products themselves to be environmentally sound?

For Homes, It Starts At The Top

The idea of having “a roof over your head” is as basic a concept as there is in homeownership. But what about that roof? Long gone are the days when you assumed that classic shingled roofing material would last the life of your home. Some of the newest materials to consider, especially if you are interested in adhering to green policies and sustainability for the actual materials you are using are Metal Roofs.

If you live anywhere near the Texas Panhandle, you know that there can be pretty brutal hailstorms and tornadoes. As a result, many traditional roofs can be heavily damaged, which is costly to repair and the shingles are often tossed in landfills, which is not great for the environment. Metal, on the other hand, can withstand North Texas weather, and many more modern homes are using either a standing seam metal or less expensive R-panels as an alternative. Not only do they last a long time and need minimal repairs, but they are often made of recycled materials. Plus, they reflect UV rays which contributes to keeping your home more energy efficient.

What’s Best For Commercial Buildings and Homes with Low Slope Roofs?

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is great for low slope rooflines. Single membrane materials make this form of roofing very cost effective and since it reflects UV rays, it is energy efficient as well. This form of roofing is typically used on commercial properties, but some homes that are designed with flat roofs are utilizing TPO installations as well.

There is another material you may have heard of that is widely used on flat roofs called Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (Terpolymer) or EPDM. It is constructed of a rubber material and is also inexpensive. It does tend to shrink, however, and is not as long lasting as TPO. While this roof can last a long time, it does tend to require ongoing maintenance.

A third type of material is called Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which is a type of plastic, but it is made of a lower percentage of petroleum and oil, which might be better environmentally. However, in the repair process, it requires removing the entire roof as opposed to TPO or EPDM, which can be repaired in the section that is needed.

The Big Debate: Tile vs Shingle?

While there are many types of materials that are newer in popularity, many people would prefer to go with the traditional styles of tile or shingle roofs. But how do you know which adheres to green policies and sustainability requirements? How do they compare in cost? Which is more durable and can hold up to the heat in the Southwest as well as bad weather? All good questions, which can be addressed looking at several factors:

  • Tiles are stronger than shingles. If you live in an area where there are strong winds, tornadoes and heavy rains, then tiles are the better option.
  • Lifespan for both can depend on certain factors. A clay or concrete tile is the most durable and likely to last longer. While shingles are not as durable, if maintained properly, they can still last at least 25 years. It is just important to know that shingles can be damaged in bad weather, so replacement costs are something to take into consideration.

Which Roofing Best Adheres To Green Policies and Sustainability?

If you are truly interested in keeping the environment in mind for roofing, then fluid applied roofing is a good solution. First developed in Europe, it was expansive when it first came to the United States. But over the past 20 years, professionals have perfected the process and offered long term warranties. The most popular materials used in fluid applied roofing are:

  • Silicone
  • Urethane
  • Acrylic

What are the benefits of this form of roofing? First, it is lightweight, so it protects against water damage without weighing down the roof. Second, it is extremely flexible and easy to install. Third, it reflects light, keeping the roof cooler in summer months and helping to reduce energy costs.

The Upshot…There Are a Lot of Choices.

The best solution for anyone looking to repair or replace a roof is to do your homework. Look at the various materials that will work in your physical location and for your type of roof. Ask yourself how the repairs or replacement could impact the environment, not just today but for years to come.

In many cases, suppliers will try to convince you that replacing the roof is the right thing to do. But that creates the need for more materials and disposing of perfectly good materials as well, which is not in line with many green policies and sustainability initiatives.

The way that roofs are constructed over the past number of years, blended with the types of materials used, allows a good repair company the ability to be selective in only replacing what truly needs the work. Keeping a limit on the time, cost and impact on the environment is just as important as the level of durability of the end product.

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