Have you ever wondered just how important your roof is when it comes to eco-friendly homes? Believe it or not, both the design and the materials used in constructing that roof are important if sustainability and the environment are important to you. With a growing number of homeowners looking to go green, perhaps it would be best to start at the top – that’s right, the roof! Let’s look at some roofing design ideas for eco-friendly homes.
Working with What You’ve Got
Unless you are working with a builder and architect to design a new home from the ground up, chances are you will need to work with what you’ve got in terms of style. Some homes have flat roofs, while the majority of homes have slanted roofs. If you really want radical changes in the slant or design of your roof, it might be wise to contact a roofer to see if it’s even possible. It could mean major structural changes, but that’s sometimes what it takes to accomplish a totally green roofing system.
Finding the Right Roofer
When looking for a roofer who has the expertise to accomplish what you are looking for, there are really a few ways to go about it. You may want to talk to friends and/or family members who have recently had a new roof installed. You can also check out the search engine on sites like Porch, where your zip code is really all that’s needed to generate a list. When asking “How to find roofers in my area?” it can be as easy as that – your zip code! However, don’t forget to check their references and talk to homeowners who have done business with the roofer you are interested in.
Going Solar is the Epitome of a Green Roof
While you will certainly want to use environmentally safe materials for your roof, have you considered going solar? Perhaps this is the most important environmental feature you “should” be considered when seeking an eco-friendly roof on a number of levels. Not only will the electricity you generate cut your power bills immensely, but you will also be relying less on fossil fuels and other biohazards. That is truly what a green roof is about – sustainability.
Materials Also Factor into the Equation
For those of you who are reluctant to go solar because you envision those unsightly solar panels attached to roofs you’ve seen, perhaps it would be wise to know about new generation solar tiles for roofs that look much like ordinary reflective shingles. Some manufacturers offer state-of-the-art solar tiles and, once installed, few people will know that your home is solar-powered. However, if you do choose to continue using power from the grid, sustainable materials are a must. Some homes use specially processed wood shingles while others use recycled tiles.
Roofing and Insulation for Enhanced Climate Control
You, of course, know that your roof is meant to keep the weather out of your home. It serves to protect everything in the interior from water and other environmental hazards. Additionally, you should be considering which type (and shape!) of the roof will best help to provide protection against heat in the summer and frigid temperatures in the winter. Even flat roofs are not exactly level as they have about a 2% slope for water to run off, but most homeowners prefer slanted roofs because they add enough space to give that extra layer between the elements and your family. They also allow for greater amounts of insulation if necessary. Bear in mind that using less electricity for climate control is what a green lifestyle is all about.
Tankless Rooftop Hot Water Systems
Finally, you might want to talk to your roofer about installing a tankless rooftop hot water system when building your new roof. The technology in these systems is amazing and, unlike more conventional hot water tanks that use gas, electricity or even coal (in much older homes), they use energy from the earth and sky. Not all roofers have the ability to install these eco-friendly hot water systems, so that’s something you may want to question in your search for a roofer in your area as well.
So, there you have design ideas and concerns when seeking to create an eco-friendly roof for your home. With advances in technology almost by the day, you would be amazed at just how sustainable today’s roofing systems can be. Not only will they help to protect Mother Earth from further damage but they will certainly offer much in the way of savings over time. Speaking of time, isn’t it time to find that roofer? You’ll be happy you did!
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