More and more, homeowners are becoming aware of their impacts on the environment. The push in the late 90s to encourage energy-efficient appliances was just the start. Today, homeowners consider sustainability and eco-friendliness in their construction materials as well as their consumables. At first glance, metal roofs seem like they’d be bad for the environment. They can take a long time to break down, and in the past, they could leach dangerous chemicals into the soil. However, modern manufacturing and recycling techniques, as well as the phased removal of hazardous additives to metal roofing material, have made it a surprising champion of the green building movement. But are metal roofs really that good, or are we just fooling ourselves to feel better about our building processes?
Standards Create Safety
Modern metal roofing materials are comprised of high-quality components that manufacturers put through rigorous testing to ensure safety. The standards for metal in roofing have made it an acceptable building material, even though it’s not the cheapest one on the market. Metal roofing is versatile, though, and can stand up to almost anything Mother Nature can throw at it. They can stand up to even the heaviest onslaughts of hail damage with minimal concern. Metal roofs also offer several other benefits to homeowners.
The Energy Efficiency of Metal Roofs
Metal roofs fall under the category of a “cool roof” because of its reflective capabilities. As the US Department of Energy states, a cool roof reflects more sunlight than it absorbs. By reflecting most of the heat out, metal roofs reduce the temperature within a building during hot months, resulting in lower energy consumption for cooling. Light or white-colored metal roofs perform even better than other painted roofs when it comes to reflectivity (and by extension, energy efficiency).
Roofs that last longer leave a smaller energy requirement throughout their lives than those with a short life expectancy. State Farm Insurance mentions that metal roofs have an expected functional life of forty to seventy years. This period is a significantly longer working life than other comparable materials. By comparison, asphalt shingles range between ten and thirty years at their best longevity estimates. Metal roofing can double or triple that expectancy. When the cost equation is calculated based on how long these roofs last, they come up to a much more cost-effective solution than other materials for their lifetime.
Metal has become one of the most recyclable materials in our modern society. Erie Insurance notes that metal roofing is 100% recyclable, and as much as a quarter of all metal roofing is made from recycled materials. Recyclable building materials are at the core of the green building initiative. The aim has always been to reduce the amount of waste from buildings ending up in landfills. By using metal roofs, you’re helping the environment and conforming to sustainable building practices.
Are Metal Roofs Worth It?
While they are more expensive than the traditional asphalt shingle, metal roof installation might be a better buy for several reasons. They deal better with environmental factors, they last longer than other roofing materials, and they can be recycled, so they don’t damage the environment. The metal used is safe, and you won’t find any part of a metal roof becoming detached and falling off your roof as a hazard. Comparing all options, metal does seem like the most cost-effective and eco-friendly solution over the long term than virtually any other roofing material.