What is the most eco friendly roofing material?

single ply roofing

Updating Your Roof for the Better

The world is all about being green, going green, everything as eco-friendly as possible. From the sky to the below the ground and everything in between, including environmentally friendly for roofing, aka ecofriendly roofing. What exactly is eco friendly roofing though? 

Eco friendly roofing in some respects is flat roof that have gardens planted on them. Those are the roofing systems that are helping the island heat effect as well as help with the cooling and heating of the building’s interior. 

In our piece today though, we’re going to discuss other roofing materials that are considered eco-friendly eco friendly roofing. From the type of material used to the color, which is the most eco-friendly for flat or low slope roofing. 

What is the coolest roofing material?

When considering the commercial and industrial sectors, no two buildings are exactly the same, therefore, there are different types of cool roofs. Each type of building will have a different cool roof designed to suit the design and structure, using different techniques for a flat or low-slope roof than what a pitched or steep-slope roof would have.

A flat or low-sloped roof will have an extremely flat roof line  with a thin incline for draining purposes.  These types of roofs are typically on commercial, industrial, and institutional structure and with their large flat area, makes them the perfect set up for cool roofs and eco friendly roofing application.  

Since a rooftop is the main source for absorbing heat that  enters the building, in warmer climates, a cool roof or eco friendly roofing can significantly lower the heat gain and energy expenses.  For low-sloped roofs, cool, eco friendly roofing techniques on these types of structures, the following  generally fit the requirements for eco friendly roofing options: 

  • Coated Roofing is a paint-like finish that brushed or rolled on a roof that enhances the roof’s adhesion and durability, extending its lifespan and reducing bacterial growth.  This type of cool coatings is ideal for existing structures with low-sloped roofs and can be added to a surface with an asphalt cap, gravel, metal, and  any single-ply material.  Available in other colors and is ENERGY STAR-rated.
  • Foam Roofing is as the name suggest, a foam type material sprayed on top of an existing roof for insulation. This has been on the market for more than 40 years and has a reputation for being affordable, dependable, and long-lasting cool roofing technique.  Because the foam attaches seamlessly with little to no waste, it is one of the most eco-friendly eco friendly roofing materials. 
  • Built-Up Roofing System is a multiple layer roof with various materials and minerals that stop solar heating when put together. The layers included is the base sheet, fabric reinforcement, and a protective surface layer.  Cooling strategies will vary from building to building with a built-up roof.  One method has a reflective material embedded into an asphalt coating that reflect the UV rays. Or the built-up roof is topped with mineral-surfaced sheets that consist of reflective mineral granules.
  • Modified Bitumen is an asphalt-based roofing system that is designed for cold or warm weather and has more elasticity.  
  • Single-Ply Membranes is eco friendly roofing for low-sloped roofs that typically need more maintenance and repairs.  Made from prefabricated sheets individually applied to the roofing surface.
metal roofing with venting

What is the most energy efficient roof color?

We are told to wear light-colored clothing to keep our bodies cool on a hot summer day. The same is true with a roof – the lighter the color, the better it will reflect the heat and UV rays. So, going with a white colored roof coating will keep your commercial, industrial, or institutional building cooler than a black coating.  A light colored roof can lower the temperature inside the building by up to fifty degrees.

In areas where cold weather is more prevalent, a dark colored roofing would be more energy efficient. The dark color absorbs the sun’s heat and UV rays and keeps the heat in the building. Both ways, choosing the right color for your building will save on your energy bills and ease the workload of the heating and cooling system. This is one method of eco friendly roofing that can help reduce the carbon footprint.   

What color roof reflects the most heat?

As we mentioned above, lighter colors are cooler for roofs just it is for clothing. Think of the roof coating being a hat on the building. Keep a light color hat will keep the building cooler, a plus in warm areas of the country. By choosing a color that reflects heat in hotter areas of the country and absorbs heat in cooler areas, this is a form of eco friendly roofing. 

How can I make my roof more energy efficient?

As the world is going to a greener way of living, here are some tips to having the best eco friendly for your commercial structure: 

Materials That Are Energy Efficient 

When it is time to replace your commercial structure’s roofing, choose a material that is energy efficient. Like eco friendly metal roofing. These come with fantastic insulation and will keep your business cool inside by reflecting the sun and the heat that comes with those UV rays. Any type of roofing you choose, make sure to get a light color for reflectiveness. 

  • Roof Coatings 
    • The best cost effective eco friendly roofing is having a cool roofing coating installed. A roof can reach 150 degrees in the summer and most of that heat radiates into your building. A professional installed cool roof coating will keep your roof from overheating and reflect the hot sun.
  • Roof Vents
    • Have the roof checked for proper ventilation. Improper roof ventilation can cause problems, starting with  moisture build-up. Proper ventilation will prolong the roof’s lifespan and keep cool air in when needed, cold air out when needed. Proper ventilation will also ease the workload on your HVAC system, which will help your energy costs. 
  • Sustainability 
    • Sustainable roofing materials ensure a long life for your roof, save you money on your energy bills, and help the environment too. This is truly the best eco friendly roofing you can have – a sustainable roof – choosing materials that are made from recycled materials or can be recycled after they have served their roofing purpose. The best materials for this are concrete, metal, or tile. 
  • Install Skylights
    • Skylights are just for residential structures They can reduce energy in a nonconventional way for a commercial structure by promoting energy efficiency because less electric lighting is needed. 
installing single ply roofing

Final Words On Commercial Eco Friendly Roofing

We mentioned metal roofing as being one of the best sustainable roofing materials, but not everyone agrees. What are the problems with metal roofs? Here are four issues that have been reported with metal roofing, all of which have easy prevention or solutions: 

Leaks: Metal roofs have a reputation of leaking, and like any roof, it can  if not installed and maintained properly. Ignoring small issues instead of repairing them will lead to leaks. This can happen where the sheets meet and aren’t fastened together properly. 

Oil Canning: Also referred to as stress wrinkling. This can be avoided with proper installation. 

Corrosion: Metal roofing will last sixty years or longer when maintained. Make sure the metal roofing panels you choose are coated and corrosion won’t be an issue. Metal roofing may be the oldest method of eco friendly roofing!