The Environmental Benefits of Metal Roofing
Reduce your impact on the environment and cut your energy bills.
We hear a lot about the sustainability movement these days. We know sustainability’s not just a buzzword, either — from carrying a reusable keep cup to use for our takeaway coffee to installing solar panels for a home security system to harness the sun’s power, we’re all embracing eco-friendly lifestyles.
Some of the ways we can bring energy-efficient solutions into our homes and businesses are obvious. We can update our old energy-guzzling hot water system with a modern, energy-saving unit, and we can cut out daily bad habits like boiling a full kettle for a single cup of coffee.
Others are a little less obvious but just as important. You may not have considered metal roofing as a ‘green’ solution, but it can make a drastic difference to your carbon footprint, as well as the long-term value of your home or business.
The rise of metal roofing
Here’s an alarming statistic: the built environment is responsible for 40 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It also utilises one-third of the world’s resources and generates millions of tonnes of waste each year. If you think your home or business can’t have much of an environmental impact, think again.
A well-designed roofing system is an integral part of a building’s overall durability and service life. Conventional roof tiles provide poor weather and thermal protection, causing energy expenditure to go quite literally through the roof.
Metal roofing, on the other hand, has a minimal carbon footprint, and can last up to two to three times as long as tiled roofs while also providing superior energy efficiency. Made of various metals including tin, aluminium, copper and galvanised steel, metal roofs are good for both the environment and your energy bills.
Metal roofing offers a sophisticated alternative to terracotta roof tiles, asphalt shingles, and other kinds of roofing. Here are four metal roofing benefits to help you assess how your home and the environment could benefit from a classic metal roof.
They’re energy efficient
Metal roofing is naturally more energy efficient due to its strong solar reflectance and impressive thermal emissivity. A three-year study conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Buildings Technology Center found that the high solar reflectivity and emissivity levels of cool metal roofing can save homeowners up to 40 per cent on their energy costs yearly.
The colour of your metal roof can also add great value to your home or office. As a three-year case study on the energy efficiency of metal roofing by America’s Cool Metal Roofing Coalition observes, switching to a white or light-coloured metal roof can reduce energy expenditure by approximately 20 per cent, and also make your home up to 10 degrees cooler than a dark-coloured roof.
Plus, pre-painted metal can retain almost 95 per cent of its reflexivity, so you don’t need to worry that going for a white coating means you’ll lower its initial reflectance. In fact, some engineered coatings can actually increase the emissivity of a metal roof surface.
They’re recycled and recyclable
The green movement is all about embracing recyclability and reusability and minimising waste. This includes reducing the waste commonly associated with conventional roofing replacements. While in theory, asphalt shingles are recyclable, in practice each year around nine billion kilograms of asphalt shingles end up in a landfill. The petroleum-based products that go into the production of asphalt roofing products also wind up in a landfill once they’ve served their purpose.
Metal roofing is almost 100 per cent recyclable at the end of its functional life, and it’s undeniably the most eco-friendly roofing solution from a waste-reduction standpoint. The aluminium used to manufacture metal roofs is 95 per cent recycled in content. Metal roof materials rarely become waste in a landfill, and one of the key metal roofing benefits is its significantly longer expected service life.
As the only truly ‘green’ material used in the roofing industry, metal roofing is the fastest growing residential roofing product on the market today. Metal is the lightest and strongest material you can put over your head.
A properly installed metal roof will last the lifetime of your home with little to no maintenance. Metal roofs can withstand extreme weather conditions and, according to Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) research, boast a significantly longer expected service life than all other roofing materials.
Due to their durability and rigidity, metal roofs can last two to three times as long as tiled roofs and involve minimal upkeep. A metal roof represents a considerable long-term investment, asphalt shingles can require re-roofing every 10-20 years whereas a metal roof can last up to 60 years and beyond.
Additionally, metal won’t crack, peel, fade or disintegrate like other roofing materials, plus it repels pests and complements rainwater capture systems. In some cases, installing a metal roof can get you a discount on your home insurance.
They increase resale value
Metal roofing can significantly boost the resale value of a home. Metal roofs are highly valued in the real estate market since they last for a very long time with little or no maintenance.
Because a metal roof will last for the lifetime of a building if properly cared for, metal also provides the biggest return on investment for the installation costs of any roofing material. A metal roof also yields sizeable savings on repairs and maintenance.
This means that during the lifespan of your metal roof, you can look for savings not only in your energy costs and home insurance, but in how much you save on repairing leaking roof tiles.
Embracing sustainability in buildings is a significant and meaningful way to safeguard our global environment for future generations to enjoy. Metal roofs are the most environmentally-friendly roof solution you can buy and offer superior energy efficiency, durability, reliability and value.
Contrary to popular opinion, metal roofing is not noisy, even in the most extreme weather conditions, and metal roofing is versatile enough to accentuate the style and design of any building.
The environmental benefits of metal roofs are clear – from an economic and ecological perspective, they just make sense.