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Green living: How metal roofs can help save the environment

Roof Standing Seam

By Paul Kazlov, Home Remodeling Writer

Global Home Improvement

Eco-friendly solutions are often thought of in terms of powering vehicles and cities with clean, renewable energy. This leaves many consumers thinking the ability to initiate change toward a greener future is out of their hands. However, with increasing trends that focus on how the construction of buildings and homes can open the door to greener options and sustainability, homeowners can start to pave the way to a more environmentally conscious future.

Of the many options open to a homeowner, one of the best ways to start living greener is to consider installing a metal roof.

Metal roofs are more eco-friendly than traditional asphalt shingles and help homeowners save money in the long run. And, since they last longer, they can extend the life of a house to last for generations with little to no maintenance.

Metal roofs have a longer lifespan

One of the main goals of environmentally conscious, green construction is to create buildings more sustainable than traditional methods. Metal roofs are great for this due to their long lifespan, which can reach up to 50 years. Since individual shingles aren’t involved, maintenance and repair is a lesser concern.

If installed on a home with quality construction, metal roofs not only add to the overall longevity of the house, but they can also be passed on to future generations and even increase the overall value.

Metal roofs keep heat out more efficiently

With the proper coating, metal roofs can effectively reduce the amount of energy necessary to cool a home since they’ll reflect more infrared radiation from the sun. This has a trickle-down effect of potentially extending the life of HVAC units since they won’t have to run as often to keep the house cool.

In hotter climates, homeowners with metal roofs can expect to save as much as 20 percent on energy costs – and sometimes more. These roofs also can prevent the dreadfully hot temperatures that attics tend to reach during warmer months.

Metal roofs are safer for the environment

The most popular metal-roof materials are aluminum, steel, and copper, all of which lack the potentially toxic components found in asphalt shingles. Not only do they cut down on the amount of potential waste and pollution created from traditional materials, but they also have little to no effect on rainwater as it runs off the roof.

Metal roofs provide a better surface for water to expel, which then collects for a variety of uses. Since the water running off will be free of any toxins usually gathered from flowing down an asphalt roof, the water cycle in the area will stay clean. This becomes particularly effective when more and more houses in a neighborhood have metal roofs installed.

Metal roofs are recyclable

Keying into the importance of sustainability, metal roofs can be purchased from recycled sources and can be recycled for future use. This cuts down on the amount of material potentially ending up in overflowing landfills. Purchasing a recycled metal roof is also better for the environment as the recycling process requires less energy.

Metal roofs can pave the way to a greener future while saving money

Everything mentioned here not only goes a long way toward a greener, more eco-friendly future, but also creates an opportunity for homeowners to save money. While a quality metal roof installation might cost slightly more than asphalt, by cutting out potential maintenance costs and factoring in cheaper energy expenses to cool the house, homeowners can expect the financial investment to save them money in the long run. Metal roofs also help homes become future-proof by lasting for decades.

Copyright 2014, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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