When it comes to the environment, everyone has a role to play.
Here in Central Florida, recycling is very common. Most residents of the Sunshine State have been through drought conditions before and know from experience that water supplies aren’t unlimited.
Because of Florida’s unique ecosystem, it’s easy to look around and notice how things have changed – from average temperatures to the way hurricane season plays out every year.
With so many big things happening all around us, it can be very difficult to figure out exactly what we can do about it. But homeowners have a unique role when it comes to Florida’s future. By making the most environmentally friendly choices for your home, you can make a difference.
And you don’t have to sacrifice the lifestyle you want, either!
While there are many aspects of a home that can impact the environment, one of the biggest is very often “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s the roof. By choosing an eco-friendly new roof, you’ll change your world for 30 years or even longer.
Why Is a New Roof So Important to Improve the Environmental Impact of Your Home?
A new roof isn’t an idea you come to lightly. Most people want to get as much work from their existing roof as they can. Deciding on a new roof is a balance between the performance improvements you can expect and the savings you’ll get as your old roof demands more maintenance and repairs.
There are three situations where most Floridians decide on a new roof:
- Their existing roof has already started to cost them dearly
- They want to sell the home but worry about the roof’s condition
- They plan to pass the home on and want to give it an upgrade
No matter what the situation is for you, an eco-friendly new roof will add value.
Your roof is actually one of the biggest components of having an eco-friendly home. That’s because the condition of the roof greatly impacts the home’s natural heat cycle.
In a structurally sound home with appropriate ventilation, air will naturally rise through the building as it heats up. The hotter air will progress through the home until it reaches the attic and it will ultimately escape through the roof. This is why having good vents on the roof itself is so important.
Unfortunately, as roofs age they can contribute to a situation where it’s more difficult for the hot air to escape. That heated air can get trapped, often leaving it stuck in a swelteringly hot attic. Not only does this mean your air conditioner works harder, but it can also damage a shingle roof.
The more your roof can contribute to the heat cycle, the better.
The benefits work out in a wide variety of ways:
1. An Eco-Friendly New Roof Deflects More Solar Radiation
A lot of today’s ecologically friendly roof designs in Florida focus on a higher level of reflectivity. This is crucial because your home deals directly with the heat created by absorbed solar radiation. That’s one reason why, for example, the roof can be 30 degrees hotter than the home is at ground level.
There are several different types of green roofing material that incorporate better reflectivity. You can find high quality roof shingles that include reflective granules throughout. Many homeowners feel that these granules improve the appearance of the roof, too.
Plus, granule loss is an early sign that you need a roof inspection – one that’s very easy to spot.
When it comes to the most reflective roofs around, a residential metal roof may be the best choice in Florida. Metal roofing is designed to deflect about 50% of all solar radiation. With less heat infiltrating the home, you use less energy and spend less time fighting with outdoor temperatures.
No matter what type of roofing you choose, reflectivity makes a difference. Sustained high heat is a key contributor to color fading and other problems. In some cases, it can even reduce the overall lifespan of your roof. A cooler roof is more effective, and that means looking for ways to deal with the sun.
Even if you go with a less reflective roofing option, remember that lighter colors will absorb less solar heat than darker ones. Choosing a light or white-colored roof over a darker one has a less noticeable effect, but it can still shift the temperature around your attic and roof by about five degrees.
2. An Eco-Friendly New Roof Requires Less Manufacturing
Naturally, the manufacturing process is when a lot of the environmental impact of any roof takes place.
Old-fashioned shingle roofs such as those put up 20-30 years ago were made up of only a limited amount of recycled material. In the years since, however, Florida shingle roofs have come to utilize a much larger volume of post-consumer materials, making them far better for Mother Earth.
Most of today’s other popular roofing options also have a superior ecological profile.
For instance, residential metal roofing can be recycled nearly 100% when its lifespan is up. At the same time, it is very unusual to be in a situation where you need to replace an entire metal roof. Instead, any panels that become damaged can be replaced individually while the rest of the roof is left intact.
Many forms of tile roofing can also be recycled 100%. Clay roofing tiles, such as those popular in the Mission style of architecture, have virtually no environmental impact on their own. Always be sure to ask your roofing professional about the different possibilities and how they stack up together.
3. An Eco-Friendly Roof Lasts Longer, Leading to Much Less Waste
The most common kind of roof you’ll see these days in the Florida shingle roof. Although it’s inexpensive and easy to take care of, its lifespan of about 30 years is not the most impressive available. By contrast, many kinds of roof can now last for up to 60 years and some may endure for over 100 years.
The longer your roof lasts, the less waste it will generate.
For the longest-lasting roof around, tile is the place to start. Tile roofs are extremely durable. Because they are so much heavier than other styles of roof, you do not need to worry about wind uplift. That helps improve the security of your home during tough windstorms and other weather woes.
It is not uncommon for tile roofs to last for 80 years or even a century. However, they are on the heavy side. With that in mind, a roofing expert should always take a close look to ensure that your home will be able to bear the extra weight. For the right home, tile offers excellent performance.
For pure longevity, residential metal roofing comes in at #2. It’s not out of the ordinary to see a metal roof last for 60 years with all the original panels. Even when panels take a direct hit from hail or debris, the damage is usually superficial. It has no bearing on roof performance at all.
4. An Eco-Friendly New Roof Keeps You Cooler in Summer and Warmer in Winter
All this talk about solar radiation might seem theoretical until you see how it actually affects the house!
When it comes to cooling costs, Florida ranks among the highest in the nation. Every year, Central Florida locals wait for fall to roll in so they’ll no longer have to run the air conditioning throughout the day. Sometimes, sadly, it never arrives – costing thousands of extra dollars each year.
In a recent survey, Florida was #3 overall in cooling costs, just behind Texas and Arizona.
What’s more, the difference in cost between the most and least energy efficient homes in the survey was an astounding 400%. Luckily, your roof is one of your staunchest allies when it comes to improving overall efficiency. That means your air conditioning system can finally take a break.
With an eco-friendly new roof:
- You’ll have less incoming heat and, due to better structural soundness, lower humidity
- Your air conditioning unit won’t run as long or cycle as much to hit desired temperatures
- You’ll get to extend the life of your AC because it will spend less time in operation
This effect is by no means limited to summer. Although it’s more common in coastal areas, Central Florida temperatures can be quite chilly some winters. We all know that running the heater can be even more expensive than the air conditioner. The best roofs in Florida will save you more.
Every watt of power you don’t need to use meeting your basic temperature needs helps ensure the rest of the neighborhood can be served without your local utility going into peak production mode – with all the industrial waste it can produce. It’s worth it, and you don’t have to sacrifice your comfort.
All in All, a New Roof is the Best Way to Make a Positive Difference for the Environment
You might recycle, carpool when you can, and avoid long flights, but all those things come up only once in a while. On the other hand, your house is making a difference in the environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The better your roof, the better your home and the better for the Earth.
Contact Sheegog Contracting and we’ll help you select a roof you can be really happy with.
With all things considered, here are the top environmentally friendly roofs in Central Florida:
1. Residential Metal Roofing
Metal roofing sure has come a long way since the old days!
If you grew up in Central Florida, you probably saw plenty of metal roofs, but not many on homes. It was very ordinary to have metal roofing on barns, grain silos, and other agricultural buildings. That’s what many people expect when they think of a metal roof – but they are in for a big surprise.
Today’s metal roofing is stylish, sophisticated, and delivers incredible performance. It’s not loud in the rain, it doesn’t attract lightning strikes, and it will give you an extra boost of protection against fire, mold, and mildew. Pound for pound, it’s one of the most efficient roofs in the world.
Residential metal roofing is easy to maintain, but it needs to be installed by an expert. You should never attempt to install your own metal roof from a kit you purchased at a hardware center. These kits come with pre-sized metal panels that are prone to leaks even when they are placed correctly.
Because metal roofing is so sturdy, you can often save money and get it inspected every other year rather than every year. Even so, it remains a wise idea to have your roof evaluated by the pros any time you’ve been in the path of a major storm, or just as a precaution before a busy hurricane season.
At Sheegog Contracting, our team was at the forefront of introducing residential metal roofing here in Central Florida. We have installed Florida metal roofs for homes and businesses throughout the area. When you need a new roof and want the power of metal, we are the team for you.
2. Clay Tile Roofing
Clay tile roofing is most popular in South Florida and is part of the iconic Mission style inspired by the Spanish settlers of yore. If your home adheres to this style, it makes sense to top it off with a roof that can’t be mistaken for any other. The natural color of clay tile roofing is the ideal accent here.
Clay tile roofs may be the greatest of all when it comes to longevity, performing for as long as 100 years. If you choose this approach for your new roof in Florida, you’ll truly be making a generational difference in how your home impacts the world. Plus, it stands the test of time with relatively little maintenance.
One of the reasons clay tile roofing is so popular in Florida is that it’s highly resistant to everything you can expect in the Sunshine State: That includes both blazing heat and salty sea air. Plus, the different sizes and styles provide many options for ensuring rainwater runs off the roof efficiently.
Clay tiles will not rot, and there are virtually no pests or insects that can get the jump on tile. That even includes the vicious “Florida roof rats” you may have heard about or encountered. Even if a leak does develop, clay tile roofs don’t run the same risk of water damage as shingle roofs.
Remember, clay isn’t the only tile option – you can also choose concrete tile.
A new concrete tile roof offers many of the same advantages of a clay tile roof, but it can be somewhat lighter. That makes it easier to install, decreases the associated costs per square foot, and means it can be suitable for older buildings without the need for additional reinforcement.
3. Environmentally Friendly Shingle Roofing
Virtually all manufacturers of shingle roofing have worked hard over the last ten years or so to reduce the manufacturing footprint of their products. The principal difference between different types of shingle roof is now how much recycled material is used per shingle.
When asphalt shingles are cracked or bruised and no longer suitable for use, they can be taken to a special recycling center for reprocessing. Roofing manufacturer GAF recently introduced a recycled roof shingle made entirely from waste material that was headed for the landfill.
All told, there’s never been a better time to look forward to a new roof that will protect your home and the environment at the same time. The only missing piece of the puzzle is to make sure you get your new roof installation managed by a reputable Central Florida team you can trust.
In the course of examining your old roof and planning your project, we will make sure all roof materials and debris are handled appropriately. That includes recycling any and all waste that can be recycled, including most roof shingles, “retired” metal roofing panels, and more.
Contact us to learn more or get started. We look forward to helping you soon.