How Can Roofs be Eco-Friendly?

September 11, 2019 | General
How Can Roofs be Eco-Friendly?

Being eco-friendly is more than just a lifestyle choice these days. The environmental impact of every decision that we make is increasingly important, with stress-inducing environmental statistics being thrown at us at every opportunity. In fact, here’s a few for you:

  • Billions of plastic bags are made every year, and of those plastic bags, more than 100 billion are thrown away. 
  • 130,000 square kilometres of forest are cut down every year. This is 3 times the size of Denmark, or a football field every 1.4 seconds.
  • The plastic waste that we produce has created “plastic soup” in the Pacific Ocean. It’s almost the size of Russia. (At approximately 15 million square kilometres.

You might be thinking, what does this have to do with roofing? Every action that we take has an impact on the environment. That extends to the roofing industry too. It takes a range of materials to make a roof, with some materials being more environmentally friendly than others. Then there’s the travel, maintenance and replacement cost too, which all impact the environment in some way. There are ways to make your roof eco-friendly, which we’re going to explore today.

Materials Matter

The right roofing material makes all the difference. Your choice should be based on an informed analysis of each available option, as they all have positives and negatives. However, as far as environmental impact is concerned, there is only one winner. EPDM roofing comes out on top in every instance, which is a testament to its quality. It’s also why we recommend Firestone EPDM to our clients. 

For a start, the application process for Firestone EPDM is flame-free, reducing the amount of emissions created during installation. This has the added benefit of making it comparatively easy to install when compared to other materials. Once the material has been installed, it requires little-to-no maintenance as well, which removes the possible environmental impact that comes with regular maintenance. 

To round it all off, Firestone EPDM has a life expectancy of up to 50 years. This reduces the need for a regular replacement, meaning no travel emissions and fewer raw materials used. This cements EPDM as one of the best choices in terms of environmental impact, and it’s why we recommend it to our clients.

Create a Living, Breathing Roof

You might have heard the term “green roof” before, but what does it mean exactly? A green roof is a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation. Essentially, it’s a living, breathing roof that’s right at home on your home. It’s also one of the best ways to transform your roof into a visually appealing eco-friendly landscape. There are several famous examples here to give you an idea of what is possible. 

There are other benefits to green roofs that you may not know about. As plants absorb rainwater and water from the atmosphere, they reduce water runoff. There are certain instances where 75% of the water from a storm is absorbed by the foliage on a green roof in urban areas, significantly reducing the impact of the storm. Green roofs also provide a habitat for local wildlife, which boosts the ecology of your local area.

If you’re thinking about creating a green roof on your property, we’d recommend sourcing plants that grow in your climate, rather than importing new plants in. You’ll also need a waterproof membrane too, which Firestone RubberCover is perfect for.

Use the Sun to Your Advantage

Solar energy is arguably the most environmentally friendly method of energy generation. It has the least amount of impact on the environment, and uses a small amount of water for operational use. For that reason, we’d recommend installing solar panels onto your roof if applicable. Firestone EPDM is also an ideal material for this purpose too, as it’s incredibly durable and flexible.

The solar panels will reduce your energy bills once they are installed, as the solar energy is stored and used to heat the home. It does depend on the amount of sunlight that you receive in your area, but ultimately, you will save money in the long run and create an eco-friendly roof in the process. (You’ll also have the added benefit of creating jobs in your local area, as someone needs to install those panels!)

Here to Help

Whether you’re a contractor looking for eco-friendly materials, or a homeowner that wants to save money and improve their home long term, we can help. We provide Firestone EPDM and RubberCover EPDM membranes for a range of clients across the UK, and we’re happy to provide advice if you have any questions. If an eco-friendly home is on your to-do list, your roof should be your first stop.

More articles from our blog…