Homeowners can take many steps to make their homes more environmentally friendly, from installing solar panels to recycling their waste water. However, a home to be truly eco-friendly, the building itself should be made from green, energy efficient materials. This includes the roof over your head, and a damaged roof made from unsuitable materials can undermine your attempts to protect the environment.
If you need to have your home’s roof replaced or if you are constructing a new home and need to choose a suitable roofing material, conventional roof tiles can be a surprisingly eco-friendly choice. By choosing roof tiles made from the right materials, you can reduce your home’s energy consumption and carbon footprint in a number of ways.
Which Types Of Best Roof Tiles Are Eco-Friendly?
Roof tiles can be made from a variety of different materials, and some are definitely more eco-friendly than others. The following, commonly used roof tiles are environmentally conscious choices that also come with a range of practical benefits.
Traditional clay tiles have been used to protect homes from the elements for hundreds of years and have always been prized for their ability to keep homes cool during hot weather. Clay roof tiles have excellent heat insulation properties and will help prevent unwanted heat transfer through your roof and attic space. Fitting them to your roof can lower your reliance on air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps.
This effect is enhanced if you choose clay tiles made from white or pale-colored clay. Light-colored roof tiles will reflect a substantial portion of light and heat energy from the sun, instead of absorbing it. This can be particularly useful for keeping the upper stories and attic spaces of your home cool during the summer months.
Unlike other types of roof tiles, clay tiles are made from organic materials and contain very little synthetic, non-biodegradable material. They are also durable and long-lasting, and a well maintained clay tile roof will last for decades before it needs to be replaced. This makes clay tiles highly sustainable, and adding them to your home will not have a significant effect on its overall embodied energy and carbon.
These advantages don’t come without cost, and clay tiles can be expensive when compared to concrete roof tiles or asphalt shingles. However, their attractive looks and overall desirability can add substantial value to your home, and you may find that fitting a clay tile roof increases your home’s selling price by more than you paid for the tiles themselves.
Clay tiles may be tough, but they can be vulnerable to heavy impacts caused by falling tree branches, large hailstones, or toppling chimney pots. If you are looking for eco-friendly roof tiles that can stand up to any kind of punishment, concrete tiles could be right up your alley.
Like clay tiles, concrete tiles are also made from predominately organic materials, such as sand, cement, and aggregate. If you choose colored concrete tiles, they can be pigmented using natural, iron oxide-based dyes, minimizing the synthetic content of the tiles as much as possible.
Concrete tiles rival clay tiles when it comes to their heat insulation properties and can trap warm air in your home during colder weather, as well as keep the sun’s heat out during summer. They are also recyclable, and when your concrete tiles reach the end of their long lives, they can be crushed and reused as road filler, or made into cement to form the basis of new concrete tiles.
If you are interested in fitting concrete tiles to your roof, bear in mind that they are rather heavy. Your existing roof trusses may require reinforcement or replacement to bear the additional load, which can add to installation costs. However, concrete tiles are often considerably cheaper than other types of roof tile, so they can still be a cost-effective option if your roof does require reinforcement.