Sustainability in Roofing Choices

Roofing Choices

If you are upgrading your home with a new roof you may want to consider choosing a roofing material that is environmentally friendly. There are several options for roofs, but some don’t fall into the sustainability sector for one reason or another. What is needed is to choose a roof that has eco-friendly properties while still being affordable.  Here are some options to consider.

  • Tiles – tiles are made from clay, cement or slate. These materials are plentiful, so using them will not degrade the earth’s resources too much. They also have long lasting properties, many lasting for 50 years or more. The only trouble is that they are quite heavy and require much more framing to support them than steel roofing and this uses more timber.  Since each tile must be fixed individually and only covers a small area, putting them on takes quite some time and this will cost more in labour.

If you are thinking of rainwater harvesting, tiles absorb a certain amount of rain before providing run-off. Because they absorb moisture, mould is likely to develop and once it does, it is very difficult to get rid of, since the roots penetrate deep into the tile and sprout again even after the surface has been cleaned.

  • Steel – steel sheeting such as Colorbond or Zincalume is light and each sheet covers a large area, so the roof is easy and quick to erect while requiring minimal framing, thus saving on timber usage. Steel has an advantage in bushfire prone areas that it provides fewer niches than tiles for dangerous embers to become trapped in. It does not absorb any moisture, so you get rainwater run-off even with the lightest showers and there is no likelihood of mould growing on it.

Steel or metal roofing can be made from recycled materials as steel is one thing that can be recycled completely, without any loss of strength. The main disadvantage is that it can rust, but with some of the newer Colorbond this is less likely to be a problem due to the colours being baked on and offering a very strong surface. It also ensures the sun’s rays are deflected to give an unexpectedly cool surface even in summer.

With both types of material you will get a roof that is strong and durable, so what you choose mainly depends on your budget and to some extent, the location of your property. A strong and durable roof is one of the most important things in a home, because once the roof develops a leak the whole home is at risk of expensive and extensive damage. What you get for your roof may also depend on council regulations in your area. Your builder will be able to advise you on this.