Top Environmental Benefits Of Metal Roofing
The Rise of Metal Roofing
Made of various metal materials — such as tin, aluminum, copper, and galvanized steel — metal roofs are known to withstand some of Mother Nature’s most wicked rages. Be it heavy rainstorms, hailstorms, and snow, metal roofs will keep homeowners safe and away from all kinds of windblown debris and natural elements. In addition to being fire-resistant and impervious to the most unforgiving weather and troublesome pests, metal roofs are also an environmentally-friendly roofing solution for their unmatched longevity, superior energy saving features, and high recyclability.
According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, the typical service life of a metal roof is two to three times longer than that of asphalt shingles. Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) research finds, metal roofs have a significantly longer expected service life than all other roofing materials. Metal roofs are malleable and can be pressed and shaped without suffering any break or crack. Lasting considerably longer than the average 15- to 23-year service life of asphalt shingles, a metal roof can last up to 60 years and beyond. Combined with its minimal upkeep, it is no wonder that homeowners love metal roofs for their generous financial savings in roofing repair and replacement. Though initial upfront costs are higher than asphalt options.
Using a solar spectrum reflectometer and an emission meter to conduct their three-year-study on the energy efficiency and service life of metal roofing systems, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Buildings Technology Center found the high solar reflectivity and emissivity levels of cool metal roofing can greatly mitigate urban heat island effects. Moreover, while white coatings on other roofing materials displayed a 25%-40% drop in their initial reflectance, metal roofing retained most of its initial solar reflectance during the three-year study. In fact, the researchers found that pre-painted metal was able to keep almost 95% of its reflexivity.
Another study showed that an unpainted metal roof demonstrates a very high solar reflectance level that usually exceeds the minimum federal EnergyStar requirement of 60%. Depending on the color of a painted metal roof, the reflectance range can go anywhere from 10% to 75%, which is definitely better than the 5% to 25% range of an asphalt roof. As a recent case study on the trend of cool metal roofing in North America points out, dark colors can absorb significantly more solar radiation than light ones. Therefore, switching to a white- or light-colored metal roof will not only reduce energy spending by 20%, but also make your home 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a conventional dark-colored roof.
Finally, the unmatched recyclability of metal roofs makes them a favorite of many “green” enthusiasts. According to research conducted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), metal roofing is the most eco-friendly roofing solution. Many metal roofs contain up to 40% recycled steels, while the content of metal roofs in itself is 100% recyclable. As a result of its high recyclability and reusability, most metal roof materials rarely become waste in a landfill. When compared to Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) estimation of 11 million tons of asphalt shingles ending up in landfill, it is clear why those in the government agency and home improvement industry are calling metal roofing an eco-friendly solution for every homeowner.
Public Interest in Green Homes
As Home Guides.com reports, metal roofs are commonly known for improving home value by 1 to 6 percent. The trend for going green is not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, research done by various groups has unanimously found a growing interest in eco-friendliness and sustainable living among both homeowners and buyers. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, an overwhelming number of homebuyers are making energy efficient appliances, lighting, and other home accessories top priorities in their home purchases. Of the surveyed homebuyers, 94% are looking for Energy Star-rated appliances, while more than 90% explicitly declared their desire to have an Energy Star rating for the whole home. In another survey, the National Association of Home Builders found that 94% of existing green homeowners would recommend a green home to a friend. As the public moves toward a more sustainable lifestyle, an increase in metal roofing for both commercial and residential buildings is anticipated.
This article was originally published on triplepundit.com.