Are you a homeowner who wants to do more for the environment when getting a new roof than just switching to metal? If so, you're in luck because more and more roofing materials are becoming available that let you have a long-term affect on the world around you. Special coatings and layers for roof tiles let you take a more active role in reducing pollution and keeping the air around you cleaner.
These Materials Have a Constant Effect on Pollution Reduction
Using a roof to improve the environment might not seem very active – in fact, it's actually rather passive because after you install the roof, you yourself really don't have to do anything else. But using materials that constantly clean the air or constantly reduce the need for power plant use have a much larger and more active overall effect because they are always doing something.
While having your new roof made of a long-lasting material like metal can certainly cut down on the amount of waste generated -- you won't have to re-roof as frequently, so you won't send more roofing materials to a landfill -- that's about all it does. Instead, talk to roofing companies about options for reducing the need for power-plant-generated electricity and reducing the amount of smog -- yes, smog!
Smog-Eating Tile Reduces Air Pollution Directly
Roofers have been able to use what is called smog-eating tile for a few years now. It first became common in Europe around 2001 and was introduced to the U.S. market around 2011 or so. The tile has a coating of titanium dioxide that reacts with light to grab nitrogen oxide out of the air. Nitrogen oxide is a major component of smog produced by auto exhaust.
SaukValley.com, in Illinois, reported in 2011 that a 2,200-square-foot home that uses the tiles could remove enough nitrogen oxide to equal over 10,000 miles of driving. But even if your house is a lot smaller, you can still have an effect. The tile does not need to be installed in huge, McMansion-size blocks in order to remove nitrogen oxide.
The one caveat is that the nitrogen oxide will accumulate on the roof and wash off in the rain. If you collect roof runoff for use in your garden or to water your lawn, be aware that this will increase the amount of nitrogen in your soil. You'll have to test your soil and adjust the type of fertilizer you use in order to prevent fertilizer burn.
Solar "Stickers" Reduce the Load on Power Plants
Another option doesn't sound so innovative, but it is. Solar power is a popular choice for homeowners who want to reduce power plant use (and thus reduce coal or gas use), but installing the heavy panels takes special skill. In addition to that, the panels can sometimes be too heavy for some roofs, requiring the homeowner to do structural work as well.
Now though, you have the ability to get special "peel and stick" solar tiles. These aren't actually stickers that you can install yourself. But they are special tiles with a flat, sticker-like solar panel attached to each one. The result is that you can have a solar power system installed without having to have things bolted to the roof, increasing the risk of roof leaks and damage. (For more questions about roofing contractors, contact a company such as Albright Roofing)
These options are still relatively uncommon, but they really aren't that much more expensive. SaukValley.com says the titanium dioxide tiles run about $800 more than a non-smog-eating roof, for example. Angie's List notes that a regular roof can cost as much as $8,500 to replace, so the tile coating is less than 10 percent of that.Share