Top 6 Green Roofs of 2013

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Top 6 Green Roofs of 2013

One way homeowners can save energy and help the environment is to install a green roof on their home. Adding a green roof can be mean taking such simple steps as adding solar panels to the roof to help cut energy costs. Or it might mean installing a variety of different efficient and more durable materials instead of the typical asphalt roofing tiles. It might even mean going to the extreme of planting a rooftop garden.

Regardless of what shoppers decide to do, they should compare the various green roof styles and materials fully before coming to a final decision. Homeowners should also keep in mind the style, size, and angle of their roof, as this has a big effect on the type of roof they can install. Shoppers can find all the roofing materials they need at local home improvement shops and online at eBay.

Green Roof #1: Plant Roofs

Plant roofs provide a truly green option for homeowners, using such plants as sedum, moss, grass, and more. The plants help retain rainfall, releasing it over the course of the day. In addition, thicker plant roofs can help insulate a home against the weather. The table below lists the different levels of plant roofs, their thickness, and their rainfall retention benefits.

Roof Type

Soil Thickness

Rainfall Retention

Typical Vegetation

Extensive

50 mm

50 per cent+

Moss, sedums, and herbs

Semi-Intensive

200 mm

70 per cent

Sedums, moss, herbs, and grass

Intensive

600 mm

n/a

Lawn, shrubs, coppices, and trees

When building a plant roof, homeowners need to make sure that the roof of their home can support the extra weight of the soil and plants. This may require reinforcing the roof beams. If homeowners find themselves unsure about the process, or if they have any questions, they should talk to a roofing expert for more information.

Green Roof #2: Terracotta and Concrete Roof Tiles

Roof tiles offer another green option for a home's roof. Not only do they last a long time, when they are no longer needed the homeowner can recycle them. The following table details the two main types of tiles buyers can find for sale.

Tile Type

Description

Terracotta Roof Tile

Suited to dry climates

Does not burn

Can suffer from hail damage

Roof may need reinforcement to support added weight

Concrete Roof Tile

Same as terracotta tiles

Moss magnets in wet climates, use glazed tiles

Cost for concrete and terracotta tiles on par with other roof material types

Clay and concrete tiles last a long time. However, unless the homeowners know how to install terra cotta or concrete tiles, they should let professionals do the job.

Green Roof #3: Wood Shingles and Shakes

Economical and environmentally friendly, the popularity of wood shingles and wood shakes has taken a hit lately because of their flammability and the decline of their quality. Nonetheless, they perform well in dryer climates, with thicker shakes holding up well against hail. Shingles and shakes do not resist fire unless treated, which means that some building codes prohibit their use.

In wet climates, homeowners must clean them periodically to keep moss and lichen from building up. Their use does have an impact on saving trees, as the wood used for their manufacturer comes from old-growth trees.

Green Roof #4: Metal Panel Roofs

Metal roof panels provide another eco-friendly roofing option. When paired with a reflective coating, metal roof panels and tiles can reduce the demands placed on a cooling system by 10 to 15 per cent. They are relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of other types of green roofs, and their durability more than pays for their higher initial costs over composition tiles, the most common type of roofing material. The panels go up quickly, but they require occasional cleaning, especially in the fall when leaves can get trapped in the many panel grooves. They are fire resistant, and some can even withstand heavy winds and hail.

Green Roof #5: Slate

Slate is used more often in areas near slate deposits, as transportation costs can be high. However, slate roofs last for decades, and they shed snow and rain very well. Moreover, slate does not burn. On the downside, slate costs more than other eco-friendly roof materials. Roofs that utilise slate likewise must support the added weight of slate material. Slate, while easy to slice, becomes difficult to install and repair.

Green Roof #6: Solar Panels

While not a roof material per se, solar panels provide a way for homeowners to save on their energy bill and have a lasting impact on the environment. In other words, even with a normal roof material such as composition or asphalt tiles, adding solar panels can really make a difference in a homeowner's energy costs. The savings can help pay for the cost of the roof over time. The table below provides more information on the solar panels available.

Panel Type

Description

Crystalline Solar Panel

Traditional panels in either monocrystalline and polysilicon

Monocrystalline panels more efficient, but more expensive than polysilicon panels

Best choice for a home solar panel system

Thin Film Solar Panel

Printed on a flexible backing material

Less efficient than crystalline solar panels

Takes twice as much space to provide the same power as crystalline panels

BIPV Solar Panel

Also known as solar roof shingles

Their design allows them to integrate seamlessly into other roof tiles

Cost more than other solar panel types

Not as efficient as traditional solar panels

Buyers can purchase solar panels individually or in kits. Those who do not know how to properly install solar panels should hire or consult with a roofing professional before attempting to install.

Types of Roofs

The type of roof also plays an important role in determining which roofing material is the best choice. Steep roofs, such as mansard or gambrel style roofs, are unsuited to growing plants. Plant roofs are best on flatter roofs, such as saltbox, pyramid, or hip roofs.

On steeper roofs, shingles, shakes, and especially slate tiles can help shed water easier. Terracotta and concrete tiles on the other hand find themselves suited for drier climates, as well as roofs with less of a steep incline. This allows tiles to lie nicely on top of each other in rows, with no risk of them sliding off. A final consideration involves solar panels, which can install on just about any roof type, as long as they have exposure to the sun.

Find Green Roof Materials on eBay

Find green roofing materials on eBay by searching the site using keywords. To start, go to any eBay page and enter a search term such as "roof building materials" into the search box. After viewing the list of results, click on the filters displayed to narrow down the product options listed. Also, make sure to read over eBay's Search Tips for more help on how to search for roofing materials using keywords. eBay Shops also provide more product options for shoppers, or check out great eBay Deals, for fantastic prices.

Before making a purchase, also remember to contact the seller with any questions by clicking the Ask a Question link on the seller's listing page. Finally, check the seller's feedback rating to make sure their rating is high.

Conclusion

Homeowners can help save the planet and save themselves money by building new homes with eco-friendly designs in mind, as well as by upgrading existing homes to use new, environmentally sound roofing materials. These ideas include using plants as a sort of living roof, helping to shed water and insulate the home naturally.

Additionally, homeowners should have an eye toward replacing materials such as composition shingles with those that last longer and can be recycled once removed from the roof. These include wooden shingles, slate, terracotta, metal panels, and more. In this way, homeowners can cut energy costs, especially if they decide to use solar panels as part of their roof design. Homeowners can find a wide selection of roof building materials on eBay.

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