I am seeking an eco-friendly replacement for traditional asphalt shingles.


I am seeking an eco-friendly replacement for traditional asphalt shingles.

Asked by Deirdre

I am working on a job in which the customer would like to renovate their home as green as possible. One of the largest components of the renovation is replacing the asphalt shingle roof. I have looked into it and have only found asphalt shingles with high SRI values, which is great, but I am also looking for the composition to be made with high recycled content. The house is located in the Northeast and is a Victorian-style home with a pitched roof. I would like something similar in look and function to asphalt shingles. Any suggestions?

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Raymond Pruban's picture

Have you thought about checking out metal roofs?Metal roofs are getting much closer in price to asphalt.

  • They are green because the metal is post-consumer recycled material and it will be recycled again when it comes off the roof 50 to 100 years from now. I believe the amount of recycled content for metal is a minimum of 85%.
  • A metal roof will outlast asphalt at least 3:1. A metal roof installed properly will last 50 to 100 years as compared to about 15 to 25 for a good asphalt roof. So while you might not be thinking that long-term, the longevity of the roof makes it greener too.

I haven't researched the heat island effects of light-colored metal versus asphalt, so I cannot comment on that. I would assume that a light-colored metal would be better than asphalt, but you would need to research the issue.

Metal outperforms asphalt in so many ways. It won't easily blow off the roof in a windstorm, it holds up to hail much better, snow won't stick as easily, etc., etc.

Good luck with your roof!

For more information:

Read David Edwards's Q&A "I'm reroofing a typical sloped roof -- what materials should I be considering?"

Also, read Anthony Addesso'sQ&A "Are metal roofs more energy efficient for southern climates than shingles?"