If you have to replace your gutters or asphalt roof, which options have the least impact?
The first step in deciding when to replace your home’s roof or gutters, is first determining why they need to be replaced. Is it simply age? Or is it climate, durability or the materials you originally chose? Taking into consideration the new materials you are going work with and spend your money on is an important step to make sure your home repairs are both cost effective and eco-friendly.
Choosing a material that is the most durable for your climate is always the most cost effective choice because ultimately the longer your gutters and roof last, the less environmental cost there will be. A cheaper product that degrades twice as fast is never the smart choice, even if it does have a greener production process.
Galvanized steel, copper and aluminum are the preferred gutter materials nationwide. Steel and aluminum each have big pluses, steel is tuff and sturdy, while aluminum will not rust. Both options are the economical choice and in addition these metals are fully recyclable materials as well.
When buying any metal gutters, always choose the thickest gauge metal you can afford. In harsh climates such as New York, with heavy snow and rain gutters should be a minimum of 26 gauge galvanized steel or 0.032 inch aluminum.
Another material we see is Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is also used for gutters. PVC often will get brittle with age or in extreme cold and cannot carry as much snow load as metal gutters. While PVC is a cheaper option for gutters it’s not an eco-friendly choice. The Center for Health & Environment calls PVC plastic “one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created…dangerous to human health and the environment throughout its entire life cycle.”
Replacing your gutters can be an unfortunate expense, but it can provide an environmental opportunity, because the materials you choose and the way you handle your roof’s water is important!
Asphalt Impact Vs. Metal Roofing
When considering whether to use asphalt shingles or a metal roof, here are some of the important facts you should know.
The use of asphalt shingles for housing structures is virtually unknown (or even outlawed) in other countries, for example in Europe. Reason being, the environmental impact. The most common disposal method for asphalt shingles in the US is to dump them into landfills, and approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated each year within the United States.
On the other hand metal roofing materials are 100% recyclable so when a homeowner chooses a metal roof, they become part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem with our world’s pollution.
Metal roofing is one of the most eco-friendly roofing solutions from a waste-reduction standpoint. Most metal roofs contain up to 40 percent recycled steels, while the metal roof in itself is 100% recyclable. In additional many homeowners find that their energy costs were cut by 20% or more after installing a metal roof on their home. The life- long sustainability of a metal roof makes this choice seem like a no brainer.
Exploring eco-friendly and money saving options for your home is easy enough and you may be surprised what an impact they can have not only on the environment but also your wallet! It is important to always make sure you speak with and have your home repairs done by professionals who can give you accurate information and well as properly installed gutters and roofing.