Have you ever looked at your old, worn-out, leaky roof and thought it could be so much more efficient – if only the house or building wasn’t so old?
Retrofitting a green, energy-efficient roof to an old structure may seem like a large project, but the truth is most materials can be fit to any roof – the work is in the research. Finding the right materials to fit your needs and improve the R-value (a measure for energy efficiency) of your roof can be a challenging task if you don’t know where to look. In this blog we will discuss a few places where these materials can be found, and how to know which material is right for you.
The easiest way to research these materials is to let someone else do the work for you. Any roofer “worth his salt” knows about energy efficient options and is happy to discuss the products he offers with you – for free. But if you don’t want to contact a roofer, there are plenty of places you can go to check out these “green” materials for yourself – again, at no cost to you.
One of the easiest ways to look into green roofing materials is to check out roofing manufacturers’ websites. Most have some form of energy-conscious roofing materials, ranging from metal to shingles to flat roofs to underlayment to decking and anything else you can think of, that they offer to their customers. You will want to check the R-value on several materials to find the best one for you (a higher R-value means a more efficient product). The minimum recommended R-value is 30 for the entire roof, but this number takes into account more than just the visible roof: it must be computed using the R-values of all the materials between the ceiling or attic and the very top layer outside the structure.
But the R-value is not the only thing you need to consider. Each roof has to perform in a way that protects the building – whether that means keeping heat out, cold out, moisture or dirt and dust away. It is important to remember that not all green roofing materials are appropriate for all roofs. Making sure you know the needs of your area can help you choose the best material so that it will last a lifetime on your roof. In areas like Houston and coastal areas, controlling the damp in the attic is much more important than in places farther inland where the air is less humid. Dealing with a competent roofer can help you make these decisions, since the entirety of the roof system must be considered in each decision. But there are decisions that you will have to make based solely on what you want from your roof.
Going into this type of project, it is good to know what R-value you are aiming for. Again, R-30 is the minimum recommended rating, but some homes can double that value! Be realistic in the goal you set for the roof of your structure. Remember that being green is about more than just saving money – you may have access to roofing made from recycled materials that you would like to use. Tell your roofer about these desires and keep your budget in mind when making final decisions. If the sky is the limit, pick only the best of the materials that fit your home. If not, remember to look for good/better/best options that behave similarly and choose the ones that fit your budget.
Once you have completed the research all that is left is to get the materials onto your roof! Generally, if you have a company in mind to do the work on your roof it is more cost-effective and easier to have the roofer order the material for you. Because they make large orders they are able to get better prices on most materials that the average person. You can tell them exactly what materials you want to use, and they can quote you a price based on their experience with those materials.
Here are some links to help you get started on your new dream roof!
Remember, contact Lone-Star Roof Systems for all your roofing needs!
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College Station, TX 77840
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