By Vicwest Building Products
Metal is known to be sustainable, but many may not realize the extent to which this is true. To uncover all its environmentally friendly attributes, here is a list of five reasons why metal is the right choice to combat climate change:
The most referenced advantage of a metal roof is its lifespan. While an asphalt roof only lasts 10-15 years, a metal roof looks and performs as well at age 50 as it does on day one. Metal roofs do not corrode, crack, cannot be eaten through by wildlife, and will not ignite if there is a fire or lightning strike. In contrast, an asphalt roof will fail under heavy rains and winds, whilst a metal roof can withstand wind gusts up to 215 miles per hour.
Steel has long been lauded by builders for its strength, but its high recycled content is a huge environmental plus. The amount can vary, but most steel products contain upwards of 80% recycled content.
On the flip side, a metal roof is 100 percent recyclable at the end of its lifecycle. When compared to asphalt, nearly 11-million tons of asphalt end up in North American landfills each year, making them a significant component of building-related waste.
If you’re renovating or replacing an existing roof, switching to metal can prevent that old asphalt roof from ending up in overflowing landfills. Due to its lightweight nature, a metal roof can often be installed directly over the old asphalt as long as your roof deck is in good condition.
Asphalt is a petroleum-based product that is incredibly toxic and carcinogenic. During its stages of manufacturing and installation, harmful gases are released into the atmosphere and waterways.
It also takes 300 years for these materials to decompose. By the time one year’s batch of asphalt has disintegrated, there will be six trillion more pounds of shingle waste added to it.
Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs in the summer by as much as 40 percent, depending on your location. This energy-efficient component can also help cut air conditioning costs in the summer months, which is a beneficial roofing option for those that live in warmer climates. With ratings from Energy Star and the Cool Roof Rating Council, you can select the roof option and color which will help achieve the highest energy efficiency for your home.
Continued reliance on asphalt sets ourselves up for a vicious cycle of purchase, installation, and disposal that’s straight into our landfills every decade. With advancements in paint finishes and profile designs, it’s never been easier to install a metal roof that looks natural – and protects our natural environment.
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