Your roof has a larger impact on the world around you than you may have thought. Not only does your roof have a direct and dominant role in the amount of energy you consume in your home, but it also has a lasting impact on the environment in numerous other ways. The materials used, the energy to produce these materials, and the disposal of used roofing materials all have an environmental impact. Additionally, when your roof is in place, it has a direct impact on the quality and purity of the water that comes into contact with it. Learn about the impact of your roof and roofing materials on the environment and water so that you can make the best choices for you and your home.
Standard Roofing Materials And Rainwater
Because droughts and water shortages have been so common in recent years, many people have taken to installing rainwater collection barrels and the like to gather rainwater runoff from their roof. However, if you have a roof that is made from standard roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, metal, or concrete tiles, you may be collecting more than just water.
Standard roofing materials often contain or collect contaminants. When the rainwater runs off of the roof, those contaminants get swept up in the water and end up either in the sewage system or your rainwater collection barrels. Such contaminants can include fecal bacteria, nitrates and nitrites, and any other chemical contaminants in the air that come into contact with your roof.
When you collect rainwater runoff from such roofing materials, you should be careful when you handle and come into contact with the water. It can safely be used for lawn irrigation, but when it comes to your garden (for edible fruits and vegetables), you should proceed with caution. Toxicity can be a major concern in such cases.
If you do not collect such rainwater runoff, these contaminants get into the sewer system and groundwater supply and can also cause environmental problems on a wider scale.
Rainwater Friendly Roofing Materials
Alternatively, there are green or eco-friendly roofing options that can help with these issues. Perhaps the most environmentally-friendly option available to you is a living roof. Living roofs (vegetated roofing) are made up of a thin layer of topsoil into which indigenous and native vegetation is planted. The soil and the plant life absorb the rainwater that falls. The rainwater nourishes the plants on your roof and they prevent rainwater runoff that picks up and carries contaminants with it.
If you are looking to repair or replace your home's roof, consider the environmental and ecological impact of your roofing structure. Your water supply can be greatly affected by your choice of roofing materials. Contact a roofing contractor like Front Range Roofing & Siding for more information.