On this Earth Day, Magnificent Metal Monday (MMM) turns to our friends at Metal Roofing Alliance to see how metal stacks up against other roofing materials in being environmentally friendly. According to MRA, metal is considered the most environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing material available based on its sustainability, energy savings and value. Metal roofs are 100% recyclable and are made with a minimum of 25% recycled material, depending on the type of metal. Metal roofs can also often be installed over an existing roof, eliminating the environmental impact of disposal.

Metal roofing also weigh half as much as asphalt, so newly constructed houses can be designed with lighter structural material overall, saving cost as well as reducing the environmental footprint. In contrast, asphalt roofing is made from a combination of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, and gravel. A typical asphalt roof contains hundreds of gallons of crude oil and needs to be replaced every 12-20 years depending on the pitch of the roof. Approximately 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year. While asphalt shingles can be recycled, the material contains carcinogenic compounds which are considered environmentally toxic and perpetuates our dependence on fossil fuels.

MRA also cites that metal is one of the most energy efficient roofing materials available and can save your home up to 40% in energy costs as well as provide excellent insulation during the winter. With a metal roofing system optimized for energy efficiency, you’ll enjoy long-term cost savings on your energy bills while reducing your environmental impact. 

According to MRA, the secret to metal roofing’s energy savings is in its variety of finishes. The basic, unpainted metal roof will reflect more solar radiation than an asphalt roof, which typically absorbs and holds heat. But, for homes in warmer climates, pre-painted or granular coated metal roofing systems not only reflect solar energy but also cool your home by re-emitting most of what solar radiation is absorbed. Where annual cooling loads dominate, a highly reflective and highly emissive painted or granular-coated metal roof is optimal for reducing energy consumption and can actually re-emit up to 90% of absorbed solar radiation.

This is not new news of course; homeowners, business owners, and building professionals have been turning to metal roofing solutions for years now. Take for example, in an article published over five years ago in Breaking Energy, “In addition to being fire-resistant and impervious to the most unforgiving weather and troublesome pests, metal roofs are also an environmentally-friendly roofing solution for their unmatched longevity, superior energy saving features, and high recyclability.”

The article also referenced a Home Guides.com report that showed metal roofs are commonly known for improving home value by 1 to 6 percent. The trend for going green is not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, research done by various groups has unanimously found a growing interest in eco-friendliness and sustainable living among both homeowners and buyers. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, an overwhelming number of homebuyers are making energy efficient appliances, lighting, and other home accessories top priorities in their home purchases. 

There will be several manufacturers exhibiting their energy efficient products at METALCON 2019, October 16 – 18, in Pittsburgh, PA. Help your clients “go green,” by seeing the latest products and technology in the metal industry first hand at the show.