In its 2019 Retail and Sustainability Survey, CGS found that over two-thirds of respondents consider sustainability when making a purchase.
In fact, 68 percent had made an eco-friendly purchase in the past year. The survey also found that they are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
This suggests that the trend for homeowners to move towards more eco-friendly choices is on the rise.
Every eco-friendly Euroshield® rubber roof is considered a permanent roof, which means you can make the choice once knowing you won’t have to make it again for the rest of your life.
Besides being eco-friendly, there are many other benefits of rubber roofs and here we compare their qualities to other types of roofing material.Find An Installer
What is a rubber roof?
A rubber roof uses tiles or “panels” made from rubber.
In the case of Euroshield®, we use 95 percent recycled content in our panels and the main ingredient is recycled tire rubber. This is material that would otherwise end up on waste tips and eventually clog landfills and release chemicals into the soil.
These roof panels are designed to accurately replicate the authentic look and texture of real cedar shakes and slates. They are installed in much the same way as other shingle panel products.
The recycled content that makes up the panels and the finished products are contaminant-free. Any trim or scrap rubber material from the manufacturing and installation process can be used again in making other roofing products.
By installing a roofing system that is completely recyclable at the end of its life, a homeowner demonstrates a commitment to full-life-cycle sustainability, lowering the household’s carbon footprint, and making positive environmental change.
What are the key considerations when choosing a roofing material?
Upon investigation, you’ll find that every roofing system has its share of pros and cons.
Some are cheaper but don’t last long. Some last long but are very expensive. Quite a few are not considered eco-friendly.
For the sake of this post, we are catering to the majority of people like you who consider eco-friendliness as an important factor.
These are the main factors you’ll need to consider apart from environmental friendliness:
- Expected lifespan
- Cost of materials
- Difficulty of install (which affects cost)
- Aesthetic appeal
- Energy efficiency
You’ll see that rubber roofing stacks up well against the other options due to the numerous benefits it offers alongside environmental friendliness.
How does rubber compare with other materials?
When selecting a roofing material, you have a range of choices, many of which are classed as “eco-friendly” by the manufacturers. Some of the most common examples include:
Let’s have a quick look at how rubber compares in some of the key categories when you choose a roof.
Durability: Excellent (Expected lifespan 50+ years. Extremely resistant to the elements including hail, wind, rain, and heat without worrying about damage from rotting, curling, peeling, cracking etc.)
Aesthetic appeal: Excellent (Panels mimic traditional slate and shake roofing tiles, providing a traditional/classic look to fit with a wide range of home styles).
Initial cost: Medium (Rubber material has a higher upfront cost but its ease of install and longevity balances the cost out over its lifespan).
Maintenance: Low (Virtually maintenance-free).
Energy efficiency: Good (EuroShield rubber panels help insulate your home more effectively, keeping your attic cool and ultimately reducing energy use in warm and cold climates).
Eco-friendliness: Excellent if made from recycled material and 100 percent recyclable at the end of its life.
Durability: Very good (Expected lifespan 30-50+ years. Good resistance to wind, rain, and heat but susceptible to hail damage. No rotting, peeling, or cracking but expansion and contraction may cause some problems).
Aesthetic appeal: Fair (A good range of colours and designs available but they can be very noisy when raining and windy).
Initial cost: Medium to high (Metal has a high upfront cost but its longevity makes it more justifiable).
Maintenance: Medium (Re-painting may be necessary, denting may need repairs, rust may affect lower-quality roofs, and loose panels may need fixing after expansion/contraction).
Energy efficiency: Good (Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25 percent).
Eco-friendliness: Good if made from recycled material and 100 percent recyclable at the end of its life.
Durability: Average (Replacement of roof generally required every 10-20 years, with warranty only up to 30 years).
Aesthetic appeal: Good (Provides a traditional asphalt shingle look but there may be variations in color shading and there are limited colours available).
Initial cost: Low (This is one of the cheapest roofing materials in terms of upfront costs but the roof replacement requirement after 10-20 years greatly increases the lifetime cost).
Maintenance: High (Requires at least an annual inspection, with shingle replacements common and recaulking and sealing necessary as the roof ages).
Energy efficiency: Average (They are generally excellent at absorbing heat but poor at reflecting it so they may make homes hot in summer).
Eco-friendliness: Poor – made from oil and other chemicals and decomposes slowly over hundreds of years in landfills.
Durability: Excellent (Expected lifespan 75+ years and usually comes with a 50+ year warranty).
Aesthetic appeal: Excellent (For a traditional look – but limited colours and styles of roofs are available. Because of the excessive weight of slate, it may not be appropriate for all houses).
Initial cost: High (slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market).
Maintenance: Medium (The possibility of cracked, chipped or sliding tiles makes an annual inspection necessary and, if repairs are made, colour variations may result).
Energy efficiency: Good (Slate absorbs moisture and reflects sunlight).
Eco-friendliness: Excellent (100% natural material – the only downside is the expense of shipping due to its weight).
Durability: Average (Good resistance to wind and storms, with an average lifespan of 30 years but the standard warranty may only be five years).
Aesthetic appeal: Excellent (Provides an enduring rustic appeal if you are looking for a natural wooden look to your roof).
Initial cost: High (Shake is one of the highest-cost roofing materials).
Maintenance: Medium to high (Susceptible to mould growth/leaking and usually requires an inspection every year and maintenance every 2-4 years).
Energy efficiency: Good (Provide good air circulation in the home).
Eco-friendliness: Good (100 percent natural material and eco-friendly if sourced from a sustainable supplier).
As you can see, if durability, aesthetic appeal, cost, maintenance, energy efficiency and (most importantly) eco-friendliness are your primary concerns as you select a new roofing material, recycled rubber roofing ticks the boxes.
Can rubber be used on commercial buildings?
Rubber panels from Euroshield® have been installed on commercial properties all over the world, including the famous Old Course Hotel at St. Andrews golf course in Scotland.
Due to its numerous benefits and industry-leading longevity, it makes sense to want to use rubber panels on every type of roof.
However, rubber panels cannot be installed on the type of flat style roofs (below a 4/12 pitch) that you often see in industrial and commercial areas.
Eco-friendly: More than just a marketing ploy
Eco-friendly is a much-used term these days and it doesn’t always stand up to scrutiny.
A truly eco-friendly roof should be designed from its first day until its last with the environment in mind and use natural, recycled, and recyclable materials wherever possible. It should be keeping material out of landfills and dumpsites, not adding to it.
An eco-friendly roof should also keep ongoing energy costs down and be relatively maintenance-free.
There is little point in choosing an “eco-friendly” roofing material that requires frequent use of chemicals to preserve its condition and adds to the electricity costs of your home.
Euroshield® rubber panels, made from recycled rubber tires, are the go-to eco-friendly choice for home and business owners in North America.
We are a phone call away and are happy to assist in any way we can!