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Sustainable Roofing Options

Most people look for long-lasting, affordable, and, most importantly, environmentally friendly roofing materials. Depending on your home’s cost, material, preference, and design, you have several sustainable options to choose from. Roofing is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are some of the best sustainable home roofing options that we as Greensboro roofing contractors recommend.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Because wood is a renewable resource, wood shakes and shingles are unquestionably the most environmentally friendly roofing materials, if not the only ones. That is, assuming the roofing is made from environmentally friendly materials. Shingles and shakes consume a lot of energy and are only marginally more durable than slate and clay tile. Wood roofing is easily disposable when not treated with synthetic additives or preservatives because it is biodegradable. 

Wood can be an extremely environmentally friendly roofing option if you live in an area where shakes are locally produced or have access to shingles (learn how to nail roofing shingles correctly).

Clay Roofing

Surprisingly, clay tile is one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials. It is made of a natural material derived from clay pits, making it extremely durable, and it is recyclable. Natural clay comes in a variety of colors, and manufacturers can add tints and glazing to expand the color palette. Clay is an excellent “green” choice because it can be easily formed and then fired to dry and harden the end product. 

Two-piece clay tile has been produced for over two thousand years, gradually evolving over the centuries to the profiles and thicknesses seen today. A typical clay tile roof weighs about 10 pounds per square foot, but it can weigh much more if installed with mortar. Manufacturers have been creating various clay tile configurations. This improves air movement beneath the tile. Air movement serves at least two purposes. 

For starters, it removes moisture from beneath the tile, extending the life of the underlayment. Second, it aids in cooling the surface temperature beneath the tile, resulting in lower cooling costs.

Slate Roofing

Slate is a natural product as well. Slate is a rock that can be “cut” by fracturing along the grain to create thin slabs of stone of roughly uniform thickness. It is mined in slate pits. These “slates” are then installed on a flat surface to form a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing roof system. 

Slate is waterproof, fire-resistant, and extremely long-lasting. It can last hundreds of years if properly installed. Slate has been mined for over a thousand years. Slate has a natural variation in color and striation that varies from pit to pit, and it can be produced in a variety of thicknesses and widths.


As the world adapts to the environmental challenges we now face, the search for more sustainable roofing materials continues as we slowly run out of common roofing options. The path to overcoming current challenges will be difficult, but it is one that all must take for the sake of preservation and posterity. Installing a sustainable roofing material is a great start. If you require additional information about sustainable roofing, please do not hesitate to contact a professional from Davis Roofing.

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