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Green Roofing Options

With every manufacturer on the market telling you that they have the best green roofing product, it’s no wonder why you might be having difficulty deciding which one to choose.  Generally speaking, the truth is that most popular roofing materials nowadays have elements that are great for the environment, and some that aren’t so good.  Many typical roofing options offer their materials in recycled form, or with long warranties that ensure the durability of their product.   Which is the most “pro-enviro?”  You be the judge.

Wood Shakes and Shingles


  • Can be produced using a small amount of energy.
  • Recycled wood shingles from bridges and mills are available.


  • It’s very flammable.
  • The harvest of the trees usually used is not sustainable in the long run.

Slate and Clay Tiles


  • Slate is extremely durable, and can last for hundreds of years.
  • Clay is particularly fire resistant, because it’s heated in order to be produced


  • Mining and transportation of slate is very energy-intensive
  • Clay breaks relatively easily

Recycled Shingles

Although many of the common roofing materials offer recycled options, there are other roofing materials made from clean, post-consumer and post-industrial waste, like plastics and other synthetic materials.


  • Reduces the need for raw materials
  • Helps lessen the waste in landfills
  • Lowers energy consumption
  • Some are even fire resistant


  • There are many “unknowns” about these products, because they are newer to the market
  • It’s not as readily available as more traditional roofing options

Although it’s easier to see that some roofing options are simply better for the planet than others, there really is no all-around best material.  Living “green” is a complex matter, and the roofing you choose will depend on the style of your home, your budget, and the climate in which you live.  The most important thing is that you have the best intentions in doing your part for the planet.

Whether you have questions about which green roofing might be best for your home, or your green roof just needs some routine maintenance, be sure to contact M Walter Roofing, your Chicago roofing company!