When you are thinking about replacing the roof of your home, you may find yourself wanting to choose options that are considered green and eco-friendly. However, it may also be quite difficult for you to choose between some of the many environmentally friendly roofing options. If you are looking at both solar roofing and living (vegetated) roofing as two of your top choices, you may be wondering which option would best meet your needs and roofing desires. Learn more about some of the key facts regarding these two roofing options so that you can make the best possible decision for you and your home.
Understanding the Thermal Energy Absorption Differences
Both living roofs and solar roofs are designed to absorb thermal energy from the sun. However, they do so in significantly different ways. A solar roof is designed to generate power for your home and does so by taking the thermal energy from direct UV ray exposure and converting it to usable energy which is stored in a battery for use throughout the home. This reduces the amount of electricity required to power devices and lights in a home and can have a major impact on energy usage in the home. However, when it comes to other thermal energy and heat surrounding the solar panel, it does very little.
On the other hand, a living roof is a more natural means of roofing. This involves placing a layer of soil on top of a roof underlayment and then planting various native vegetation in the soil to grow on top of the house or other structure. Plants and soil tend to absorb a great deal of thermal energy.
In fact, one of the primary reasons that vegetated roofs have become so popular is that they have been proposed as a means of dealing with what is known as the urban heat island effect. This is the effect on the temperature of an area due to all of the concrete and artificial structures that absorb and radiate heat. Plants help to absorb that heat that buildings and structures produce and help to cool the area around them. Because of this, green roofs can have a wider direct environmental impact.
How Each Roofing Material Affects Other Environmental Factors
When you are looking into environmentally friendly roofing options, it is not just about the impact that the roofing material has on thermal energy absorption. There are other environmental factors to consider. For example, living roofing is an excellent choice if you are concerned about rainwater runoff. Traditional roofing options as well as solar roofing allow rainwater to run off of the roof surface and through the rain gutters to eventually make its way to municipal sewers through a drainage system.
However, as the water runs off of your roof and to the street and municipal gutters, it collects contaminants from the surfaces that it comes into contact with. This leads to more work for a water treatment plant to make that water usable again. However, if you have a living roof, much of the water is directly absorbed into the soil of your roof to be used to nourish the plants growing there. This leads to reduced runoff and fewer contaminants in the water.
Living roofs also create a habitat in an urban area for insects, bees, and even birds and other living creatures. This is always beneficial, particularly in terms of preserving local wildlife and eco-systems that may be otherwise struggling in an urban and developed area. Solar panels do not necessarily offer these benefits, but in terms of energy savings, the results are far superior with solar panels than with a living roof. Reducing a home's reliance on the electrical grid can have a major impact in terms of reduced needs for fossil fuels, new electrical plants, and the like, which can preserve eco-systems and prevent environmental damage and destruction in other ways.
With these factors in mind, you can be sure that you are making the right green roofing choice for your home.Share