Hey there, fellow Michiganders! As an experienced roofing contractor specializing in residential roofing services right here in West Michigan, I’ve seen a significant shift in the way we think about our roofs. It’s not just about keeping the rain out anymore – homeowners are getting savvy to the fact that their roofs can do a lot more. We’re talking about saving money, improving home comfort, and – this is the big one – helping to protect the environment.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
When I first started in the roofing business, asphalt shingles were king. These days, there’s a growing demand for roofing materials and methods that reduce our carbon footprint and lower energy consumption. Not only can eco-friendly roofing options save homeowners a pretty penny on utility bills, but they can also make a significant positive impact on our beautiful West Michigan environment.
Let’s talk about the top five trends I’ve seen in eco-friendly roofing for 2023 – trends that are heating up faster than a summer day in Kalamazoo.
Solar Panel Roofing A Bright Idea
First up, we have solar panel roofing. Solar roofs turn your home into an energy-producing machine. Instead of just keeping you dry, your roof can start to put money back in your pocket by significantly reducing your electricity bill. We recently helped a family in Plainwell install a solar panel roof. They were so excited when they got their first electric bill post-installation and saw their energy costs almost halved.
Incentives to Go Solar
And don’t forget the incentives! The state of Michigan and local governments often offer tax credits or grants to homeowners who switch to solar panel roofing. Check with your local authorities to find out what help you could get.
Green Roofing A Blooming Marvel
Next on our list is green roofing – also known as garden roofs or sedum roofs. These are living, breathing roofs that can bring a piece of nature right on top of your house. One was installed in the Northside Neighborhood in Kalamazoo last year, and the building owners are thrilled with it. Not only does it provide fantastic insulation, but it also encourages local biodiversity and helps manage stormwater – a big plus given our heavy spring rains. The Climate Aspect Green roofing is ideal for our West Michigan climate. These roofs can absorb rainwater and provide insulation from heat in the summer and cold in the winter.
Cool (Reflective) Roofs Keep It Cool
Who doesn’t want a cooler house in the middle of July? With a cool or reflective roof, your home can stay significantly cooler during those sweltering summer months. These roofs reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofs, reducing the need for air conditioning. Reflective shingles like GAF Cool shingles are only available in the Western United States and are a technology that was found almost by accident. GAF found that cutting the granules of the shingle on an angle provided reflectivity to sunlight and thus providing a cooling and energy efficient effect for the roof system. With a product like this even a black or Charcoal GAF shingle can receive an Energy Star rating!
Recycled Material Roofs A Second Life
With an increasing push toward sustainability, roofs made from recycled materials like rubber, plastic, or metal are gaining popularity. They’re incredibly durable, cost-effective, and available in a range of styles that can make your home stand out in the neighborhood. Just last year, I worked on a charming farmhouse in Kalamazoo that opted for a recycled metal roof coming off a barn and being used on an older shed needing an update. It’s stylish, eco-friendly, and the homeowners love how it complements their rustic aesthetic.
Living Roofs More than Greenery
Last but not least, we have living roofs. These roofing systems incorporate a layer of vegetation over a growing medium. Not only are they visually appealing, but they also offer substantial environmental benefits, like improving air quality, reducing the urban heat island effect, and managing stormwater. I’ve noticed a particular interest in living roofs among homeowners near Lake Michigan, where they blend seamlessly with the natural environment and foliage.
Choosing the Right Eco-Friendly Roof for Your Home
Of course, the best roofing choice depends on various factors: your home’s location, the slope of your roof, and your budget, among others. Thankfully, there are local resources and businesses – mine included – that are ready to help you make the best decision for your home.
The shift towards eco-friendly roofing in West Michigan is real, and it’s happening now. If you’re thinking about your next roofing project, I encourage you to consider these options. You might just find that the best choice for your home is also the best choice for the planet.
About the Author
Hey, I’m a seasoned roofing contractor based in West Michigan, with a passion for residential roofing services. If you’re interested in consulting or working with me, feel free to reach out. Here’s to a greener and cleaner future for all our Michigan homes!