5 Roofing Materials and Their Environmental Impact

2 min

wooden house during day

If you’re not in the roofing industry, you might not consider the materials that go into roof construction. You may not think about their environmental impact either. It’s not a bad thing to consider, though, especially if you’re considering putting a new roof on your house.

You can contact Primo Philadelphia Roofing if you want an affordable new roof for your home. Before you do, though, let’s discuss roofing materials and what they do to the environment.


Steel is a material that roofers use if they want a lightweight, durable finished product. The tiles are lighter than several other kinds of material out of which you can create a roof for a residential dwelling or commercial property.

What’s even better than that is the fact that some kinds of steel are recyclable at the end of their usable life. You can also add extra insulation if you put up this kind of roof, which keeps down energy costs.


Concrete is durable, and you can also reuse it in many instances if you crush it. The problem with concrete is the high level of energy that goes into the manufacturing process.

You must also extract the materials needed to make it from the landscape, and when you do so, you damage the environment from a chemical and aesthetic standpoint. That makes this one of the less environmentally-friendly roof material options.


Slate is naturally-occurring, which you’d think makes it environmentally friendly. However, to split the slate, you must generate a lot of heat.

Slate tiles also aren’t uniform, which is a quality some like about it. The aesthetics are interesting because they’re atypical. It is those very imperfections that cause a lot of heat to escape, though, making it one of the more inefficient roofing materials from a cost-saving perspective.


You can certainly use wood to make a roof. Wood shingles are usually eco-friendly, which makes them an attractive prospect.

A wooden roof does not usually last as long as most other roofing material options, though. That is why, if you come across a cabin in the woods that has been there for more than a few years, don’t be surprised if the roof has fallen in.


Clay is naturally occurring and easy to find. To get it, though, you must expend a great deal of energy and heat. You need heat to fire the clay. That kind of heat production inevitably harms the environment.

There’s one saving grace with clay, though, which is that it tends to be extremely long-lasting. Some people feel that the environmental impact can be mitigated, at least partially, by how long a clay roof will probably last.

If you require a new roof for your house or a commercial building, you must factor in everything we’ve discussed. Consider the cost, the environmental impact of each roofing material we mentioned, and how long you want the roof to last. At that point, you should be able to choose the most logical option.

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