Green Roofing and Siding Options For Your Home

There has been much technological advancement in recent years when it comes to providing environmentally friendly and energy efficient improvement to a home’s exterior. It is tough to balance durability and sustainability with light maintenance and energy efficiency, but some products on the market can do just that. If you’re planning to update the look of the exterior of your home, or just considering a remodel, take into account these roofing and siding products that look great and are environmentally friendly:

Roofing

You have many options available to you when you’re considering a green roofing material.

Clay is a traditional roofing choice, and hold up well with exposure to even the harshest. It especially goes well with classic or traditional type houses and is a popular choice for historic renovations.

Slate is another highly durable material, although difficult to install. If you order slate from a local quarry, the transportation energy and costs will be drastically cut down. You can also get salvaged and recycled slate from local suppliers.

Metal roofing is perfect for reflecting heat in the summertime and could lead to a 40% savings on your warm-weather energy bills. However, metal roofs won’t hold up as well in bad weather as clay or slate.

Rubber roofing is relatively new in the home construction business. Rubber roofing is made of recycled tires and offers strength and toughness with a fairly easy installation process. It resembles the look of slate roofing.

Installing solar shingles on your roof (instead of installing large solar panels on top of your roof) contribute to your home’s overall energy savings by producing some, if not all, of the energy you use. They can be installed on part of your roof or on the entire roof. They are very expensive to install, but the savings on your electricity bills and the tax breaks you could receive will eventually offset the cost entirely.

Siding

Siding can be considered green when the material can hold up for many years and uses environmentally friendly adhesives and resins.

Wood siding (such as cedar) has many drawbacks including frequent upkeep and painting. It can be made from older lumber and may need replacement over time.

Fiber cement siding, such as HardiePlank, is made of cement and wood fibers. They are extremely resilient and resemble the look of natural wood. They are available in pre-painted colors, so you won’t have to worry about painting them.

Stucco is a classic cement-based siding option. It is very low maintenance and certain varieties can be considered extremely green, such as the earth-and-lime plaster varieties.

Choosing environmentally friendly roofing and siding materials can help you lower your overall energy costs and produce a wonderful looking house that can stand the test of time. Be sure to take into account the manufacturing process, transportation, installation and labor costs of the materials you choose. It is a combination of the energy spent on those processes that make the materials truly green.

Understanding Duke Energy Progress’ Home Energy Improvement Program

Are you looking for ways to save money? Did you know that Duke Energy Progress awards its customers for improvements made on their homes? Here is the perfect way to save money and respect the environment.

Duke Energy Progress’ Home Energy Improvement Program was designed to reward customers who made their home more energy efficient. This has three pay offs for you and your family. First, any rebate you receive is yours to invest in any other need you may have at the time. Second, making your home more energy efficient means you save on your energy bill. Last, you have helped the world be a little more green.

We have collected the information you need into one compact article so you do not have to search for it.

Air duct repair and replacement – Up to $190

When you find a prequalified contractor through Duke Energy Progress, you may be able to qualify for a rebate up to $190 per HVAC unit. You can use this rebate toward sealing your air ducts (which is covered up to 50% of the cost) or replacing leaking or faulty air ducts.

Attic insulation upgrade and attic sealing – $500

Now that you have your ducts sealed, the roof needs looking to. Many roofs have shingles or end caps missing; some have rotted insulation. Regardless of the type of leakage, Duke Energy Progress will grant you $0.375 per square foot of roofing that needs to either be patched or have the insulation replaced. This rebate covers up to $500 of the maintenance costs. According to green energy standards, to be awarded the rebate for upgrading your insulation you must meet the standard minimum of R-30.

Geothermal heat pump replacement – $300

In order to receive a rebate for replacing your geothermal heat pump, the replacement pump must allow the geothermal system operate at 19 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or higher. When your system has been graded, you may be able to qualify for a rebate covering up to $300.

HVAC Audit – $100

Have your HVAC Company come out to your home and do an energy efficiency assessment and critique. This looks at how everything in your home works together to achieve its highest efficiency and recommends improvements to your HVAC system. You can chose from a list of prequalified contractors or have the contractor of your choice apply for the qualifications.

High-efficiency heat pump replacement – $300

This rebate allows you to replace your heat pump and receive up to $300 to help cover the cost. In order to qualify, the heat pump must operate at 15 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) or greater.

High-efficiency central AC replacement – $300

Just like the previous reward, this rebate allows you to replace your central air conditioning unit and receive up to $300 to help cover the cost. In order to qualify, the heat pump must operate at 15 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) or greater. Both the heat pump and the air conditioning unit must be certified high-efficiency systems.

Commercial Roofing: The Benefits of a Flat Roof System

When it is well maintained, a flat roof system is an effective solution minimizing the cost of roof repair. If you are constructing a new building, or placing a new roof on an existing building, below are seven reasons to consider implementing a flat commercial roofing system:

Low Cost – Compared to an angled system that has shingles or metal panels, a flat system requires few construction materials. Consequently, it typically costs less to purchase than an angled roof. Fewer construction materials can also translate into reduced labor cost and waste removal cost.

Easy Access – Due to its minimal slope, a flat system is easier to access for maintenance and gutter cleaning. This means that a building’s maintenance personnel may be able to perform certain tasks that would otherwise require the assistance of a roof service.

Solar Panels – Large, horizontal surfaces are ideal for the placement of solar panels. On angled versions, solar panels absorb less energy due to the roof’s angle in relation to the changing position of the sun. Because solar panels lay almost horizontal on a flat style, they absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.

Wind Resistance – Due to their level contour and seamless covering, flat commercial roofing systems display better wind resistance than angled systems that have shingles or panels. Over time, this resistance can result in less money spent on replacement materials and service calls to a roof repair company.

Lifespan – Depending on its composition, a flat roof system can last for over a decade. As long as the materials are well maintained, systems composed of tar and gravel have been known to last for thirty years, and some tar and gravel systems are still in place from the early part of the twentieth century.

Green Roofs – A green version uses soil, grass, and plants to form an organic layer of insulation on top of the roof membrane. In addition to improving the energy efficiency of a building, acting as a noise buffer, and making a building more attractive to employees, a green system can also increase the real estate value of a building.

Equipment Space – A flat system makes it possible to locate condensers, air handlers, and other HVAC equipment on top of a building instead of beside it or inside it. Placing HVAC equipment on top of a building can be a valuable noise reduction strategy for buildings where HVAC equipment cannot be located on the ground or mounted on exterior walls.

Conclusion

If you need a commercial roofing system that can reduce the need for roof repair and provide a variety of practical benefits, a flat system may be the answer. In addition to helping reduce the money you spend on maintaining a system, a flat system is easy to access, offers an ideal space for solar panels or a green roof, and offers good wind resistance.

To learn more about the benefits of implementing a flat roof system on an urban building, consult a contractor who specializes in flat roofing systems.