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Metal Roofs: The Sustainable Option

Made of at least 25 percent recycled materials, metal roofs are the environmentally friendly roofing choice.

Interest in eco-friendly choices piques each year around Earth Day, but as a recent article from the Metal Roofing Alliance reminds us, roughly 7 million U.S. homeowners replace their roof each year and many are looking for new “green” energy-saving options all year round. As members of the metal roofing industry, this is news we should all be broadcasting loud and clear.

According to the article, which appeared on, traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and require replacement every 15-20 years (or sooner). The EPA states this results in about 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles ending up in U.S. landfills. Asphalt shingles also increase dependency on fossil fuels.

Metal roofs, on the other hand, are considered a sustainable option because they are made of at least 25 percent recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable. Old refrigerators, dishwashers, automobiles, and even aluminum cans can be recycled into a high quality metal roof—with long-term warranties, often 50 years or more. Even non-metal components of metal roofs, such as Weather-Tite™ ventilation products from Marco, can be made with recycled material.

As you promote the benefits of your metal roofing solutions, remember the eco-friendly advantages these roofs have to offer:

  • Modern metal roofs have rustproof coatings and are available in a wide range of styles. Many resemble traditional roofing materials such as tile or shake with the added benefit of sustainability.
  • Steel products can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength. When you buy steel, you’re always buying recycled.
  • For those looking to be aggressive with green living initiatives, metal roofs serve as an excellent platform for photovoltaic systems, solar panels, or harvesting rainwater for reuse/irrigation.
  • A metal roof has the ability to reduce both cooling and heating energy use, saving up to 25% in utility bills.

Metal roofs are significantly lighter than other roofing products. A metal roof can often be installed directly over asphalt shingles, reducing landfill waste.