Clay, concrete or slate roof tiles: Which is the eco-friendliest option?

Worried about your roof’s environmental impact? Discover which of these common roofing materials is the eco-friendliest option.

To understand the environmental impact of your roof it’s important to consider several factors including the way the material was extracted and how the product was manufactured and transported.

Here’s a quick guide to the environmental impact of three of the commonest roofing materials.

Clay

Beautiful terracotta clay tiles are a popular roofing choice for their rich, natural colour.

Clay is an abundant natural resource that can be manufactured to produce durable tiles that last around 50-70 years and sometimes much longer.

The downside to clay tiles is that firing them can use a lot of energy and produce a lot of carbon emissions. Quarrying for clay can also impact natural landscapes and ecosystems.

Concrete

Concrete tiles are man-made using a mixture of aggregate, cement and water.

They are a versatile and low-cost option, available in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes and colours.

Unfortunately, concrete tiles are also the least eco-friendly option, as manufacturing them uses large amounts of energy and produces high levels of carbon emissions. They also tend to have a shorter lifespan than clay and slate tiles and extracting the aggregate required to make the concrete degrades the landscape.

Slate

Slate makes attractive and hard-wearing roof tiles that can last a very long time and add value to your home.

Slabs of natural slate are mined from the earth and then split and cut into shape, a process that requires very little energy and releases very few carbon emissions. With a lifespan of at least 75-100 years, slate tiles are also reusable and very long-lasting.

Slate tiles are more environmentally-friendly than clay or concrete tiles. However, slate is a heavy material and transporting it can use a lot of energy, so choosing slate roof tiles that have been made using local materials rather than shipped in from abroad is the greenest option.

Reduce your carbon footprint even further by choosing reclaimed slate roof tiles. To find out more about any of our products or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 01829 262 600.

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