As environmental awareness increases among people, homeowners look at sustainable roofing to reduce their carbon footprint by selecting materials that have the lowest environmental impact. Natural slate, being a mineral product, is an obvious talking point due to its sustainability and environmentally friendly attributes. But is slate roofing sustainable? Continue reading as we decode the environmental impact of slate to decide if it is sustainable or not.
How to decide if a roofing material is sustainable?
Selecting materials with a lower overall contribution to emissions is more difficult than one might think. It is necessary to consider several factors, including the following-
For instance, aluminium, which is produced on large scale by electrolysis, would have been considered an environmentally unfriendly choice. However, it is primarily produced using hydroelectric power, meaning that the embodied energy, in reality, is very low. Moreover, it is extremely durable and can be recycled at the end of its service life, making it an excellent sustainable roofing option.
Naturally occurring slate undergoes minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy at 0.1-1 MJ/Kg out of all roofing materials. In comparison, copper clocks 44-55 MJ/Kg, Lead has 25 MJ/Kg, and clay tiles have 6.6 MJ/Kg of embodied energy.
How is slate processed?
Slate occurs naturally in layered fabric, and it can be readily split into sheets along these lines. Moreover, it is an ideal roofing choice since it can be split thinner and displays a greater coverage per unit weight compared to other natural roofing materials.
Natural slate is extracted in large blocks that are cut with a diamond blade and transported to the quarry for processing. Recycled water is used as a coolant and exfoliating agent, which removes unwanted rubble throughout the process.
Before packaging, natural slate undergoes three major phases at the processing plant.
Durability of slate
Good quality, heavy slates have the potential to last over a hundred years if properly maintained, making them one of the best environmentally friendly roofing materials. Slate is relatively unaffected by extreme weather and can even resist up to 4” hail.
Since it occurs naturally and undergoes minimal processing, natural slate can be easily dismantled and recycled at the end of its service life. In fact, second-hand slate is still used in several conservation sites across the world for repairs and maintenance.
Is slate roofing sustainable?
Finally, slate roofing works wonders in resisting heat, keeping the home beneath much cooler compared to other roofing choices. Not only is slate production eco-friendly, but it also helps you save electricity by keeping your house cool. With its energy efficiency and recycling properties, it is one of the greatest environmentally friendly roofing materials you can invest in for your home. So take the eco choice, and pick The Slate Roofing Company for your next slate roof. Contact us now!