3 Green Roof Insulation Myths

Roofcorp is all about making efficient and green choices to both give a helping hand to your local environment as well as to help save you money. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that goes around when it comes to making the “green” choice when it comes to your roof and its counterpart, insulation. Insulation can be a part of the roofing system as a whole so let’s dispel some of these green myths so you don’t waste any time or money.

3 Green Roof Insulation Myths

More Insulation is Always Better

It makes sense right? The more insulation you have, the more energy-efficient your attic or crawl space will be. Unfortunately, you can’t solve all of your insulation woes by just adding more, it’s actually all about proper installation.

In order to get the most out of your insulation, you need to make sure that insulation is properly installed. This includes covering gaps and holes in areas such as roof penetrations, wiring, soffits and more. The insulation should be put in the right place and help limit air movement so as long as those parameters are covered, you can add more insulation for better protection. Properly installed insulation is better than more insulation.

You Should Always Go with “Green” Insulation

Insulation that is labelled “green” or “all natural” certainly looks appealing but again, its all about the proper install. Cellulose or recycled fabric insulation won’t make any differences unless you have a contractor install it that knows what they’re doing. If you can get a properly licensed and experienced contractor that utilizes green insulation materials, that’s great, but don’t have just anyone throw up some recycled insulation and claim that your roof and home are energy efficient now.

Reflective Insulation is Always Best

The appeal is certainly understandable. The shiny and reflective foil or bubble insulation must be excellent at repelling heat but that is not always the case. This insulation could prove useful at deflecting radiant heat if it used properly. Again, don’t coat the entirety of your attic in reflective insulation and expect your energy bill to drop. Choose a contractor that knows how to properly utilize reflective insulation to give you maximum benefits.

You should never be discouraged in looking for green building materials but you should also be smart about utilizing them. Getting a contractor that’s licensed and is experienced in using energy-efficient materials is the easiest way to get the best of both worlds.

How Do I Qualify for Green Tax Credits?

There is a lot of talk going on with roofs and green building initiatives. More roofs are seeing energy efficient, cool roof, blue roof and even fully functional green roofs being installed. These roofs greatly help the building reduce its carbon footprint and make for a more overall green conscious building, lowering electrical bills and creating happy healthy areas.

Environmentally conscious and green roofing practices may also have the added benefit of helping out your pocketbook during tax season. Today we want to discuss what kind of tax incentives exist for environmentally sound roofing materials and how you can get these benefits.

How Do I Qualify for Green Tax Credits?

The tax credit is aimed directly at homes that use energy efficient roofing materials, these can be anything from an extensive green roof to reflective Energy-Star materials. The credit may apply to your furnace, air conditioner or other power guzzling appliances but for the purpose of the article we are focusing on roofs.

Typical materials that qualify include reflective coatings on metal roofing or granules on your asphalt shingle that reflect solar energy. To qualify, your roof must meet Energy-Star standards but not all roofs installed with Energy-Star materials qualify for the tax credit.

You may be worried that it is too late to get your roof qualified for these tax credits but there’s good news, many parts of the Residential Energy Efficient Tax Credit can be applied retroactively to new materials dating back to January 1, 2011 as long as the materials came with a useful life warranty of at least 5 years.

How Much Can I Save with this Credit?

The Residential Energy Efficient Tax Credit will pay 10% of the material cost for energy efficient materials up to $500. The credit cannot be applied to the labor cost of the installation. Even if you’ve applied for the credit already you can reapply until your hit the $500 mark.

How Do I Get the Credit?

You need to turn in your federal tax return the year the install was completed along with IRS Form 5695. The credit may then be applied to your current year’s return or added to a future return.

We encourage homeowners who may qualify for the credit to get their money’s worth.

What Do You Know About Green Roofs?

As concerns about the health of the planet grow, some innovative solutions to protecting it have come out as well. One such technology that is by no means new but is seeing a resurgence in popularity is the use of green roofs. Let’s look at what green roofs are, their advantages and their drawbacks.

What is a Green Roof?

Simply put, a green roof is a roof covered by vegetative matter and a growing medium overtop of a waterproof membrane.

There are two main types of green roofs, intensive and extensive. An intensive green roof usually has more planting medium, more vegetation and may require maintenance such as irrigation, pruning and other routine maintenance. An intensive green roof is similar to having a small park on top of the roof. An extensive green roof is much simpler and is designed to be self-sustaining with little to no maintenance.

Advantages of Green Roofs

Green roofs have a number of benefits. Their insulation can lower energy bills, both on air conditioning during the summer and heating during the winter. Some buildings report savings around 25-27 percent on their energy bill. This insulation can also increase the average lifetime of a roof, sometimes up to 200%.

The plant material and planting medium can also help reduce storm water runoff. The roof will absorb precipitation and slowly drain it away rather than dropping it straight onto the ground. This makes it popular in cities with overtaxed sewer systems.

Green roofs also clean the air, attract wildlife and some states and jurisdictions may qualify you for a tax discount for green initiatives.

Disadvantages of Green Roofs

While the final bill will be decided on the extent of how intensive you want your roof, costs for green roofs can be costly. Sometimes two to three the average cost of more traditional materials. You will also need to make sure your roof can support the weight of all the materials that come with a green roofing system.

The building owner will need to decide if a green roof is a viable choice for their building. Continue research and consult with green roofing contractors to find out if it is the right choice for you.