Green Roofing: Cedar Wood Benefits
Imagine a green roofing material that does harm or deplete the planet, but actually helps it to function in a healthier way. Here are some facts you might not know about cedar shake and shingle green roofing:
Today’s western red cedar shakes and shingles come from carefully managed forests in the Pacific Northwest, both in the U.S. and British Columbia, where thinning, strategically-planned harvesting and replanting are all part of the cycle of sustainability. 95% of each tree harvested is turned into useful products, while the remaining 5%, mostly branches, biodegrades into compost helpful for future trees.
When a cedar roof is ready to be replaced, it’s completely recyclable. Often, it’s chipped into useful garden mulch. Other green roofing products, such as asphalt shingles, have been building up in landfills for decades. According to California’s Integrated Waste Management Board, over 11 million tons of used asphalt shingles end up in U.S. landfills each year. With rainfall, these shingles can leak harmful chemicals into local water supplies.
The trees in a managed cedar forest are not just growing, they are hard at work absorbing carbon dioxide and producing much-needed oxygen as a part of their normal cycle of photosynthesis. Young trees, such as those in well-managed commercial forests, do this much more efficiently than older trees. We challenge you to find another green roofing material that’s hard at work benefiting the earth even before it’s used!
Fights climate change
As part of the photosynthesis process, trees take in carbon dioxide–the leading greenhouse gas. The C02 taken in is, in essence, captured and stored inside the wood, cleaning the air we breathe and keeping excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The American Forest and Paper Association notes that “each year managed forests sequester – or store – quantities of CO2 that are equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by approximately 173 million automobiles.”
Because of the “loose” structure of green roofing cedar cells, cedar is a great natural insulator. A natural cedar roof will help insulate your attic, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Consequently, you’ll need less energy (produced by less-clean processes) to heat and cool your home. And you’ll save money in the process.
Helps reduce your carbon footprint
In addition to producing oxygen, removing carbon dioxide from the air and reducing your need for fossil fuel-based heating, the process of making cedar trees into shingles is labor-intensive but not energy-intensive for green roofing. Other roofing choices require large expenditures of fossil fuels both to initially obtain them (mining of metals, extraction of oil) and to transform them from raw materials to final products. With cedar shingles, you greatly reduce the total energy expended to produce your roofing. It’s a green roofing choice you can feel good about.