If you are considering getting, or already have, a foam roof on your home, you probably already know how environmentally friendly they are. They reflect sunlight, keeping your home cooler in the summer, and they lack seams where heat can escape in the winter. And the polyurethane foam used in these roofs is also completely recyclable.
So what's the next step? How can you take a green roof and make it even greener?
Skylights allow more natural light into your home—as well as giving you a nice view of the sky. And if you can get more daylight into your rooms, you may be able to greatly reduce the amount of artificial lighting you use. Beyond just lowering your energy usage, this also means more healthy sunlight—which is good for the mood and helps the body produce vitamin D.
Skylights work very well with foam roofing. It's easiest to install foam roofs around existing skylights or to install them at the same time. Because the foam is sprayed and cured in place, it will fit easily around the skylight, and it doesn't cause any extra seams. In an existing foam roof, an opening will need to be cut through the foam. If you do install skylights, it's crucial to get an experienced contractor—a leaky skylight defeats the whole purpose of having one installed.
In addition to sunlight, you can set your home and roof up to save water. Depending on the amount of rain in your area, you can often greatly cut down on the amount of water that needs to be piped into your home or pulled up from a well by doing this.
The simplest version of this is to set up rain barrels that are fed by your gutters. This is a great option if you want to mainly use your water outdoors for watering your yard or garden. However, few people are committed enough to replace indoor running water with a trip to the rain barrel.
It is possible to hook up a rainwater system to an indoor water system, however. These are generally more complicated systems that use multiple gutters to catch runoff from the roof and feature large, often buried, tanks with filters. While a rain barrel can be a do-it-yourself job, you're better off hiring a professional if you want a collection system that's integrated with your indoor plumbing.
Solar panels and foam roofs are a natural combination! Even existing foam roofs can easily have photovoltaic cells installed above them because the roof itself doesn't need to be opened up. Instead, the support struts for the solar panels can be sealed into the roof on-site.
By replacing some of the electricity your home pulls from the grid with energy from solar panels on your roof, you can make a big difference in your own carbon footprint. Solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy out there, being completely renewable and non-polluting. Using a foam roof to reduce your energy consumption, and then making part of your remaining energy consumption be clean solar energy, makes for a very green home.Share