Less Extreme Ways To Make Your Roof More Energy Efficient

If you're a homeowner who cares about conserving energy and protecting the environment, you might be aware of options like green roofing and solar shingles. However, you don't have to spend a fortune or invest in a completely new roof to reduce your energy consumption. Here are a few simpler, easier ways to make your existing roof more eco-friendly.

Have it sprayed with a white coating.

Especially if you live in an area where summers are warm, having a lighter colored roof will reduce your energy costs substantially. Lighter colors reflect more sunlight, while darker colors tend to absorb more of it. Thus, when your roof is white or another light color, your air conditioning costs will go down.

While you could surely have your darker roof replaced with a light one, a more cost-effective option (assuming your roof is in decent condition) is to have it sprayed with a white, reflective roof coating. These are often advertised as "cool roof coatings." Many roofing companies—like Surface Shield Protective Coatings and other locations—offer this service, and application only takes a few hours.

Improve your insulation from the inside.

Instead of replacing your entire roof with a material that's a better insulation, consider adding more insulation from the inside surface. Fiberglass and cotton insulation has its downfalls because it is permeable and lets drafts in. Removing this insulation and instead having the interior surface of your roof (inside your attic) sprayed with spray foam insulation will reduce your energy costs. Spray foam creates an air-tight barrier so cold air can't sneak in through gaps.

The type of spray foam used to insulate roofs must be applied by a professional, since it has to be mixed to special specifications and applied in the proper thickness. It will take the insulation a day or two to cure, so make plans to stay with a friend during this time period.

Make sure your ventilation is appropriate.

The amount of ventilation that's ideal varies greatly from roof to roof. Many roofs are either poorly ventilated or offer too much ventilation. Either issue impedes your energy efficiency. If too much outdoor air is leaking in, your furnace and air conditioner will have to work harder to make up for it. If your attic is too well sealed, moisture will accumulate in your attic, causing your insulation to deteriorate and become less effective.

Have a roofing contractor look over your home and make sure your roof ventilation is up to par. If it is not, adding or subtracting vents is a rather simple renovation that will improve your efficiency.