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What green materials are recommended for the ceiling of a screened porch?

irwin34 | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

A deck being converted to screened porch. Client wants green products as possible, including porch ceiling.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Some questions are tough; this one's easy. The greenest material to use for a porch ceiling is nothing. Leave the rafters and roof sheathing exposed. No purchase necessary — the environment will be grateful.


    We use that foil backed roof sheathing in our screen porches to keep the hot summer sun from radiating heat down into the area below and we cover the bottom of the rafters with locally harvested and milled 1x6 tongue and groove "double beaded" pine. We finish that with a low VOC urethane we get from Hood manufacturing called "Everlast" that has great mildew resistant properties and is not zero VOC (it's an oil based varnish) but lower than many exterior clear wood finishes at 275 grams per liter.

    An important thing to remember with screen porches is that the screening can resist air movement and trap a bubble of warm air up near the roof if you don't incorporate a cooling tower ventilation strategy. Even using a gable with triangular vents on either side of the ridge or a curved ceiling with high ventilation will keep the air flowing.

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