Green roofs are seen as a new trend beginning to pick up traction. However, many European countries have been using green roofs for years. This trend primarily starting in Germany in the 1960s with the method we still use today. But green roofs are only now gaining traction in North America. It’s about time we start looking into them as a feasible way to go green.
Calgarians are jumping on the green roof bandwagon, and the city is here to let you know everything you need to get started. For any roof restructuring you need, call your local roofing professionals at Tony’s Roof Repair to help you out.
What Is A Green Roof / Living Roof?
A green roof is a system the consists of live vegetation growing and thriving on your rooftop. It contains plants and a growing medium such as soil. In order for a green roof to be viable, it requires a lot of prep work. It requires waterproofing and root repellants, which is usually a waterproof synthetic membrane you lay on the rooftop for the vegetation to grow on. As well as esuring a proper drainage system is in place. It is also imperative you reinforce your roof to support the new living roof to ensure you are keeping the building structures safe and damage-free.
How Do Green Roofs work?
Green roofs use rainwater to replenish and retain enough water for plants to survive during times of lower precipitation and drought. However, it is wise for you to irrigate it, especially if you are going for a bigger rooftop garden.
Green roofs work best when you use native vegetation to thrive in the climate it is home to. Drought-tolerant plants that require little to no irrigation and are self-sustaining are wise to use. They don’t require fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. It’s best to choose plants that need little maintenance so you can let them thrive on their own. You will also want to use perennials. You want the vegetation to come back every year after winter ends or plants that are self-sowing. It’s best to leave the plants to do their thing and grow naturally.
Types Of Green Roofing
An intensive green roof is much more significant in scale, and as the name suggests, is more work. An intensive system is usually intended for larger buildings. These green roofs usually act as gardens you can access and maintain, containing bigger plants and flowers. They require more structural capacity to support the amount of vegetation and soil it will have.
On the other hand, extensive green roofs are typically smaller and have a thinner layer of growth on them. They look more like a standard roof but still provide you with the benefits of a green roof. They also require the least amount of maintenance. The design of extensive green roofs allows plant life to take over. The vegetation is meant to grow however it wants, fully covering your roof.
Semi-intensive roofs are a hybrid of intensive and extensive. These roofs tend to have more plant species than extensive roofs and typically consist of grasses and flowers native to the area and climate for ease of maintenance. Yet, they still provide the same lush look like an intensive green roof.
Benefits To Having A Green Roof
The benefits to having a green roof installed on your home or building will provide you with a return on investment and offer many social, economic, and environmental factors.
Living roofs help with rainwater runoff by purifying it through their use. Then the rain and will return it to the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration. The more green roofs in an area ensure that the stormwater runoff is cleaner. This means decreased stress on sewer systems and more stabilized groundwater, which is better for the community. The vegetation on the roof can hold and use the precipitation, which reduces the chance of flooding, as well.
A green roof on your home will help prolong the life of your roof. The vegetation provides a barrier that reduces weathering. It also helps with your heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems’ longevity because you will be using them less. Ensuring there is less replacement and less waste.
Improved Air Quality
Having a green roof can trap airborne pollutants, atmospheric deposition and filter out certain harmful gasses from the surrounding homes, businesses and vehicles. They help clean the air by decreasing the release of carbon dioxide emissions.
Green roofs are an energy-efficient option for roofing. They can moderate the structure’s temperature decreasing the demand for power plants to heat and cool your home or office. It also helps to reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) in cities.
The social outcomes of a living roof provide usable space for habitats. They can house animals, plants, invertebrates and spores. Using native vegetation also helps recreate the ecosystem of living plants that would naturally occupy the space.
Living roofs extend your roof’s life expectancy because they are a weather barrier. They are also energy efficient and can provide savings for you. Lowering your heating and cooling costs in the summer and winter months. As stated above, the foliage barrier helps to control the temperature. The heat will stay trapped as it rises in colder months. Meanwhile, less hot air can penetrate the roof’s barrier getting into your home during the warmer months.
They are a source of agriculture as well and provide green space for urban areas.
These types of spaces can improve the health and well-being of people in a community. The reduced pollution and increased water quality are beneficial for internal health. Along with the sense of community and social togetherness that you can achieve is very uplifting, helping with mental well-being.
People learn about the benefits of green roofing and want to implement it themselves after seeing and learning how much a green roof can benefit themselves and their communities.
Green roofs provide a sound barrier because the vegetation absorbs a lot of the outside noise, making it quieter in the home or building.
If you provide an intensive green roof system on a community-building, you can open up a community garden. Using the space to grow fruits, vegetables and more. If you do it on your own home, you will have ample room to grow your own food, eat clean, and save money on fresh produce.
With more homes going this route and creating roofs with living vegetation, there is a need for maintenance and installation, creating more jobs for people locally.
They help to beautify the surrounding area and bring back natural elements to the location. Living roofs in urban areas provide a space for lush gardens to grow with environmental benefits, economic benefits, help in stress reduction, and create animal habitats in an otherwise concrete jungle.
How To Restructure For A Living Roof
If you’re looking to implement a green roof on your home, be sure to get your roof inspected and reinforcements made before jumping to it. You don’t want your roof to have a preexisting leak or weight-bearing issues that the vegetation could make worse.
What You Need To Know Before Starting
It is best to get professional help from an experienced roofing company like Tony’s Roof Repair, who can check the roof’s structure and integrity. It is also essential to have a green roof professional along for advice and insight as well. They will know precisely what you need to install on your roof. Being sure that the membrane is secure and the roof is draining properly. They can relay this info to the roofers to ensure your roof is appropriately reinforced to hold this new weight.
You will need to know the slope of the building’s structure, the load capacity the roof can withstand, the weight of the materials you’ll want to use, and the quality of drainage your roof already has.
Seek Out Professional Assistance
If you’re looking to install a green roof on your home or building, we are the roofers for the job. We will inspect your roof to ensure your roof will hold up with this new vegetation and eco-friendly design. If necessary, we can reroof your home to accommodate a better slope pitch, reinforce the roof structurally, and prepare the roof for you or a green roof professional to come in and do their part.