Does the sight of shingles bore you? Does clay and slate create an image that you'd rather not try to tailor to your current decor? If you're looking for a way to stand out while giving a unique look of nature, green roofing may have some innovative options for you. Before planning your rooftop greenery and buying a bunch of seeds, check out what green rooftops are all about and how residential roofing professionals can help.
A Rooftop Garden Takes Balance
Unfortunately, you can't just start shoveling dirt on top of the roof. Green roofing has many methods for creating a stable soil situation, which requires careful measurement to make sure that as much soil stays up--and that your roof doesn't cave in.
Unless you're having a new house built with the green roofing plan in mind, your home likely designed to hold lots of soil on the roof. It's not just soil; rainwater will be collected and stored, and much of the water and nutrients will be converted into plant growth. A lot of variable weight will need to be either evenly distributed on top of the roof or supported from underneath.
That planning goes to the contractors, and you'll need to discuss what you want to grow before making any other decisions. Talk about what kinds of grasses, vegetables or fruits you want beforehand so that the contractors can either approve the planned weight or make plans to support your purchases. Although many seeds and saplings can live through the planning, you don't want expensive and sensitive vegetation drying and rotting away while contractors change their plans for you.
Contractors will team up with horticulturalists to plan the type of shade needed for certain plants, which may mean adding a few shelters or shading materials. For grasses, you'll need to make sure that the type of grass can handle low maintenance because of the changing water supply if the roof is slanted. Although many plants are sensitive, grasses can show a tapering failure if water isn't staying near grass and soil at certain angles.
Heavy Shrubs And Trees? Why Not?
The truly ambitious green roofer may want to add some big vegetation to their roof. If you want a tree up top, the roots need a lot of support at the bottom.
Not only can trees and shrubs get heavy, but they can have some strong, aggressive roots as well. Tree roots can displace and upend concrete, asphalt and building foundations, and your roof will be just as threatened without proper planning.
One method is to make the tree a part of the interior as well. Sending roots through a guided corridor that also meets the building's walls can put trees into the ground proper as well, or if you want a truly rooftop-only tree, you may want a solid pillar beneath the tree rather than the open space of your home.
Contact a residential roofing professional to discuss your green roofing options and other vegetation ideas that could bring the force of the wilderness to your roof.