Green roofs are a way to combat urban blight and allow for the preservation of nature in an urban area. It can also be a great insulator, keeping your house or building warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Any existing building can have some form of a green roof. Green roofs can range from slanted roofs with only grass or moss growing on them to fully outfitted garden areas that include lawns and trees. Before going out and starting a garden on your roof or business, there is a lot of preparation that needs to be done.
Preparing the Roof:
Before any structure or object can be placed on your roof, you must have it inspected by a professional roofing contractor. Unless your home or building was designed with a green roof already in mind, structural changes must be made. If these preparations are not made, then there is a risk of leaking and total roof collapse. Drainage issues need to be worked out, especially considering that plants will need to be watered and will also have to drain. There may also be special considerations for roof heating and ventilation systems, if any are in place.
Getting Ready for Planting:
After the roofer has determined that your roof can go green as well as the type of green roof your home or business can have, it's time to start planning the design of your garden. Simple green roofs, such as those on a house with a slanted roof, can be done with few waterproofing membranes and plants in trays. These types of green roofs are easy to maintain and remove if there's ever a problem. More extensive systems, such as those on a flat roof, may require several layers of membranes, liners and moisture blankets between the roof and the soil in which the plants are grown.
Maintaining a Green Roof:
All roofs need regular maintenance, but some green roofs are higher maintenance than others. Occasionally, green roofs may need watering, weeding and pruning depending on the climate and the type of plants. This means that you should have an easy way to access your green roof if you live in a dry climate or plan to grow trees that need trimming. Gutters and drainage systems must be kept clean and clear no matter what kind of roof you have, but the increase of vegetation on the roof increases the possibility of clogging.
If you think that you might want a green roof, contact roofing contractors for an assessment and consultation. Do not attempt to start a green roof until you know your roof structure is sound and that the task can be completed. Once the green roof is installed, have regular roof checks and maintenance to keep problems to a minimum.