Green Roofs: What Are They And Should I Get One

Instead of using standard roofing materials, a green roof uses vegetation to finish off a roof. A green roof is placed on top of the traditional waterproof layer which is part of the building. The idea of using vegetation on the roof dates back to long before any of you readers has been on the planet, however, it’s become popular once again as we have become more environmentally aware. A green roof also helps when it comes to cost saving related to heating and cooling. 

Although there are many different types of green roofs, they’re usually categorised as either bio-diverse (brown), intensive or extensive. The biggest difference between these three categories is the thickness and the depth of each individual layer. Even the type of fixing should be considered. Many firms offer epoxy resin for sale which is a common adhesive that is used for bonding two different materials together. Regardless of which of these green roofs are chosen, they only need.

– Vegetation/plants

– Filter fleece

– Protection place

– Reservoir/ drainage layer

– Hard landscaping

Let’s now look at these different types of roofs.

  • A Biodiverse ‘brown’ Roof

The aim of the brown roof is to imitate the environment, which has disappeared down to development. The brown roof can include natural habitats, different birds and plants. Additionally, timber, stone, soil etc. can also be used so that the roof mimics the chosen environment. 

  • An Intensive Green Roof

This kind of a roof involves creating a garden on the roof by planting grassed areas, shrubs and trees. As well as planting, an intensive green roof can also include paving, decking and landscaping. The reason why they are known as an intensive roof is related to the vegetation and the kind of plants that are used, as these require a deep level of substrate, which will help to support them and encourage growth. Once an intensive green roof has been installed, it will need to be regularly maintained and all plants will need feeding and watering to help them establish. 

  • An Extensive Green Roof

An extensive green roof is created to be aesthetically pleasing as well as sometimes for psychological reasons.  The vegetation used in an extensive green roof could include grass, moss and herbs. Extensive green roofs don’t require a lot of maintenance and are therefore an economical option. Any plants that are used on an extensive green roof need to be frost, draft and wind resistant so that they can survive in all conditions.  The plants that are used also help the roof to look bright and appealing as it will also change depending on the season. 

Other Considerations

When considering different types of roofs, it is also a must to consider commercial scaffolding safety companies and a roofing specialist as they will be able to give you an idea of the cost to re-roof a house. Working at height always brings its own risks so also consider companies that offer height protection services as this will help to protect the builder and general public too. Most firms will already know what type of safety equipment will be needed for the job they are undertaking, but asking the questions at the start of the project is always best as in some cases organising the safety of your roof renovation should be paramount. 

The Benefits Of Getting A Green Roof

The primary benefits to having a green roof, aside from looking aesthetically pleasing, is that green roofs also have environmental and financial benefits as follows:

  • Absorbs moisture and therefore reduce the need for complex drainage systems
  • An alternative place to plant
  • Creates a natural place for flora and fauna
  • Reduces CO2 pollution
  • Improves the thermal properties of the building and therefore reduce heating and cooling expenses
  • Allows water to evaporate as it absorbs heat
  • Increases the value of the property
  • Reduces flood risks 

The Disadvantages of a Green roof

It’s clear to see that there are lots of benefits to having a green roof, however there are a few disadvantages too:

  • more expensive than a traditional roof
  • heavier than a traditional roof and therefore require structural support
  • more maintenance is required in order for your green roof to thrive

Should you get a green roof?

A green roof is an excellent addition to add to your home. As we have mentioned above they help to make your home a ‘healthier’ place as well as reduce your heating bills and extend the lifespan of your home. Finally, a green roof can also help to increase the value of your home too. If you can afford to have one and are prepared to carry out the maintenance they require, the advantages of a green roof certainly exceed the disadvantages.

If you choose to have an intensive green roof then you will need to install an irrigation system, so this can be an added expense that might change your mind on getting a green roof. In order to ensure that the roof contains rich organic matter when there is a lack of rain, it is possible to get an automated water system and you will need to consider how much water your plants will need as it will vary depending on the species of plants that you have. 

If you decide to get an extensive roof, your approach when it comes to watering will vary somewhat. The amount of water that an extensive roof requires depends upon a number of factors such as the kind of vegetation, the location and the slope of your roof. In most cases, an extensive roof shouldn’t need watering as they tend to be able to obtain enough water from any rainfall. If however you decide to have a wildflower green roof, you will need to occasionally water it if you have a long period of no rain. All you would need to do is use a hose and ladder and you wouldn’t require an automated system. 

Now that we’ve provided the basics on green roofs, as well as the pros and cons, we hope you can make a wise decision on if this is right for you and your house! 

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