Trending Green: The Phenomenon of the Vegetative Roof

by / Thursday, 09 June 2022 / Published in Roofing Systems, Tips

California roofing contractors encourage their clients to consider the benefits of green roofs.

Why Green Roofs Benefit Both Individuals and Communities

The aptly named green roof seems like something out of the high fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien, a living roof that shelters a home or business. It is, in fact, reality and is becoming increasingly common. These eco-roofs can be made to grow almost anything, from community gardens to wildflowers, as long as they are properly designed and cared for. 

Green Roof Structure and  Design

The success of a green roof is in the layering. There are three general roofing types when it comes to green roofs, but they are all composed of certain stratifications.No matter what type of green roof works best for an individual’s plans, the following layers will be there in some form:

  • Vegetation
  • Growing Medium
  • Filtration/Irrigation Layer
  • Root Deterrent Layer
  • Waterproof/Roof Membrane Layer
  • Support Structure

The green roof must be on a flat roof or a roof with only a slight slope, and the support structure must be calculated to bear the extra weight required for creating a garden on top of a building. The three different types of green roofs are extensive, intensive, and semi-intensive.

  • Extensive Green Roofing: This is a great choice for retrofitting a home and is a lighter-weight choice. This type of roof is without deep soil or any type of irrigation, so it needs hardy plants such as grass and small wildflowers.
  • Intensive Green Roofing: This is the ideal type for community gardens or recreational spaces on top of multi-family buildings. The soil on these is deeper and pathways and irrigation can be part of the design.
  • Semi-Intensive Green Roofing: Less complex in its needs than the intensive, but able to accommodate more variety in vegetation than the extensive, this middle-of-the-road choice is good for those wanting a lot of the benefits of the intensive green roof without all the cost.

The Private and Public Benefits of Green Roofing

Green roofs benefit not only the people who have them. They can be of great benefit to an entire area. These benefits go beyond just having the curb appeal of such a unique roof.

  • Longer Roof Life: Anyone who has been through roofing repair or roof replacement understands the value of getting more time out of a roof. Because the roof membrane is insulated from the elements, it is less likely to develop issues such as roof leaks.
  • Energy Efficiency: Roofs are where buildings lose most of their heat. The green roof acts as an insulating layer in both summer and winter, helping to regulate the temperature inside the home and producing energy savings of up to 50%.
  • Water Drainage Assistance: Green roofs absorb a majority of the rain that falls on them. This helps prevent localized flooding or water damage.
  • Air Filtration:  Everyone with even the smallest amount of plant knowledge knows that plants clean the air of carbon dioxide. Some plants can also remove other harmful pollutants that lurk in cities such as smog. This helps everyone breathe more easily.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation of a green or vegetative roof requires someone who knows what they are doing. Roofers who have experience can tell a homeowner whether or not a green roof is a feasible option for their home. A roof inspection and careful planning will be necessary prior to installation. If roof repair is needed this is also a job for select professional roofing contractors with training in green roofs.

Just as a garden or lawn occasionally needs watering or weeding, an eco-roof will need these things as well to be successful, especially when the plants are first getting established. This is an investment that has great potential, but it must be given the proper attention. 

About Modern Method Roofing

With over 60 years of experience in the Napa, CA area, Modern Method roofing is the company to call for any roofing or construction issue. We offer 100% financing and free estimates. Call today for more information about our roofing experience.

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