Green roofs are roofs covered with vegetation. Before, vegetation growing on a rooftop was mostly due to neglect. Today, however, growing greens on a roof are making a trend.
And for good reason. Green roofs have many benefits for the environment and the home itself. Investing in a living roof can minimize storm waters, add to your home’s insulation, and provide protection for your rooftop. It can even help reduce your home’s carbon footprint and boost its appeal.
Some green roofs are easier to implement than others. It mostly depends on the size of the area you want to turn green and the slope of the roof.
There are three basic types of green roof system:
- Extensive systems are for roof areas that are out of reach and not used for other purposes. These areas need appropriate vegetation that will make them low maintenance and self-sustaining.
- Semi-intensive system requires some maintenance from time to time.
- Intensive systems can make use of any vegetation and should be easy to access as it requires frequent maintenance. This type of green roof functions as a garden on your roof.
Flat roofs can become a lovely rooftop garden. Slope roofs, meanwhile, can have an aesthetic impact on your home. You can use the roof on top of your garden shed or the one on your porch.
It does not matter whether you choose a small DIY green roof on top of your garage or if you get a professional to turn your sloped roof into a habitat for wild birds. The steps to building a green roof are the same.
How To Build A Green Roof
The first layer should make your roof waterproof as well as root resistant. Therefore, you need to lay out an impermeable layer or root proof membrane. A single sheet is ideal for covering the whole area.
At your local garden center, you can find a heavy duty pond liner. This is the next layer to your green roof that will require the use of an adhesive or mastic sealant. Mark all outlets as you will cut them out later to ensure proper drainage.
Drainage is essential for your green roof as it allows excess water to escape. For this level, cut into the containment frame where the water can run into the gutter of the roof. Pebbles can be used to keep the outlets clear. You can add a layer of stones or rocks to avoid blockages or use them around the edges of the roof to stay clear of unwanted vegetation in that area.
For DIY green roofs, the depth of the substrate is 70-200 mm. This will differ depending on the vegetation planted. The substrate should be lightweight and that is why garden soil is not okay. It tends to become very thick when wet and it may give life to other unwanted vegetation. Mix your substrate with about 70% inorganic material and 30% organic material.
Here comes the fun part!
This is where you get to bring your green roof to life. You can plant seeds which are particularly for green roofs at your local seed supplier or by planting plug plants or plant cuttings. Another way to go is to purchase pre-vegetated mats or blankets.
With the right materials, roof angle and a solid roof, you can have your plants growing in no time. Framing around the vegetation can also be implemented if you want to ensure that the green layers stay intact.
One of the disadvantages of a green roof is precisely the process of its creation which tends to be a challenge for many. Another one is its maintenance. It does require a bit more attention than a regular garden when it comes to planting choices or irrigation.
Still, have fun while putting your green roof together and be proud that you are contributing to the green movement to make this world a cleaner place.
See Also: Financial Benefits Of Going Green