Green roofing is hardly a new concept, but its introduction to North America has been met with a bit of confusion. There are quite a few benefits of green roofing that can make the investment worthwhile, but with often high costs for labor and consulting, it's worth knowing exactly what you're getting into. A few concepts of green roofing, the labor required and safety concerns can help you decide if a green roof is really worth your time and money.
What Is Green Roofing?
Green roofing is basically the ability to grow vegetation on your roof. Instead of using traditional asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, metal roofs or other roofing materials, a layer of soil and your vegetation of choice can be supported on the roof.
The 'green' label comes from the green movement in general, a process of promoting environmentally safe practices to support a growing world where humans give back instead of destroying nature while developing.
Green roofing is a bit different from traditional roofing. It takes the knowledge of not just a roofer, but an architectural designer and a gardener to make sure that the garden is supported properly and that the building isn't damaged over time because of the roof design.
What Are The Benefits Of A Green Roof?
The roof protection value of a green roof may not be as high as other traditional roofing types. Although the soil and vegetation can do a great job of dampening the sound of rain and providing general shelter, there is still the constant threat of rather quick erosion.
Proper roofing techniques can slow the erosion, but it will still be less efficient than shingles or metal roofing in terms of longevity. A description of roof type longevity can be found in a study from the National Association of Home Builders, table 21.
Green roofing provides the obvious cosmetic benefit of looking different and giving a creative aura about your home. In areas with lots of vegetation, a home with a roof made of the forest and fields can be very appealing.
For more practical benefits, you won't have to worry as much about rainwater runoff. Such runoff can erode the ground around your home, leading to damage and discoloration of concrete, ground tiles and especially bare ground. The roof itself absorbs most of the moisture, and can be easily designed with release water in a more controlled fashion than with gutters alone.
Are There Any Green Roofing Dangers?
The roofing safety concerns are based on what you plan on growing on your roof. A basic lawn or small shrubbery on the roof may not be a problem, and can be managed with a basic rooftop garden design. For trees and other large, heavy plants, you'll need more planning.
Trees have the risk of swaying in the wind, which can damage the home where the tree is planted. Larger trees require a root system that penetrates the home at least in part, which can lead to even greater damage, depending on the health of the tree.
Make sure that your roofing team has practical, proven experience with green roofing. If you want to promote green roofing in your area, assist your roofing team in attending seminars and classes for specific roofing techniques. Get in contact with roofers like those from VK Roofing who are ready to transform your home to begin planning your green roofing project.