‘Green’ Roofs Pros And Cons
Believe it or not, green roofs have been around for thousands of years. Since their emergence, green roofs have advanced greatly and are now becoming a stylish and desired roof type. Modern green roofs are designed with multiple layers that are meant to support soil and vegetation. Although some roofers will argue that there are three, there are two main types of modern day green roofs. These green roof types include intensive and extensive. The depths of the soil layers, the amount of vegetation supported and the overall function of the green roof is what helps categorize it as intensive or extensive as you will see listed below in the descriptions of each one. Intensive Green Roofing- This green roof features deeper layers of soil and more vegetation. Its design supports a wider variety of vegetation and will require more maintenance. Extensive Green Roofing- The layers of soil are less dense since less vegetation is grown on this type of green roof. This green roof is the least expensive option and will require less maintenance. Now that you have a better idea of what a green roof is, you may want to learn about all of the pros and cons regarding this type of roof. This will give you more assurance in the type of roof you decide to have installed.
Pros of Green Roofs
- They are one of the longest existing roof types around the world. Since it has been around for thousands of years, it is proven successful in its ability to shelter a home and only continues to get better with all the enhancements made along the way.
- Green roofs especially from an aerial point of view are very visually pleasing. You can get as creative as you’d like in its design, color scheme and vegetation choices.
- The longevity of a green roof long surpasses that of any other conventional roof type. Green roofs life expectancy is hard to pinpoint because proper care and regular maintenance can greatly increase its longevity, but it is safe to assume you won’t need to worry about a roof replacement for at least 30 to 50 years. Green roofs are protected by ultraviolet radiation and extreme temperature changes due to the root infrastructure.
- You can create a place for peace, quiet and relaxation on a green roof. Many people with green roofs will create a spiritual outdoor oasis where they can get away from the world’s chaos at the end of the day. Many individuals also plant gardens that they can tend to and fresh get produce from.
- Since water and moisture are absorbed by the vegetation, you’re increasing the quality of our water by reducing storm runoff. Studies have shown that green roofs absorb 60 to 100% of the water it receives from rainfall.
- With a green roof you are reducing noise and air pollution, and conserving energy while providing a desirable habitat for wildlife.
- The vegetation on a green roof absorbs the sun’s rays and heat keeping the interior of the building cooler during warmer weather months. They’ll also help provide shade to anyone on the roof while the sun is out.
Cons of Green Roofs
- Your home or commercial building will need to withstand the weight of a green roof. The structure must have the proper and adequate amount of support as well as a low slope or flat design structure.
- Almost all green roofs will include a barrier between the building structure and the soil and vegetation layers. However, this doesn’t always protect the structure from the penetration of roots. If a leak does occur, spotting its origin presents many difficulties even for professional roofers.
- Extensive green roof installations cost less than intensive green roof installations, yet both are more expensive than the installations of conventional roof types.
- The constant maintenance and care of a green roof is necessary for its survival as well as its success at providing protection. If you choose to do this maintenance on your own, it will help cut a lot of the costs involved with green roof care. Maintenance includes typical garden upkeep such as weeding, fertilizing and planting.
- Finding plants that can thrive on your roof top might present some issues. You’ll need to do a lot of research to find out what plants are best for your roof based on your property’s location and the vegetation’s need for little to no shade. A landscaper, professional gardener or even an experienced green roof contractor should also provide you with a plethora of information.