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Green Roof Systems: What Are They?

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 by Admin

When a roof is referred to as green, it doesn’t mean that it has green-colored shingles. Rather, a green roof is a roof system that is mainly composed of vegetation and is designed to promote environmentalism. European countries are the pioneers of green or vegetated roofs but more than five years ago, North Americans have started adopting the same concept on residential and commercial rooftops.

You can think of a green roof as a garden installed on your existing roof. The top layer is the vegetation layer. Since plants are highly vulnerable to fire, choose plants that can withstand solar heat especially during summer. The next layer would be the growing or planting medium that is, the soil. The selection of the type of soil and the thickness of the layer depend on the type of plants you will be planting. Filter layer comes next which is often made from materials like jute or burlap. Under it would be the drainage layer which is responsible for maintaining a free flow of water to the drainage, preventing water to stagnate on the roof membrane. The last layer would be the waterproof roof membrane.

Some home owners and building owners have realized the benefits of having vegetation on their rooftops. One, a green roof is energy-efficient as it provides more insulation for the house or the building. Two, as has been pointed out, a green roof promotes environmentalism as it gives off more oxygen for breathing. Three, a green roof makes the temperature in your house cooler as it adds more protection and insulation. And finally, a green roof can make a house or building look stunning.

However, a green roof also has disadvantages. One major concern about green roofs is leaks. The drainage has to be so effective to make sure that the water would neither stay on the roof membrane nor drip down further to the roof system and cause water damage. Also, a green roof would require more maintenance than just a regular roof system. Installing a green roof could also be costlier but the long-term savings on your energy bills could outweigh this drawback.

If you are considering to go green on your roof, make sure that you have done enough research first. Choose also a roofing Nashville contractor who has already an experience in green roofs. You can also ask the roofing Nashville contractor for some advice on how to carry out the project. Consider also hiring a landscape contractor to professionally design the vegetation layer of your green roof.

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