What in the Heck is a Green Roof?

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When you think of a roof, you probably don't think about a green roof. Why are green roofs becoming so popular, and should you have one?
A home with a green, living roof

When people think of a roof, they don’t think about a green roof. This, however, is quickly changing as the trend is growing in popularity among homeowners.

Green roofs are a way for homeowners – and even commercial businesses – to use their otherwise empty roofs to promote environmentalism without disrupting traditional urban infrastructure.

These types of roofs are essential regular roofs that are covered with plants, herbs, and grasses. This vegetation is planted over a waterproofing system that helps protect the rest of the building from the effect of watering plants on the roofs.

Types of Green Roofs

There are two major types of green roofs: extensive and intensive.

An extensive green roof is a light alternative that requires little maintenance. They have a shallow growing medium (six inches or less), and the resultant space has limited plant diversity and does not require frequent watering. Extensive roofs are usually planted for environmental benefits and do not often serve as accessible rooftop gardens.

Intensive green roofs, on the other hand, use more soil and a deeper growing medium, making them heavier in comparison to extensive roofs. They need far more watering and maintenance. However, they essentially function as elevated rooftop parks and tend to feature greater plant diversity.

Bigger intensive roofs can even sustain trees, benches, and walkways. Chicago’s Millennium Park, built over Millennium Park Garage, is a great example of an intensive roof.

Advantages of a Green Roof

There are several reasons why this type of roof is growing in popularity. Some advantages offered include:

Sound Insulation

Green roofs serve as an extra layer of insulation between your home or building and the world outside. They absorb up to 30% of the noise pollution from the outside surroundings, making them an excellent choice for structures located in the middle of busy cities.

Temperature Regulation

Green roofs are extremely efficient in helping to regulate temperature. They absorb heat from the sun on hot days and prevent the escape of heat from your building on winter days. This helps you save on heating and air-conditioning costs and helps ensure that your structure is much more energy-efficient.

Water Protection

The vegetation and soil on your green roof act as a sponge that absorbs rainwater that would otherwise be wasted. This is a significant advantage in cities that see a lot of heavy rains and have problems with flash floods and an overtaxed sewer system. This rainwater retention can help prevent localized flooding, particularly if several buildings have green roofs.

Disadvantages

It should be noted, however, that there are a few disadvantages associated with installing a green roof.

The most obvious of these is the fact that the roof will need to be checked regularly to make sure that no damage has occurred to the underlying material.

Additionally, it may be necessary to make repairs to the structure of the house or business in the future in order to continue to use it in a proper manner. Some green roofs will also need periodic repair and maintenance in order to avoid them becoming damaged.

For this reason, it is important to choose one that is carefully considered according to the specific needs of the home or business in question.

Final Thoughts

Aside from these benefits, one of the biggest draws of a green roof is that they are undoubtedly an aesthetically attractive choice. They can also help set your home or building apart from neighbors and up curb appeal for homeowners looking to develop retail value for their property.

However, one thing to keep in mind if you are considering investing in a green roof is that they are definitely more expensive than regular roofs. They require professional design, and a structural analysis of your property must first be conducted to ensure that the vegetation will not put undue pressure on the building.

If you are wondering how to get started with creating a green roof for your home or commercial property or would like to find out more about this option, contact DKG Roofing at (940) 497-2833 for help. We’d love to answer any questions that you might have and help you decide whether this is the type of roof for you.

A home with a green, living roof

About DKG Roofing

With over two decades of serving homeowners’ North Texas and Denton Roofing, DKG Roofing has established ourselves as highly sought after roof repair and replacement contractors.

Call for a FREE Roof Inspection (940) 497-2833

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