How to Own and Maintain a Green Roof

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( — December 24, 2017) — A green roof (or vegetative roof) is a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system that is installed on top of a flat or slightly–sloped roof. Green roofs, also known as eco–roofs, help to conserve energy, improve air quality, curtail greenhouse effect and reduce water shed runoff.

If you intend to own a green roof anytime soon, whether for your home or office, you may want to procure the services of a green roof agency. With their team of professionals and combined experience, they can show you the different types of green roofs (there are three main categories—extensive, intensive, and semi–intensive) and help you with the best fit for you.

If you want to go about it yourself, how do you create your own green roof?

1. Ensure that it is safe to build your green roof

You might need an architect to determine your building’s weight capacity. You should know the weight load of the green roof and ensure that your building is strong enough to withstand this weight. 

2. Create a water- and root-proof layer over the roof

You should spread out a long sheet on the roof that would prevent water from the roof garden to get to the roof.  Also, you do not want the plant roots directly on the roof of the house. This is done to preserve the life cycle of the roof

3. Create a frame round the green roof

You could use a non-heavy weight metal for this or wood that doesn’t get rotten. The length of the frame should be equivalent to the depth of the soil. The wood could be nailed together to form an “L” shape on all four corners.  To avoid water logging, holes should be made at the side of the frame.

4. Use a lightweight soil for planting

There are special lightweight soils that are used for green roofs.  It has to be lightweight in order to reduce the weight load the building structure would bear.

5. Start planting

You can now begin planting. It is advisable to buy sedum plants or wild flowers. These plants work better with the green roof structure.

(And when you eventually get a green roof for yourself, how do you maintain it?)

6. Some Farm Work

Most of the times, people opt for extensive green roofs because they require low maintenance. At most, all they need is a routine check up once or twice in a year while intensive roofs need much more care. At least that’s what they think. But the green roof, just like every other agricultural landscape project, needs maintenance so that it can flourish.

Weeding is very necessary especially at the initial stage where seeds are just germinating. As the plants mature, the need to weed will decrease. Weeding helps to prevent going overboard in the weight load of the plants on the roof.

A constant and effective inspection is absolutely needed.  You need to observe the growth of the plants.  Check for fungal diseases that might affect the plants. Also be on the lookout for insects. You may want to get insecticides and fungicides also.

It takes a few years for a roof plant to stand on its own. This is why you need to constantly fertilize it especially in its first growth cycle. As years pass by, the plants get used to their organic environment and create organic substances that aid their growth. At this point, fertilization becomes unnecessary.

Most green roofs do not have the ability to withstand drought or harsh dry weather conditions. You have to ensure that a good irrigation system is in place. To withstand sunny weather, water supplements should be in place.  Ensure that water can get to the roof plant in such situations to avoid adverse effects on the plants.

Get a green roof or start building one for yourself today and join the millions around the world reducing green house effect and enjoying a better quality of air.