Ten Things You Need To Know Before Getting A Green Roof Installed

As an environmentally conscious homeowner considering having a green roof installed, you should always be aware of the pros and cons of such a venture before you start moving into the project. It's a considerable investment of time and money and, while it can bring dividends in the form of money savings and other benefits, it's not necessarily the perfect solution for every house. Read through these ten essential points to make sure you know the ins and outs of what getting a green roof really means.

1. They're more low-maintenance than you'd expect.

Of course the green roof doesn't come full-grown; you'll need to water it periodically while it's getting established. But, if you opt for the most low-maintenance type, you won't need to water it at all after that as long as there are normal levels of rainfall.

2. The price is lower for flat roofs.

The steeper the roof is, the more difficult it is to anchor the system securely and keep the plants and the planting medium from being washed away. This means that if you have an extremely steep roof, it may not be feasible for your house, and if you have a moderately steep roof, you should expect to pay a premium.

3. You can't cut corners by using dirt.

The planting media used have special characteristics that help keep plants from washing away and reduce the load on the roof. Topsoil is too heavy to function well in this capacity and lacks other required characteristics as well, such as nutrient richness and inclusion of air. 

4. They're great sound barriers.

Green roofs can insulate not only against heat and cold but also against sounds coming from outside. Of course, sound will still enter through your walls, so it won't eliminate noise from city traffic altogether.

5. Green roofs are more than just "cool roof" options.

In addition to cooling your roof, a green roof system can insulate it from cold, catch and filter stormwater, and more. 

6. They cost money, but they can save money too.

One of the bigger cost savings a green roof can provide is cooling, which reduces your AC energy usage. But reducing roof repairs, providing food (if you use edible plants), and so on are also great money savers.

7. They last much longer.

A green roof can actually last about twice as long as an asphalt roof, meaning that even if it costs twice as much to install, it's not necessarily overpriced.

8. They're a great way to reclaim rooftop space.

If you have an empty, flat rooftop that's not doing much, installing a rooftop garden is a wonderful way to make it a more inviting place to spend time.

9. You can get help paying for them.

Some localities offer grants and other types of financial incentives that you can use to help you pay for a green roof. This lowers the overall cost even more.

10. You'll need total waterproofing to install one.

Of course, if you're going to be watering your roof, you'll want to make sure you have a waterproofing system in place first. This means using a waterproofing membrane like those used on low slope roofs to prevent low slope leaks, but with a green roof you'll need it no matter how steep your slope is.

Now that you know more about how getting a green roof works and what it can do for you, you can make a more informed decision about whether it's what you're looking for. If you decide against it, don't worry; there are plenty of other eco-friendly roofing options such as metal or tiles that you can choose from as well.

For more information, talk with professional roofing contractors in your area, such as Ray's Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc.