Do Green Roofs Really Work?

View of green roof on modern buildings and other residential buildings in Sydney, Australia during sunrise

Learn How a Green Roof Works

There have been increases of creative and innovative roofing designs that provide economic as well as environmental benefits. A green roof is a fine example of this by combating energy waste while providing more biodiversity to the earth. Essentially, a green roof will work with the many different functions you may choose it to serve with the different types of green roofs our there. Depending on what you’re striving for you’ll have a different desired output. Green roofs do work, yet like any other roof system there are maintenance and inspection responsibilities that will periodically need to be made in order to ensure a long roof life. If you’d like to learn more details about a green roof it’s best to get in contact with your local roofing experts with a qualified roofing company. Here is some general background information that may provide useful to you regarding green roofs in the mean time.

How are green roofs made?

A green roof is made of manufactured layers which support a growing medium and vegetation. The five main layers that it includes is first a waterproof membrane, a root protection barrier, a drainage layer, a growing medium and finally plants.

Do green roofs leak?

A green roof is not supposed to cause leaks unless the roofing membrane is breached which would be the case with other types of roofing systems as well. Like all roofs initial installations should be handled by an experienced and reputable roofer and inspections or leak detections should be conducted before installation. Essentially a green roof can extend the life of the roof as the vegetation has a thick protective layer that protects it from the damaging effects of extreme temperature fluctuation, UV rays, and mechanical damages. 

Why are green roofs bad?

A green roof is not bad in itself, if there are issues it will be with the possibility of the roots of the plants penetrating waterproof membranes. However, there are measures to avoid such an issue as root barriers are actually typically implemented with each green roof construction. Another thing to consider is to remove the types of plants that can cause such an issue. What’s more, adding in yearly inspections can help reduce the potential for leak development. An annual inspection is recommended for all types of roofing materials and is not limited only to green roofs. 

Do green roofs need maintenance?

A green roof will need annual roof inspections like most roofs. The exact level of maintenance necessary will largely depend n the type of green roof installation and purpose of the plant growth. For example, extensive and biodiverse green roofs will typically need more attention in accordance to the different designs that they may have.

How deep is a green roof?

A green roof is around 1-4 inches deep or less than 6 inches deep. Depending on the depth it will be able to support a range of plants. Such plants can include herbs, sedums (low-growing succulents,) perennials, and meadow grasses.

What is the difference between intensive and extensive green roofs?

An extensive green roof will typically allow for only a small selection of drought-tolerant plants with shallow roofing systems while an intensive green roof can more readily support a wide range of plants such as shrubs and small trees. 

Can you walk on a green roof?

You are able to occasionally walk on certain green roofs such as a Sedum green roofs yet this will depend on a variety of factors. Keep in mind that walking on frozen vegetation will cause them to become damaged.

How long does a green roof last?

A green roof is estimated to last around 40 years with a range of benefits from reduced energy cost savings and to economic benefits.

What is the benefit of a green roof?

A green roof has many benefits to both local and global environments. Firstly, green roofs can reduce stormwater runoff as they retain rainwater and then return a portion to the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration. There will be cost savings with this decentralized stormwater mitigation and it will ease the stress of water being sent to sewer systems. Green roofs will be able to reduce energy use, in the summer it will protect it from direct solar heat while in the winter it’ll minimize heat loss from it’s natural added insulation. Due to energy conservation, there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions. There are many additional benefits from the improvement of air quality and less ground ozone, less smog, and creating biodiversity habitats.

green roof of a home

Why green roofs are important?

  • Reduce Energy Costs
  • Provide Natural Insulation & Heat Absorption
  • Decrease Air Pollution
  • Decrease Green House Emissions
  • Reduce Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Produce Oxygen
  • Reduces & Slows Stormwater Runoff

Contact Your Local Roofer

If you’d like to incorporate a green roof onto your property get in touch with your local roofing company for more information. A green roof will serve many advantages while also creating an aesthetically pleasing implementation to your home or building. Confer with professional roofers about how a green roof can be constructed and be beneficial to you. 

If you’re interested in a green roof in Yukon and Oklahoma City, OK call (405) 470-9115 with Chisholm Trail Roofing & Construction!