Although the initial cost of installing a green roof on your home is higher than replacing your existing roof, you can save money on roof repairs and energy costs over the life of the green roof system. You can also do your part in protecting the environment and making your neighborhood a more pleasant place to live.
Of course, if your existing roof needs repair, you must have it repaired before installing a green roof over it. A green roof consists of a waterproof membrane that covers the existing roof, with a layer of soil and vegetation atop the membrane.
How does a green roof save money on roof repair costs?
The waterproof membrane adds an added layer of protection from water leaks and the subsequent damage to your home. The soil and vegetation provides a layer of protection from the damage caused by the UV rays of the sun, and creates a buffer zone against driving rain, wind, and hail.
A green roof will also help to prevent damage to your home's foundation from the normal rapid runoff of rainwater from your roof. Rainwater is filtered through the vegetation and released more slowly, allowing drain systems to carry it away from your home more efficiently.
Why would a green roof save money on energy costs?
The soil and vegetation on a green roof acts as an additional layer of insulation, trapping the cooler air inside your home in the summer while absorbing and nullifying the warmth of the sun.
In the cold of winter, the insulating effect keeps the warm air inside your home while providing a layer of protection from the cold air outside.
What are the environmental benefits of having a green roof on your home?
The filtering of rainwater doesn't just help to minimize flooding. It also removes pollutants from the water before it flows into sewer systems and local water supplies.
You are also providing a natural habitat for birds and insects, which is especially important in urban areas.
How does a installing green roof on your home improve your neighborhood?
A green roof is more aesthetically pleasing than a traditional black roof. In addition, you are creating less ambient heat in the neighborhood when you cover your roof with soil and plants. Rows of black roofs, along with the black asphalt in roads and parking lots, absorb and multiply the heat from the sun, creating a "heat island" effect that causes urban neighborhoods to swelter in the summertime.
Is your home structurally sound enough for a green roof?
You must first hire a roofing contractor to determine the viability of your existing roof for supporting a green roof. Soil and vegetation, along with absorbed water. can add a substantial amount of weight to your roof.
However, green roofs come in many different styles. Some systems only use a few inches of soil and some ground cover type plants, while others will include several inches of soil and a wider selection of vegetation.
Whichever type you choose, seek out a roofing contractor who is experienced in green roof installation and any subsequent maintenance that may be required after they are installed. Companies like Rainy Day Exteriors may be able to help meet your roofing needs.