Are you looking for a way to help the environment in your area besides recycling? Do you live in a city or other suburban area that has little greenery? Then perhaps you should think about getting a living roof. A living roof, of green roof, is a roof that is partially or completely covered by grass or vegetation. These roofs have many benefits, including filtering rainwater, providing a habitat for insects and birds, absorbing rainwater, keeping in heat in the winter, keeping your home cooler in the summer, providing sound insulation for your home, and filtering the air that you breathe and bettering its quality.
There are a few construction tips that you should know before you begin building your own living roof. Before you begin building your new green roof you will need to make sure your roof will support the weight that comes from adding all the components that go into this wonderful creation. You may want to consider starting small with a living roof. Before you turn your home roof into a green roof, try turning the roof on your tool shed or garage as this will be easier to create and will help you learn what you need to know to build this new roof on your home.
You must also be sure that your roof is properly waterproofed; that is, make sure that water can’t get in before you begin building your living roof. Next, you will need to decide what kind of green roof is best for your needs. Do you want an extensive roof, which has less soil and limits the kind of plants you can plant? Or do you want an intensive roof, which has multiple inches of soil and allows you to plant several kinds of plants, including small trees? If your roof is easily accessible and does not have a steep slope, then it will be easier for you to build an intensive living roof.
Next, you will need to obtain and place a waterproof membrane on your roof. Depending on how much water the plants you are placing on your roof need, you may need to add a moisture layer to your roof. This means that you will need to lay cardboard or old blankets over the waterproof membrane to keep in moisture. Moisture layers are important for green roofs with steep slopes because the soil can drain and dry out faster. When you are ready to add the growth media layer, you will need to make sure that the saturated weight of the mixture is lighter than normal soil when it is saturated. Using mixers in your soil such as sand, gravel, wood chips, peat, expanded clay, or humus can help keep your soil mixture light enough for your roof.
You should refrain from using any type of design for a living roof that does not drain properly, as these can result in dead weight that your roof may not be able to withstand. You should also avoid using herbicides that stop root growth, as these will eventually seep out of the materials and into the environment. Avoiding surface irrigation is also a must, as these watering systems do not provide enough water for the roots. You lose too much water due to evaporation, rendering them ineffective and costing you more money.