Also referred to as an eco-roof, a green roof is covered in vegetation, which helps to reverse the damage that was caused when the building was initially constructed.
Found in cities all over the world, they carry many benefits. For the building owner, a reduction in costs over time as green roofs are more energy efficient. This also benefits the city the building is based in, with research showing that green roofs can help to reduce a city’s overall temperature by 3°C.
Whilst there are several advantages compared to traditional roofs, there are also many misconceptions surrounding eco roofs, which is causing many people to question whether the risks outweigh the benefits.
Here, Roof Maker highlight the top five myths surrounding green roofs…
“Green roofs cause leaks”
This is one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding green roofs, with the reality being that they don’t carry a higher risk of leaks compared to traditional roofs.
If a roof has been poorly structured or badly maintained, then it will be prone to leaks. All roofs must have a waterproofing membrane when they’re being built. If they don’t, then there’s a higher possibility of leaks, whether they’re an eco-roof or a traditional roof.
In fact, it’s been suggested that green roofs can protect the water membrane of your roof, in addition to preventing damage from sunlight and heavy rain.
So, if you’re considering installing a green roof on your building, don’t be put off by potential leaks. As long as it’s been installed correctly, you have nothing to worry about.
“Green roofs don’t need watering”
Once you’ve installed your green roof, you can’t just leave it. There will be some maintenance involved, in the form of watering your plants.
How much watering you’ll need to do is dependent on several factors, including where your building is located, how old the roof is, and the type of plants you have. Even though you may not need to water your roof much, you can’t just leave it.
When a green roof is installed initially, irrigation is required so that plant roots can establish themselves.
When you’re designing your green roof, it’s important that you pick plants that are suited to the climate you’re in, and this will have an effect on the amount of watering you’ll need to do.
If you live in an area that’s prone to droughts, you’ll want to select plants that can withstand hot temperatures. In contrast, if you live somewhere that rains a lot, then plants that can absorb large amounts of water are the ideal choice.
It’s important that you understand how often you’ll need to water your plants, otherwise they’ll die, and you won’t get to enjoy the benefits of your green roof.
“Green roofs are only for green buildings”
Whilst green buildings will usually have eco-roofs, installation isn’t limited to these types of buildings.
Even if your construction doesn’t have a specific eco objective, you can still enjoy the many benefits of green roofs.
Natural insulation resulting in a reduction in energy costs is one benefit, but others include a reduction in the risk of flooding and an increase in biodiversity.
“Anyone can install a green roof”
Installing a green roof isn’t just an extension of gardening. It’s actually a construction project that requires designers and builders, so unless you have experience, you won’t be able to install it yourself.
Before you even design your green roof, you’ll need to have the structure of your property analysed to see if it can withstand an eco-roof. Once you’ve gotten the go-ahead, you can then call in the experts to install your roof.
Once all the vegetation has been planted, you can maintain the roof yourself, as much of it will just involve watering the plants. However, as the installation can be difficult, you shouldn’t attempt it yourself, unless you know what you’re doing.
“Green roofs are very expensive”
Many people assume that green roofs are really expensive. Whilst there will be an initial outlay with regards to labour and installation costs, over time the roof will start to pay for itself.
Studies suggest that you should start to recoup investment of your green roof after 8 – 21 years, which may sound like a long time, but it’s worth the wait.
One way in which costs are saved are through a reduction in energy usage. A study in Canada showed that green roofs reduced energy consumption in the summer by up to 75%.
Plus, green roofs can last twice as long as conventional roofs, as they protect the roofing material from external influences like the sun and rain, so you won’t have to pay as much for replacements.
These benefits will only work in your favour, with an increase in the value of your property likely. Therefore, if you’re considering investing in a green roof, don’t let the perception of extra costs deter you.
With many “risks” of green roofs mere myths, the long-term benefits to be enjoyed make green roofs very worthwhile investments, and something that you should consider for your building.
Article provided by Roof Maker.