Caring For Your Roof

by Editor on May 17, 2013

Repairing the roof

A big misconception of green roofing systems is that they will require no maintenance once they have been installed. In reality, maintenance is required in order for them to sustain their levels of efficiency. Insulation, air purification, and their numerous other advantages all depend on a vibrant and dynamic relationship between the environment and the plants.  Neglecting a green roof for long periods of time can result in having to virtually start over in the process in order to get the system back to normal levels of production.  How well a green roof performs can depend heavily on the levels of biodiversity present in the plants you choose to install as well.  The greater the biodiversity of life, the better the green roof.  However, a greater variety of plant life also leads to more maintenance in order to preserve the delicate balance in the miniature ecosystem that is created.

Get On a Schedule

Companies in larger cities where green roofing is more common typically will handle both the installation and maintenance of green roofs at the residential or commercial level.  They are able to come to a given location and perform the maintenance or assist their customers in developing a maintenance plan that they can implement over time.  There are a number of activities that are necessary to do annually in order for your roof to be as green as it can possibly be.

Clear the Way For New Life

Over time, green roofs begin to produce excess plant matter through the natural processes of growth and decay.  This excess material must be cleared from the roof so that it will not inhibit new growth in the future and add to the weight of the roof.  In most cases, not every plant that is initially installed on a green roof will succeed.  The plants that do not begin to thrive should be replaced with healthy seeds.  Dying plants on the roof surface that account for more than 5% of the total area must be replaced.  Drainage is another important part of a thriving green roof.  When drains are blocked, the water can accumulate very easily on this kind of structure.  It can drastically increase the likelihood of leaks and drown the roots of the plants that you have in place.

Form and Function

In areas that are extremely dry or for roofs that have a larger diversity of plant life, water systems may need to be put in place to regulate the amount of moisture that each section of the roof receives.  In this case, the sprinkler or drip system that is put in place must be inspected for leaks and damage from corrosion.  Because the soil that the plants rely on is not buried in the earth itself, it is also necessary for owners to provide regular nutrients that will assist the plants in developing healthy root systems.  When properly cared for, green roofing systems increase the efficiency of a building in addition to beautifying its exterior.

A Reputation for Radical Solutions

Seattle and many other cities across the nation have green roofing systems in place that are fairly well-renown for these qualities.  The Washington Mutual Center in Seattle is so large and diverse in its use of space that it increases the sustainability of the building while also providing an area for workers to congregate, enjoy nature, and have a breath of fresh air during their lunch break.  The roof itself is huge, and drought-resistant plants cover roughly two-thirds of its surface, making it one of the largest in this metropolitan area.

To learn more about properly caring for her Houston Texas roof, Denise Glucksman visited and found a wealth of information.

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