If you are installing a new roof on your home, you may be considering ways to maximize your investment. With a focus on environmental benefits and reducing carbon footprints, many homeowners are considering a living roof as a solution for the standard manufactured roofing materials. Before you decide between a living roof or standard roofing materials, there are some things to discuss with a roofing contractor.
Can you add support to your roof?
Depending on what you plan to grow on your living roof, the soil weight could be significant. You'll want to talk with your roofing contractor about the weight that your roofing structure can sustain. You may need to add additional support beams for peace of mind to withstand the weight of soil, plants, and any retained water.
Will you use sandy soil?
If you want to grow things that are environmentally beneficial but won't unnecessarily stress your home's roofing integrity, consider growing greens or succulents that thrive in sandy, well-draining soil. That way, you don't have to worry about water retention causing excess weight or heavy soil. Sandy soil is lighter in weight than traditional growing mediums, making it a better solution for rooftop planting.
Can you access the roof for watering?
Talk with your roofing contractor about either adding reinforced pathways on the roof for watering access or adding a drainage structure for a longarm watering nozzle so that you can water your rooftop plants when necessary. Choose plants that grow with minimal water to reduce the risk of water retention and potential leaks in your roof.
How will you plant your rooftop plants?
You should also discuss the actual planting process with your roofing contractor. Some contractors will provide support to build the bed structure and fill the growing medium, but they won't contribute to planting the actual greenery. You'll need to plan for how to get on the roof to put the plants into the rows for growing or to scatter seeds if you're planting cover crops. Your roofing contractor might work with you to scatter seeds in some instances, so ask about it as you plan your new roof.
These are some of the most important things to consider when you're having your roof replaced. For those homeowners who want to reduce their environmental footprint, a living roof is a great alternative to manufactured roofing materials and the fossil fuel contribution of their fabrication. Talk with a roofing contractor today about designing a living roof for your home.