The roof is a major factor in determining the temperature and condition of your home. Improper roofing material can drastically increase your home’s temperature in the warmer months and decrease temperature in cooler months.
There are a few ways in which to achieve the desired results from your roof, which will reduce energy use and save money.
Green roofs are vegetative covers on roofs. Green roofs are just as useful and beneficial for residential homes and for commercial businesses. While they work best for flat roofs, they are an option for most pitched household roofs. Retrofitting a roof to create a green roof is more difficult than new construction because of the work that must be done to create a structurally sound roof, but it is feasible. Green roofs extend the life of the roof up to 2 to 3 times, reduce stormwater runoff, save on summer cooling and winter heating costs, improve air quality by absorbing CO2, reducing NOx, and create beauty.
The major green roof systems are categorized as extensive and intensive, and hybrid systems.
Extensive roofs are shallower systems typically between 3 to 5 inches. They use low-growing, shallow-rooting, hardy plants in a medium engineered to maximize their life. A variety of plants can be grown to allow for different colors instead of just green. These systems can be as simple as vegetative mats placed on your roof, which are much lighter, easier to install, and less expensive. Beneath the vegetation lies a drainage layer, which allows for water to drain off the roof and not take the vegetation with it.
Intensive roofs are similar in that they also have a drainage layer, but their layered system is more complex with a minimum depth of 6 inches ranging to 1 foot deep. They entail substantial structural roof support below the root barrier, drainage, and irrigation system layers due to the additional weight.