Small Scale Green Roofs

When installed correctly, green roofs will provide you and your home with many benefits. These include the storage of water, the decrease of storm water run down; create habitat, insulation, an aesthetic impact and much more. Larger scale green roof, like those on a skyscraper in an urban city, is best entrusted to a professional roofing company. Smaller scale domestic green roofs such as garage roofs and shed are relatively easy to install as long as you make sure to follow certain guidelines.


Here is how to make your own small-scale green roof

The angle of your roof

The best angle recommended for a green roof is a slope between 2°and 10°, but even a roof that is more sloped than 10°can have a green roof installed with the help of a specialist.

Stability of your roof

It is important to have a well-functioning roof without any maintenance issues, but it is just as important to know whether your roof is strong enough to carry extra weight. The best way to make sure of your roofs loading capacity is to consult with an architect or structural engineer. Green roofs that are simple and lightweight can weigh between 13.9 to 30.0 1b/sq. ft. Another thing to calculate is the weight that the roof will take on after rain or snow. In the case your roof is unstable; you can reinforce it by using wooden supports.

Know your green roof layers

Conventional green roofs consist of many complicated layers. It is not too complicated when you are making your own small-scale green roof. There are three layers that your green roof should consist off.

  • The root proof membrane which is the layer that waterproofs your roof.
  • The substrate layer which is where the soil goes.
  • The vegetation layer which is where the plants will grow.
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Make your roof water proof

The first step in starting a green roof is by adding an extra layer that will not allow water to get in contact with the roof itself. Examples of good waterproofing materials are shingles sheets and heavy-duty pond liner, found at a garden center. Any outlets should be marked before placing the waterproof layer on top so that you can cut them out at a later stage.

Drainage system

Making use of pebbles is great for two things. First, you can place pebbles around the edge of the roof to avoid vegetation growing in that area. Secondly, pebbles are a great way to make sure water blockages does not occur in outlets by adding a layer of pebbles in the drainage area. It is vital that the water is able to run into the gutter of the roof.

The substrate layer

It is important to use good soil and not ordinary garden soil as that can become too heavy when wet. Your substrate should not weight too much and have too many nutrients (which can cause unwanted plants to grow). When mixing your own soil, the ratio should be plus minus 70% inorganic material and plus minus 30% organic material. The average depth of a homemade green roof in 70 to 200mm.

Bring in the greens

Nowadays, finding a green roof seed mix at your local seed supplier is not a problem. Special green roof mixtures produce to grow plants that can stand the extreme weather. If you are not keen on waiting for the growing to start, you can buy mats or blankets that are pre-vegetated. If you feel up to the challenge of being creative, you can make your own combination of lovely greens, by choosing your own plant cuttings or seeding.

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Keeping up with your greens

It is good to know that the maintenance of a small scale DIY green roof is in most cases low. To make sure that your green roof lives long, then there are certain to-dos that should be done 1-2 times a year.

  • During a drought, make sure that the plants are watered (more than once when it’s the first year of your green roof).
  • Vegetation should be cleared from the drainage area.
  • Clean your gravel edges from vegetation.
  • Bare or dead areas should get re-planted.

Extra design

To make sure your green roof remains contained, it is a good idea to build a frame around the roof, and this material needs to be of rot-resistant materials. It is important to keep drainage clear when adding a frame. Green roofs are a luxury functional fashion while at the same time you keep things Eco-friendly. Installing a green roof yourself can bring one sense of accomplished and save you money along the way. The most important thing to remember is to have fun during the process.