The green movement is in full swing and it has become very popular in home decor. Many home owners find that they can enjoy the luxury of functional fashion while still remaining eco-friendly in their furniture, flooring and everything in between. Among the many items that are going green, roofs have become a great place to start your eco-friendly renovations and there are many benefits for you, your wallet and your neighbors.
Before I go into what the benefits of a green roof are, I would like to explain what a green roof is first. A green roof is actually a cover for your current roof that uses plants such as grasses and lichens to cover the top of your house. It is actually very in-depth when it comes to making your roof green and the process usually involves water proofing your existent roof, applying a root repellent system and a drainage system so there is little to no damage caused by the plants.
After that installers will place a filter cloth on your roof, cover it with a growing medium and then finally secure the plants onto your roof. What you are left with is a pretty green garden on the top of your house that is always a conversation starter.
The benefits of a green roof vary and I will look at them individually.
Benefits for you:
No matter how green conscious we are, there will always be a part of our brain that will ask, “Well, how does this benefit me?”. The answer is really that it will benefit your wallet in the long run. Although green roofs can be expensive to install, they are usually make up their investment within a few years.
- Green roofs form a layer of insulations for the home. This means that home owners will probably use less insulation on their roofs when they build and they will also use less energy to both heat and cool their homes. In fact, studies have shown that a green roof can reduce your cooling costs by 25% during the summer months alone. Those savings are massive when it all starts to add up.
- The second benefit of the insulation is sound proofing. Now this may not seem like a big benefit but if you are in an area with a lot of air traffic, you will quickly notice the benefit of even partial sound proofing that is provided by a green roof.
- The third benefit is the aesthetic appeal. Although it may look strange in the beginning, green roofs are usually the talk of the town and everyone loves details that are unique and beautiful.
- Lastly, a green roof enables you to reduce the number of roof drains that you have and in some cases, it can completely eliminate them. This may not seem like a huge benefit but when it comes time for cleaning those drains, you will be overjoyed with not having to clean any.
Before I close off on this article, I think that it is important to look at the benefits for society, since this is often the reason why we go green in the first place.
- Obviously, the fact that you are saving money on your home energy costs is a green benefit for everyone since it will ultimately mean that you are burning fewer crude oils. This means fewer greenhouse gases, which is great for everyone.
- Another benefit of green roofs is the fact that it affects the “Urban Heat Island Effect.” This means that if an urban area has more green roofs, the actual heat island effect is actually lowered. This results in decreased costs for cities when they try to meet greenhouse gas reductions.
- Having a green roof creates jobs for more than one industry, since a green roof uses construction, drainage, roofing membranes, substrate and plants. This opens up a world of industry and will create jobs for everyone interested in those industries.
- Green roofs also have the added benefit of lowering the costs that is needed to handle the effects of storm water. Most green roofs are designed to use storm water and there is very little runoff from a green roof that will fill storm sewers.
- Lastly, a green roof aids in the manufacturing of clean oxygen. With more and more forests and “green” areas being destroyed, the need for plants to produce oxygen continues to grow. Providing a roof that can produce oxygen is an excellent way to ensure that our planet stays healthy and green for generations to come.
So when all is said and done, there are many different benefits when it comes to a green roof. Not only will it save you money but it is eco-friendly and decorative at the same time.