One of the most exciting innovations in Houston roofing has been the advent of green roof technology. This age old system has found new applications in eastern Texas because advances in materials and construction techniques have made it practical to build a roof covered with plants that can thrive in the harsh subtropical climate of this city.
Green roofs are made by installing an impermeable surface on the roof or part of the roof. PVC is an excellent substrate material for a green roof as neither roots nor water can penetrate it. Then, the area is then carefully covered with soil and seeded with grasses or plants. The vegetation on the roof gives advantages that include improved climate control, greater energy efficiency and unparalleled beauty. However, there are challenges that must be faced when greening a roof in Houston.
Whether the roof is a retrofit or a new construction, the area must be prepared carefully. The structure must be strongly supported so that the roof can hold the combined weight of the soil, vegetation and the worst weather that the Gulf Coast can throw at it. This can include a hurricane, so the roof must be reinforced so as to bear sustained and steady pressure.
The proper plants must be chosen for the roof to thrive in the hot, damp Houston environment.
A roofing contractor from Houston Restoration Services of Houston would be happy to answer any question you have about storm damage or commercial roofing.
As it is rare for a green roof to have soil deeper than 4 inches across the majority of their surface, native Texan plants with deep root structures have difficulty adapting. Sedum and ornamental grasses appear to be the optimal choice for roof cover. Although it is easy to build deeper areas of soil on the roof in specific and well supported areas, the possibility of heavy rain prevents most roofs from supporting deep soil across their entire surface.
Green roofs are particularly friendly to the neighborhood. In addition to providing a resting place and feeding spot for the migrating birds that beautify the city, they make a big difference to the "urban heat island" effect experienced in Houston. Because buildings air condition their interiors and pump the waste heat outside, the streets of the city are often even hotter than they would normally be. The reflective and heat storing properties of concrete and asphalt do not help either. However, a green roof stops this process in its tracks. The plants on the roof absorb the heat and disperse it through their natural process of respiration, providing healthy, breathable air and moderating the humidity in their vicinity. The entire city benefits.