Homeowners who are evaluating roofing types based on their relative lifespan and energy efficiency should contact a Houston roofing professional for advice regarding the pros and cons of various roofing options. One choice that is common in Europe and increasing in popularity in the United States is the green roof.
Green roofs utilize vegetation for much of the outer surface and, consequently, are primarily green in color. There are two basic types of green roofs, extensive and intensive. Extensive roofs use ground cover, such as grass, for the vegetation and are lighter than intensive roofs, which can contain shrubs and trees on their surfaces. As a result, while extensive roofs are much heavier than intensive roofs, they provide a convenient surface that allows for a more practical use of the space. Apartment dwellers can enjoy extra space for a garden, or a business can equip the roof with walkways and benches for an outdoor break area. The soil or other growing medium on an extensive roof must be a minimum of one foot thick. On the other hand, this layer on an intensive roof can be six inches or less.
Green roofs provide excellent insulation and can save homeowners on cooling costs. On a hot day, a green roof will be about the same temperature as the air, while traditional roofing surfaces absorb and continue to build up heat.
Roofers from Houston Restoration Services of Houston TX would be happy to answer any question you have about residential roofing or commercial roofing.
Because the soil and vegetation on a green roof protect the membrane beneath it from wind and ultraviolet radiation, the life of the roof is extended considerably. In addition to being more energy efficient, green roofs help to reduce the urban heat island effect, which takes place as roofing surfaces and paved ground level surfaces continue to soak up the heat. Green roofs can actually help to cool the air through a process called evapotranspiration, which happens as water evaporates from the leaves of plants. The plants also produce oxygen and remove particulates from the air.
Another benefit of a green roof is the control of storm water runoff. Much of the rain is captured by the roofing surface and used to sustain the vegetation. This reduces the demand placed on storm water systems that would normally funnel excess water away from the building's exterior. The roofing membrane beneath the soil is specially designed to withstand the weight of the dirt and to resist penetration from the roots of the vegetation. The membranes must still support drainage for those times when the rainfall exceeds the soil's absorption capacity.