Dispelling the Myths About Green Roofing

Green roofing has been increasing in popularity across the UK for some time, yet there are still some common myths that surround this relatively new concept for domestic roofing. From being high maintenance to causing structural damage, the myths are widespread.

We’re dedicated to green roofing and making the UK greener – one roof at a time. We thought we’d take a look at some of the most common myths and see what we can do to change or update them.

Is green roofing high maintenance?

When first installed, a green roof needs to be ‘watered in’ as any new garden bed or border would be. However, once the roots begin to establish after a couple of months, a green roof is often perfectly self-sufficient and much easier to look after than a border.

This of course can depend on the type of use and therefore planting you will be using. Usually, sedum, moss and grasses are extremely low maintenance. If you’re having a more formal, heavily-planted ornamental roof terrace, you’ll be spending more time looking after those plants.

Does a green roof affect the structural integrity of a building?

The origins of this common myth lie in the additional weight that a green roof carries over a regular flat roof membrane. There are several layers to a green roof, and some consist of gravel used to provide drainage across the roof deck. This coupled with the weight of soil, insulation, planting and water makes a green roof considerably heavier.

If green roofing is prepared and installed correctly, following a professional assessment of the load bearing capabilities and strengthening if necessary, then there is no link between green roofing and structural damage. It is always advisable to have flat roofing checked before installing any type of roof covering, as over time, old and previously worn materials can allow water to seep into a roof deck. It is a waste of time and money if new materials (and in particular green roof installations) need to be later removed due to damage in the deck itself.

Does green roofing lead to higher likelihood of roof leaks?

It is arguable as to which is the most important layer in a green roof project. Designers and maybe even homeowners may argue that the planting is on show and most important of all, but in reality, the installation will fail, and the roof will leak without a good quality base membrane at the very bottom.

EPDM membranes are ideal for green roofs, offering 100% waterproofing over their expected lifespan of more than 50 years. Once correctly laid and protected with an insulating layer from the drainage gravel, EPDM outperforms any other membrane and offers peace of mind over the long term.

Green roofs are only for commercial, eco-friendly buildings, aren’t they?

Although green roofs have been traditionally more popular in the commercial sector and for public buildings around Europe, they have been around since the 1940s in some form for the domestic garden. As more consumers are beginning to take responsibility for the climate and looking to sustainable, eco-friendly systems for construction, green roofing popularity is accelerating.

Popularity is also on the increase because of greater accessibility to materials and systems that can be installed as part of a DIY project. EPDM membrane is easy to apply, and the green roof division are on hand to assess, design, advise and even provide a full green roof kit for professional or DIY installation at home.

Find out more about green roofing.

About Permaroof green roof division: Permaroof green roof division can help advise you on all aspects of your project; the type of planting to choose for your needs; applying for permissions if necessary and the best base membrane or material for your all-important bottom layer. Talk to us today on 01773 609080 or visit the Permaroof green roof division page to find out more.