Pros And Cons Of Having A Green Roof Installed

Posted on: 5 May 2016

If you're working on building an environmentally friendly dream house or even just replacing your roof and considering eco-friendly options, a "green roof" or rooftop garden can sound like a very appealing alternative to asphalt shingles. And while it is undoubtedly better than everyday shingling in many respects, you should understand that every roof type comes with its own pros and cons. Read these pros and cons before deciding on a green roof so you'll have realistic expectations of what it can do for you.

Pros:

A green roof is decidedly a more eco-friendly way to go, and it can have some amazing benefits in other areas of life as well. Here are some of the highlights of a green roof's benefits.

  • A green roof can help shade your roof so that it absorbs less heat. This can allow your AC system to do its job more easily.
  • The reduction in heat absorption doesn't just let your AC take it easy, it also saves you more money because of the reduced energy usage.
  • The medium that the plants grow in can do more than shade your roof; it can also insulate it against the cold, so it's great in all seasons.
  • In addition to controlling heat transfer, the plants' roots and the growing medium can also absorb water, so there's less runoff during storms.
  • The water that does end up running off will be cleaner and won't have shingle granules in it.
  • If your roof is flat, your rooftop garden can be a great place to grow your own food even if you live in the city and don't have enough land for a garden.
  • A green roof lasts longer than an asphalt roof, meaning you won't have as many inconvenient roof replacements to worry about.
  • You may be able to get incentives such as grants or federal tax credits to help offset the cost of the roof.

Cons:

Although green roofs can be a great way to improve your house, they do come with certain limitations. These limitations may cause some homeowners to decide that green roofs are not for them. If this turns out to be you, never fear; there are plenty of other ways to make your roof eco-friendly without growing plants on it. Here are some of the cons you may discover with a green roof:

  • The initial outlay of money is more for a green roof than for a basic asphalt roof, leading some to believe that it's "not worth it."
  • Finding and repairing leaks can be a tricky business when you have plants installed on your roof.
  • Green roofs may not be the most cost-effective type of eco-friendly roof when compared to other "cool roof" options

These pros and cons can help you make a well-considered decision about whether a green roof is the type of roof for you. Remember that while you can install a green roof system on a pitched roof as well as on a flatter roof, the installation is likely to cost more because it requires special measures to keep plants and media from falling off, meaning that this is a more cost-effective option for those with flatter roofs.

For more information and options, talk with roofing services in your area. 

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