How to Begin Planning for a Green Roof Installation in MarylandWith the climate and water conditions deteriorating in Maryland, it is natural for homeowners to fall back on sustainable practices to improve their quality of life. So, if you are, too, eyeing green roofs, this brief guide will help you plan well.

What is a Green Roof?

Green roofs are an example of a “green technology” for sustainable architecture. They are built on top of existing roofs or as stand-alone structures and intended to do at least one of the following:

  • Increase biodiversity
  • Help purify the air
  • Help insulate the building while reducing the amount of energy required for heating and cooling
  • Filter pollutants from rainwater before it enters the water supply and improve water quality
  • Alleviate urban heat island effect and CO2 level
  • Provide buildings with insulation
  • Decrease building energy use

Green roofs also help mitigate stormwater runoff and can be used for water retention and purification, carbon sequestration, fire safety restoration, aesthetic pleasure, and even recreation. It’s no wonder many business owners opt for a green roof when installing a new commercial roof.

Questions to Ask Before Installing a Green Roof in Maryland

What is the maximum support your structure can offer?

Your structure needs to be extremely strong for a green roof as it has to support several pounds of vegetation and biodiversity. You must ensure that your existing roofing system is perfectly engineered before you start building your green roof on top of it.

Which type of roof do you have?

Flat roofs are generally considered to be the best kinds of roofs for green roof installation. They don’t require complex planning and strategizing. The real challenge is to build a green roof on pitched roofs with slopes that are more than 15 degrees. Such roofs can increase the risk of the vegetation sliding down the slope and causing structural damage to your house.

How much money are you willing to shell out?

Installing a green roof in Maryland is a pricey proposition as its basic components are quite expensive. Plus, there are additional maintenance costs specific to green roofs that can quickly add up.

For example, you need specialized fertilizers, extra mulch, and irrigation systems in addition to your initial installation kit. So, how much can you stretch your budget? A professional roofing company in Maryland can help you plan for the best, most sustainable green roof.

How good is your roof’s quality?

One of the main factors that will determine your final costs is the quality of the existing roof. The extra weight and pressure from the green roof can cause roofs to sag if your structure isn’t sturdy enough. And all that might lead to potential liability issues.

Basic Planning to Narrow Down Your Green Roof Design, Maryland

Erosion protection

Erosion is a serious issue related to green roof design. That’s why most green roof systems have a protective layer installed on the soil substrate to prevent erosion or water runoff that can damage building foundations or sidewalks adjoining the green roofs.

Besides, the plants also work to prevent runoff and pooling on the roof, which helps with flooding and erosion control.

Biodiversity selection

A green roof is only as good as its vegetation. You need to decide your green roof plants based on the irrigation facility available to you, the climate conditions in your region, your objectives for the green roof project, your building regulations, and finally, your budget.

Waterproofing plans

Roof Waterproofing plans are critical. If you don’t waterproof your roof, then you could end up with standing water or leaky pipes underneath your green roof, which can weaken your structure, cause mold to grow, or undermine your structure’s integrity to hold up moisture and weight.

Green roofs can be waterproofed by using suitable waterproofing membranes, which could either be geotextile fabrics or planks underneath the decking.

Draining systems

Before you finalize your green roof design, you must take a look at your draining system. You will need to know where you are putting the drains, so you can work out how to set them up. You will also need to design your drainage system based on the specific problems in your region.

For instance, Maryland rains are more angled. Therefore, it is necessary that you worry more about the size of your gutters, and where to drain that rain into, than worrying about, say, how much water your green roof can hold.

Determining the Overall Green Roof Costs

Green RoofsAs with any project, the cost of your green roofs completely depends on how extravagant you are with them. Some of the key elements that determine the price of a green roof include the design, construction, and maintenance of the roof.

Safe to say, if you are passionate about adding certain elements to your green roof and insist on quality products, you will have to adjust your budget, too. Here are the two primary types of green roofs that you can choose from.

Extensive green roofs

Extensive green roofs are a great choice for a homeowner who wants a low-maintenance garden or “green space” with minimal water usage. They are basically a garden on top of the roof. Some people use them as an extension of their garden, but you can also choose to have them as a green space in their own right.

Intensive green roofs

Intensive green roofs provide more vegetation and less substrate than extensive green roofs. Their planting density depends on the slopes and the climate conditions, but all things considered, they help modulate, capture and retain rainwater better than extensive green roofs.

Additionally, they are made to be visually attractive and can combine plants with other recreational elements like water features, decks, play areas, and planting beds. These tough roofs can support trees and large plants, which provide excellent habitats for birds, as well.

Consulting a Green Roof Professional

As more and more homeowners are looking to add some greenery to their space, it appears that quite a few of them are turning toward installing their own green roofs. But since green roofs require a lot of technical knowledge about construction, drainage systems, and plantation, it is wise to speak to expert green roofers before you make an investment.