Living Roof Fundamentals: What To Discuss With Your Roofing Contractor

As a homeowner in need of a roof replacement, you may be considering a living roof in place of the roofing materials that you currently have. While living roof installation has its benefits, it is a process that requires some careful consideration and preparation. Here are a few of the things that you should talk with your roofing contractor about before you install a living roof on your home.

Consider What You Will Plant

The very first thing you need to determine before you can install a living roof is what kinds of plants you intend to have on the roof. This is an important consideration because plants all have unique soil and growth requirements, so you'll need to plan your living roof structure according to what your preferred plants will need.

When you're choosing the types of plants you'll have on your roof, there are a couple of key factors to consider. First, the best plants for a living roof are ones with shallow root systems. This is an important consideration because deep-rooting plants will need more soil to prevent the roots from damaging the roof, and more soil means more weight. Look for shallow-rooting plants such as grasses or succulents to avoid this problem.

In addition, you need to choose tolerant plants. Remember that the conditions on your roof aren't likely to always be ideal. It's harder to get up there to fertilize, water, and weed the soils, so you'll want to choose plants that are tolerant to heat, direct sunlight, poor or inconsistent watering, and other similar issues.

Talk About Weight Reinforcement

Living roofs are typically heavier than traditional roofing because of the added weight of the soil, plants, and the water retained in that soil. Make sure that you talk with your roofing contractor about the plans for reinforcement of the roof because this reinforcement will be essential for supporting that additional weight.

You should also consider opting for a sandy, loamy soil mixture if you want to reduce the weight on your roof. With careful reinforcement and support as well as a lighter soil mixture, you can enjoy your living roof without any worries about weight damage.

Incorporate Drainage

Finally, with a living roof, there's some necessary watering. That means ensuring adequate drainage for that water, otherwise, you'll have water pooling on your roof that can eventually damage the roofing structure.

Work with your roofing contractor to develop a plan for effective drainage. Doing this in the early planning stages is important because it allows you to incorporate the infrastructure for drainage directly into the core structure of the roof.

For more information, contact a local roofing contractor today.