The color of your roofing can have an important impact on the cost of heating and cooling your home. For example, a white roof will reflect the sun's energy away from your home and reduce your cooling costs by up to 20%. Green roofing, otherwise called living roofing, can help you achieve much better savings.
What Is a Green Roof?
A green roof involves fitting your home with a waterproof membrane. This membrane is then covered with root barriers as needed and potting soil. You can then plant your roof with whatever plants you desire as long as their root system and size is conducive to growing on a roof. While ornamental plants may work on your roof, many homeowners choose to cover their roof with grasses or local wildflowers to help it blend in with their surroundings and to create sustainable planting.
What Are the Benefits of a Green Roof?
When you have a roof exposed to the sun, falling limbs, snow, and other environmental conditions, your roof can slowly but surely be destroyed. A green roof will protect your roof in a few different ways. First of all, it will absorb all of the UV rays of the sun that could otherwise cause your roof to deteriorate over time. The impact of falling limbs will also be absorbed by the roofing. Thus, your roofing membrane can last several times longer than a comparable membrane which is exposed to the elements.
A second benefit of green roofing is that it can help to reduce your heating and cooling costs. During the winter, the potting material and the plants themselves will help to insulate your home, both preventing heat from escaping and cold from getting in. During the summer, the plants will reflect some of the sun's energy and absorb more of it through the process of photosynthesis. Even more of the sun's heat will be absorbed by the potting medium. In this way, the green roofing can prevent your home from heating up in the first place and reduce your heating costs by 75%.
Maintenance and repair are two huge costs that you have to contend with when you have a traditional roofing system on your home. You might not think that roofing can affect your heating and cooling