While most people look to the garden for this kind of home or business improvement, if you have a flat roof area you can also create what is called a green roof.
These structures have been around for many years. They were introduced to high rise buildings in the 70s and 80s in New York to improve air quality. Some businesses in the UK now use green roofs to not only give a boost to the environment, it creates relaxing space for staff and visitors as well as highlighting their green credentials.
At Topseal, we offer a green roofing installation that can really transform your property. Here we take a closer look at why you should have one for your home or business and what types of green roof you can try.
What is a Green Roof?
A green or living roof is usually a flat space with a specialist underlay where the surface is either partially or fully covered with plants. It’s basically a flat roof garden and you can plant almost anything you like.
This is not a new idea. Plants and other greenery have been used as roofing materials stretching back to ancient times. You can choose to make a garden area on your roof combined with areas to sit and socialise. If you are a homeowner with a small area of flat roof (for example, an extension) you can choose to create a less ambitious garden that encourages biodiversity.
There are so many options to choose from. The key, however, remains the same and that’s making sure the base or protective roof layer is strong enough and fully waterproof to hold the garden in the first place.
The Benefits of a Green Roof
There are a tonne of benefits in installing a green roof on your property. If you have a roof space that you use regularly, it’s a great way to create an attractive space that is more than just the fibreglass underlay and covering.
It’s also a brilliant way to improve the local environment. Especially in city and town areas, green spaces are at a premium.
We all know that the green stuff goes a long way to help with global warming – that’s because plants like grasses, bushes and shrubs absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen as part of their biological process. They also attract all sorts of birds, insects, bees and butterflies to improve biodiversity in the area.
In addition, a green roof can help with reducing heat loss from the building below. That means you can reduce the money you spend on energy to heat your property in the winter. As long as you have access to the roof, managing the garden is just as easy as one at ground level.
What Type of Green Roof?
There are different options if you want to create a really great garden on your roof. The ones that are most popular include:
- Sedum Roof: The sedum family of plants are basically low growing and shallow-rooted. That means they don’t take much work to plant and are fairly easy to maintain over time. They’re also tolerant to drought, so if you have a hot period during the summer, they aren’t likely to die off and need to be replaced.
- Wildflower Roof: If your aim is to create something colourful which will attract bees and butterflies, wildflowers are essential. When the garden then blooms, you get a fantastic splash of colour. Even during the winter, however, you get a covering of green. The trick here is planting the right wildflowers and it does take more maintenance than a sedum roof.
- Brown roof: These are often called biodiverse roofs and they take a good deal of thought and planning. You’re looking to attract a whole bunch of different wildlife and it usually suits a much bigger roof. You may want to have different depths of substrate, but this is usually about choosing native British plants and combining them on your roof site.
If you use your green roof for socialising or for business purposes, you will want to have a mix of roof space people can use and garden areas. This takes a good deal of thought about the design and access.
It’s something that bars and restaurants often use when they have a flat roof area. Nowadays, many businesses are looking to make the most of these kinds of space, creating a garden staff and customers can use.
Why Use Topseal?
The essential part of building a green roof is the base and it needs to be strong and resilient enough to cope with a garden growing there. You need a waterproof section and insulation. The roof also needs to be strengthened to handle the extra weight of your garden, particularly when it rains.
The good news is that Topseal produce the complete green roof system which means all you need to do is decide what you want to plant there. The first thing that any of our accredited installers will need to do is survey your roof space to make sure that it is suitable and whether it needs to be reinforced.
Our roofing system is cold applied which means no heat or naked flames are used. The rapid curing rate of the application means that your roof is ready to transform in a shorter time than other fibreglass systems that are on the market today.
Our Topseal waterproofing is guaranteed for 25 years so you can be sure that you have a product that is built to last and fit for purpose. We combine this with our green roof tray system and can produce finishes for sedum, wildflower and brown roofs.
How to Find a Topseal Installer
It’s important to find an accredited Topseal installer for your roof garden, one that has been through our intensive training course and keeps to the high standards that we set. Each installer has a unique verification, you can check it on our site to make sure they are who they say they are. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please get in touch.