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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Going Green: Garden Roofing for the Home

Having a green roof in your home is one of the best ways to preserve the environment and reap excellent benefits at the same time. Having a green roof usually means planting vegetation on top of your primary roofing material to add to your home's insulation during winter and summer months. A green roof also serves as an extension of your home's garden where you can plant your favorite herbs and vegetables. 

Creating your own green roof is easy enough. All you need are a few building and roofing materials, some soil, and your favorite plants. In fact, various local governments across the country have started their own green roofing programs and almost all of them have been successful in encouraging local residents to do the same. If you wish to do as much for the environment and your home, here are simple steps that you can follow:

For starters, sweep all visible debris away from the roof surface to make sure that your green roofing materials can be laid out properly. If you see any holes or cracks in the surface, take the time to patch them up as you wouldn't want loose soil and dirt getting into your roof's interiors. After patching up any cracks you can then proceed to laying out a waterproof sheet to protect the initial roof covering from water damage. Plants and soil absorb water and moisture to use in food-making, so it is best that your house is protected from any moisture that may seep through.

Once the waterproof sheet has been laid out, cover it with a fine layer of concrete to serve as barrier between your actual roof and the plants you are going to use. This prevents the roots from damaging the sheet underneath. You can also add a small drainage area for excess water to flow directly to the gutters. Aside from this, use a sturdy green roofing polyester fabric to filter water from loose soil and prevent erosion. You can also add peat or clay to the soil you will be using to help control the level of moisture and prevent erosion during heavy rains.

After everything is in place, you can start planting your herbs or vegetables. You can also include a number of soft shrubs and ornamental grass to make it more appealing. One good tip to remember is to use plants that don't need much nurturing and can withstand harsh weather, especially during summer when the heat is at its peak. Make sure that you also cover the shoots with fabric mesh to protect them from inclement weather while still developing. 

A typical green roof garden will flourish in about 6 months' time. While waiting, make sure you check on your plants once in a while to see if they need additional care. Once your roof is in full bloom, follow a maintenance schedule for tasks that include weeding, watering, and gutter cleaning. By following these green roofing tips, you will be sure to have a vibrant roof that can benefit you and the environment in a number of ways.

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