A roofer working holding a hammer and wearing a safety hat

What Are Green Roofs and How Do They Work?

Green roofs provide protection from ultraviolet radiation and extreme temperature flux, two things that can cause roof membranes to degrade. They also can prevent leaks in rainy seasons. In addition, vegetation helps retain heat in the building during cold weather and helps keep it cool during the summer months. The plants and soil help in this process by acting as an insulating layer. Unlike other types of roofs, green roofs are best suited for flat roofs with greater water retention capacity.

A green roof is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and support local ecosystems. But there are a few questions that you should ask a roofer before installing a green roof. Let’s look at the environmental benefits, cost, lifespan, and installation.

Environmental Benefits

Green roofs can have many positive effects on a community, including a reduction in pollution and improving water quality. They also increase property value and increase the level of enjoyment among residents. As well as improving public health, green roofs reduce the urban heat island effect, dust in the air, noise pollution, and floods.

Because green roofs absorb rainwater, they also help prevent flash floods and reduce the load on sewage systems. The plants on green roofs take up the water and return it to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation.


The initial costs of green roofing depend on several factors, such as the type of plants used and the roof size. Smart green roofing companies will provide an estimate based on these factors. However, the total cost of a green roof will also depend on many other factors, including the type of roof and the climate where the home is located.

The cost will also depend on how much support is required to maintain the green roof. However, large, intensive green roofs may require a large amount of gardening work.


The lifespan of green roofs depends on the maintenance required. Those with extensive green roof systems require less maintenance but will still need periodic watering, fertilizing, and weeding. They also require regular removal of debris. 


The installation of a green roof can take less than a week or as long as a month. To begin with, a layer of heavy plastic or rubberlike material is laid down over the existing roof membrane. A mat is placed underneath this layer to prevent the soil from penetrating the membrane. A fabric underlay is often used beneath the soil to prevent moisture from penetrating the drainage. In addition, an irrigation system is usually recommended during the hottest months.

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