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Somerset County Roofers: Article About Green Roofs

Peter W Smith Construction: Experienced Roofing Somerset County NJ
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Green roofs are an old idea that has become new again. As urban areas grow, trees and natural vegetation are paved over. This abundance of dark colored asphalt on streets and rooftops creates what is called the heat island. The city swelters, and air conditioners run full force, increasing energy usage and costs. Those with concern for the environment and for a healthy atmosphere are turning to live, growing roofs.

The popularity of green roofs has risen dramatically over the past couple of years, with 35 percent more being installed. The city of Toronto has even mandated that all new buildings must have at least 20 to 50 percent of the roof as gardens. Tokyo passed a similar mandate in 2001. Green roofs are as much as 50 degrees cooler than asphalt roofs and can result in as much as a 75 percent decrease in air conditioning costs.

Somerset County Roofers can help you with the complex planning of a green roof. The system requires a waterproof layer topped by a drainage and water collection system. Depending on the climate, a drip or sprinkler system may be required. Above that is a special lightweight growing soil made for shallow roots. The selection of plants is next, usually purchased in plugs from the garden center. Many rooftop gardens are now using edible plants in their design. The savings are then not only for heating and cooling costs but also for food expense. It will take a while to realize those savings, however, as green roofs are extremely expensive to install.

The roofers from Peter W Smith Construction of Somerset County NJ would be happy to answer any question you have about siding or roof repair.

In addition, if the roof needs structural reinforcement to carry the weight of the garden, that will add even more to the cost.

The lovely plants are not only pleasing to the eye, but they serve several environmentally friendly purposes. Through a process called transpiration, moisture from the plants' leaves create an evaporative cooling effect. The plants also filter dust and CO2 from the air and produce oxygen. They can reduce noise and prevent electromagnetic fields from wireless devices from penetrating the building. Fire resistance is another big plus of the system. Water is conserved by preventing excess run off from the building, thereby increasing the efficiency of storm drains.

Although the cost is higher for a green roof, there are savings over time. The roof membrane itself tends to last much longer because it is not exposed to sun or temperature extremes. A green roof lasts 3 to 4 times longer than a typical roof. The maintenance of the roof will depend on the type of plants installed. Plant care will be typical of what you would expect for a ground level garden. Occasional weeding and perhaps watering will be needed, depending on the climate. Expect to spend at least $15 a square foot to get started, with additional costs for structural modifications. Your professional roofer will guide you through the steps.

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