Green roofs consist of a layer of substrate, or soil, plus plants that are rooted in that soil. They are often billed as a sustainable option, which is likely why they have become so popular. But if you're considering a green roof for your own home, you may want to know a little more. Specifically, you might be asking what makes these green roofs so sustainable. It really comes down to several factors.
The Materials Are Biodegradable
Materials used for roofing have not, historically, been that great for the environment. Early asphalt shingles didn't break down well in landfills. Fiberglass shingles were not much better. Recently, there has been a push for roofing materials that will break down cleanly once they are removed from a roof. It's hard to imagine a more biodegradable roofing material than green roofing. It's just soil and plants; they won't pollute the planet.
These Roofs Reduce Energy Consumption
It's a good idea to limit your energy use at home. A lot of electricity in North America is still produced by burning coal and other fossil fuels, which is not that great for the planet. A green roof will help reduce your energy consumption. In the winter, the roof will hold in plenty of heat so your furnace burns less fuel. In the summer, the roof acts as a barrier against heat, reducing the amount of energy expended on air conditioning. Both are good for the planet.
Green Roofs Give Off Oxygen
Plants give off oxygen, and the plants that are located on a green roof are no different. Releasing oxygen into the air is good for not only humans but also animals. All animals breathe in oxygen, after all. Since oxygen is being depleted in some areas, contributing to oxygen levels by installing a green roof is certainly a sustainable choice.
Green Roofs Absorb Carbon Dioxide
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air. They need it to produce the sugar that they use as food. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, so lowering the carbon dioxide levels in the air is a good choice. Plants, like those on green roofs, can help achieve that sustainable goal.
If you are thinking of installing a green roof on your home, start by getting a quote or two. These roofs are a very sustainable, eco-friendly choice for the earth, and they have benefits for you, as a homeowner, as well.
Reach out to local roofing contractors to learn more.