Top 5 Common Questions About Green Roofs

With the growth of the green roofing industry, some trends can now be identified. For instance, many early Green roof installations from five or six years ago involved building owners and developers who were very familiar with the technology and had a good understanding of the installation and care of a Green roof.


However, this is not necessarily the case today. Many of today’s building owners and developers know only about the many benefits and features of a Green roof and little else. According to Jim Lindell, National Marketing Manager for GreenGrid Green roofs, the following are the top five most common questions—and answers—about Green roofs:

How often do we need to weed and water it?

For the most part, extensive (shallow and the most common) Green roof systems are designed to require little maintenance, according to Lindell. During the first two to three months, it may need irrigation and some weeding. After that, most facilities just need to “patrol” the Green roof to see that all is going well.

Will it cause my roof to leak?

If properly installed by a reputable company, no, the roof should not leak. Some Green roof systems built directly on the roof may require a new waterproofing membrane, drainage system, and/or other materials be placed over the existing roof before the Green roof is installed. “With a modular system, the modules often may be placed directly on the existing roof surface,” says Lindell, “and the green roof actually helps protect the roof and prevent leaks.”

Can I place a Green roof on any building?

Although some Green roofing systems are lighter than others, building owners should always have their roofs examined by a building engineer to verify the integrity of the existing roof and determine if it can support the added weight of a Green roof.

Will it improve my building’s value?

“It is too early to tell, but early indications are that many of the improvements to a facility that help make it Greener, more sustainable, and help reduce operating costs are proving to increase a building’s value,” says Lindell.

Will it really save me money?

More and more studies report that Green roofs can help cut energy costs because they help reduce heating and cooling needs. And without question, they extend the life of the existing roof, which can save facility huge sums of money.

Lindell adds that some cities offer tax credits to building owners, who install Green roofs. And, other cities are offering contractors “fast approvals,” which can also save owners and developers a considerable sum. Additionally, some owners can save on storm water runoff fees because the Green roof captures and helps retain a great deal of the runoff.