What Are Some Potential Green Roof Problems?

What Are Some Potential Green Roof Problems?

Jonathan B.
Aug 27, 2009

Q: We have an unusually large terrace. We're hoping to grow grass on a nine foot by twenty foot section of it. We think it would be a great place for our son to play, but we're worried about roots penetrating roofing membrane and causing a leak as we're on the top floor. What do you think?

Sent in by Melanie

Editor: You have good reason to be concerned. We've blogged a few products before that might help, like Green Roof Blocks. (Be warned: the price quoted on their web site is for the empty containers, which will need to be transported, filled with soil, planted, and then transported again to your roof. As you can imagine, the price goes up considerably.)

Before proceeding, we'd recommend you make a couple of calls, and we're hoping your fellow Re-Nest readers can help you out with a few good references for what you should look for in a professional.

Grass, soil, and water are heavy — perhaps heavier than your roof terrace was designed to handle, so you could end up with something far worse than a leak. With unfortunate collapses on our collective mind lately, we'd recommend that you call a qualified structural engineer or a green roof consultant.

Here are a few more posts you should check out on Green Roofs:

How To: Start a Green Roof Garden
How Do Green Roofs Work?
Water Not Required: Green Roof Blocks
Convert: New York Green Roofs
Alive Structures: Green Roofs and Planters

Got a good question you'd like answered? Send your queries and a photo or two illustrating your question, and we'll see if the Re-nest editors or our readers can help answer your question.

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