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How You Can Install a Green Roofing System At Home

You’ve seen them before. Green roofing systems, that is. They are popping up on top of commercial buildings in large and mid-sized cities all across the country. There is a very good reason for this. Not only do they look great but they are also beneficial to the environment. What about your home? Is it possible to install a green roofing system in a residential space? The answer is yes. A green roof is suited for residential garages, porch roofs, and flat roofing systems. If you have been dreaming about going green, then a little at-home project may be just the thing! So, keep reading. This guide will show you how to install a green roofing system at home.

It is time to learn a little bit more about green roofing systems. A green roof is essentially a rooftop that is covered entirely or in part with plant life and vegetation. They grow on top of waterproof layers to ensure water does not affect the structure or safety of your roofing system. There are two main types of green roofing systems: extensive (with a layer of soil that is less than six inches) and intensive (with a soil level that is more than six inches). For an at-home green roofing system, you will most likely stick with an extensive system. However, this really depends on where you will be placing it – and your own individual preferences. Ideally the green roof should be on a flat surface. Otherwise, you will need to look into stabilization options, which can be pricey.

Now for installation. Once you have selected the perfect location for your green roof, it is time to actually install it. Begin by laying a waterproof membrane on top of the roof decking. From there, place a sheet of plastic over top of the waterproof membrane. That will create a barrier between the plant roots and the membrane itself. Next you want to add on foam insulation that will work with damp soil. Certain types of insulation are better suited to this than others, so look around.

After the insulation has been laid down you need to add a drainage mat over top. The felt side of the mat should be facing up in order to avoid soil from getting into it. Next you will need to take care of the sides. For proper drainage (and to hold everything in place), gutter guards or edging will be needed around the perimeter of your flat roof. Those guards may need additional support depending on your roof. If you’re not sure, ask a professional or speak to someone at your local hardware store.

That is the hard part done! The next few steps are actually quite fun…. especially if you happen to have a green thumb. You will need to lay down soil (how much you lay down will vary based on the type of roofing system you have chosen) and plant your desired vegetation. Water the plants and you are finished. Your regular old flat roof will have transformed into an environmentally friendly green roofing system before your very eyes.

Do you want a green roof at home? You can make it happen with these simple steps. It is as easy as waterproofing your flat roof, laying down soil, and planting away. Before you know it, your roof will look better than ever before.


Joe Davis understands how to install a green roof. He has experience bringing both residential and commercial roofing products to customers all over the country. In the last few years, he has been working successfully with IKO Roofing.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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