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Home Heating Hints

How good is your home heating system? Does it warm up the whole house on a cold day? Does it cost more than you think it should to get enough heat in the winter? Are you thinking about switching to an alternative heating system? Do you want to upgrade to a newer heating system? I started this blog to talk about the different alternatives for heating your home. Find out when it’s time to upgrade your heating unit and when you can make modifications or repairs to your old unit to improve its efficiency or keep it going a while longer. Also, check out the pros and cons of different alternative heating options from geothermal units to pellet stoves. Your home heating answers are here!

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Components Of A Green Roof

Freddie Kuhn

Roofs come in many different materials and styles. One of the most environmentally-friendly roofs is a green roof. A green roof is an energy-efficient roof that is covered by a growing garden. Green roofs are not new. They have existed for centuries in many countries of the world because they are very efficient thermal insulators. In the summer, the plant materials growing on a green roof shade the roof and keep the residence or commercial building cool. In the winter, the plant materials insulate the roof but also offer a number of other benefits such as absorbing rainfall, reducing air pollution, and providing garden space. 

Green Roof Substrates - A green roof is constructed in multiple layers and can be built over any standard roof of tar, gravel, and asphalt shingles. Green roofs can be built on top of any roof shape such as a gable roof, mansard roof, hip roof, pyramid hip roof, cross-hipped roof, saltbox roof, gambrel roof, flat roof, and/or bonnet roof. Even steeply sloped roofs can make excellent substrates for a green roof. 

Green Roof Irrigation - Some green roofs use a complete irrigation system with a waterproof drainage system. Other green roofs require no irrigation system at all. Those green roofs that do not require an irrigation system, get their moisture from the surrounding atmosphere. 

Green Roof Layers - A green roof consist of multi-layers of plants, planter boxes, soil, insulation, filters and drainage. The following is an example of the many layers of a green roof starting with the top layer of vegetation and progressing down to the bottom layer of decking that is constructed on top of an existing roof substrate: 

  • Plants - The best plants to use on a green roof are hardy, pest-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing. These plants include the following:   
    • Succulents - Sedum, houseleeks, delosperma, echeveria, and mosses. 
    • Grasses - Sea thrift, sedge, and tasmania. 
    • Wildflowers - Aster, yarrow, and iris.  
    • Aromatic Herbs - Thyme, oregano, and sage
    • Small Shrubs  - Pittosporum, juniper, and leonotis.
    • Trees - Jacaranda, arbutus trees, and citrus lemon.
  • Growth Media - Growing plants and vegetation are planted directly into a soil layer that consists of a blend of the following components: 
    • Nutrient-rich soil.
    • Compost.
    • Rock wool.
    • Peat moss.
  • Porous Filter Layer - Under the soil layer, there is a layer of materials used to filter the moisture that drains from the plants and soil. These materials include:  
    • Porous bricks.
    • Small gravel.
    • Driveway and walkway rocks.
  • Drainage Layer - A drainage layer is underneath the filter layer and is used to absorb and contain any excess moisture that drains from the plants. The drainage layer consists of the following materials:
    • Synthetic foam rubber.
    • Synthetic sponges and sponge-like materials.
  • Root Barrier Protection Mat - Under the drainage layer are 3 protection layers that act to keep plant roots from growing further into the green roof structure. This protection layer is made of the following materials:  
    • High-density, plastic foam.
    • Two layers of silicon rubber.
  • Waterproof Membrane - Next is a layer of waterproof materials that are used to insure that no moisture drains onto the lower roof substrates. This layer is made of the following: 
    • Thick, non-porous, plastic or rubber sheeting. 
    • Polymer blanket. 
  • Insulation - A layer of insulation is underneath the root and water prevention layers to cool the roof in the summer and warm the roof in the winter. Insulation materials of choice consist of the following: 
    • Waterproof fiberglass insulation.
    • Spray foam insulation.
    • Acoustic insulation.
  • Protective Decking - The base layer is the final protection for the roof substrate. It is made of wood that has been sealed to remain dry and unaffected by weather. This layer is made of: 
    • Plywood.
    • Other sealed wood sheeting.

Green roofs are very beneficial to a residential home or commercial property. They are energy-efficient, permanent, and beautiful to look at. Depending on the type of plants used, a green roof can have a variety of flowers, grasses, and other seasonal plants to give the residence a whole new look every six months. For an attractive, environmentally-friendly roof, install a green roof on your residence or business.  Contact a company like McCullers Roofing for more information.


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