Are The Best Roofing Materials Alive? Not Always

Solar panels and traditional materials can be a better roofing choice than a rooftop garden.

A movement toward greener roofing materials is well under way. In some places, such materials are literally alive.

That’s become the case in New York City, where residents and businesses are turning their rooftops into gardens, according to the New York Times. The Times reports that 1,200 buildings in the city have so-called green roofs.

There are multiple benefits to using such roofing, according to the paper:

Susan and Neil Whoriskey have one of those green roofs, in Brooklyn Heights. Last fall, the couple hired Inger Staggs Yancey, of Brooklyn Greenroof, to install a sedum garden on a 250-square-foot section of their townhouse roof.

“We wanted to capture as much of the rainwater as possible before it ended up in the sewer system, and we thought it would look nice to have plants in place of a drab-looking roof,” said Ms. Whoriskey, a lawyer who represents nonprofit companies. “It’s really kind of magical to have such lush-looking plants that require literally no attention.”

The upside of landscaping your roof is well documented: Green roofs not only retain rainwater, decreasing sewer discharge, but they also help reduce air pollution. “New York City’s sewers are all ancient, and one just collapsed on our street last summer,” Ms. Whoriskey said. “With the crazy rainstorms we’ve been getting lately, it would make a big difference if more people had green roofs. Even if you don’t want to give up your entire roof, you can still do a partial roof like we did.”

Still, using plants as roofing material isn’t always practical. And sometimes it may even be better for the environment to use more traditional roofing methods and materials. Or perhaps it would make sense to install a solar roof.

David Bange Roofing is your trusted contractor for installing the best roof for your Southern Florida home.

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