The notion of rooftop gardening has existed for as long as there have been rooftops. City residents have been placing vegetation on rooftops and fire escapes for centuries. Even green roofs, roofs covered with soil and vegetation, have existed for decades. It seems that no matter how much acreage a gardener has, they are constantly yearning for additional room, and rooftop gardens of various types are becoming more popular on residential and commercial properties. Read more here.
Common Errors in Metal Roof Installation
Any do-it-yourself endeavor will include the chance of human mistakes. Even the greatest expert roofer will make errors on the work, so this should not make you more cautious about putting your roof. Understanding these frequent errors may expedite the process and result in a far higher-quality roof in the long run.
1. Having Incorrect Roof Dimensions
When measuring your roof, you should absolutely keep in mind the saying “Measure twice, cut once.” Carefully measure the length and breadth of each roof piece, including any protruding window parts or other similar locations. Purchasing 10% to 15% extra supplies than you believe you’ll need can prevent this and accommodate for any errors made throughout the job. As a point of perspective, the typical American home has a roof area of 1700 square feet.
2. Using Outdated Shingles on Your New Roof
While it is possible to keep current shingles on your roof before installing new panels, it is not advised if there is obvious deterioration. Given that you’ll be screwing new panels or shingles into this material, existing wear will significantly compromise the structural integrity of your new roof.
3. Absence of Underlayment
Typically, underlayment is required to fulfill building requirements for any roofing installation. It is also advised for any do-it-yourself metal roofing system. This adhesive-backed material is made from a waterproof synthetic substance, relieving pressure if you cannot install the complete roof at once.
4. Using an Unsuitable Sealant
A silicone sealant is required for the success of any roofing installation. Both Loctite and Titebond are excellent choices for this. These materials will expand and contract with your roof in any environment and will endure a long period. Using low-quality sealants might result in long-term leaks and corrosion, which can be easily prevented.
5. Inadequately Installed Flashing
Flashing refers to any roofing component that protects panel joints or roof edges. In many circumstances, they provide fully-sealed seams, prevent leakage, and add aesthetic value. As seen in this video, flashing may also be used to denote a seamless shift in pitch.
6. Over or Underlapping Panels
All panels should extend 0.5 to 0.7 inches beyond the border of the roof. Most roofers suggest a 1.5- to 2-inch overlap when attaching panels. This, together with correctly sealing panel seams with caulk and fasteners, will prevent roof leaks.
7. Under or Overtightened Fasteners
As a general rule, your screws or fasteners should penetrate your roof sheathing or base roof decking boards about 3/4 inch. Once the screw or fastener heads are flush with your roofing panels or shingles, overtightening them will not further seal your roof if you have picked the correct length of screws and fasteners. In fact, they may degrade the structural integrity of your metal panels and develop imperceptible fractures or gaps.
How to Maintain Your Rooftop Garden
While care for container-grown plants on a rooftop is similar to caring for containers on the ground, there are a few rooftop-specific considerations to make before bringing pots outdoors.
Check with your landlord and/or the building regulations before requesting permission. Accessibility concerns, building height constraints, and fire codes might ban any form of roof usage.
Integrity of Structure: Ensure the roof can support the weight. Use a qualified expert for this task. The weight of the soil and containers will increase as the plants develop. If you have ever attempted to lift a container with wet soil, you are aware of how much weight water may add.
Are you able to attach a hose to the roof? Watering cans can be an annoyance, because containers need a substantial amount of water. Install a rain barrel and drip irrigation.
Are you sheltered from the sun by surrounding buildings or a terrace above you? When plants are sweating on concrete, even a little sun might be problematic.
Wind may whip down straight city streets, particularly on tall buildings. You may want to consider constructing a wall or fence. If so, you’ll likely need to revisit your building code’s requirements for height and structural soundness. This is particularly critical when creating safety mandated child and animal barriers.
Most roofs are bordered by surrounding structures, providing privacy. If your rooftop garden will be visible from the street, you may want to consider screening options. You may grow a hedge of evergreens, climb vines up a trellis wall, or just tuck an umbrella table behind a shrub.
How much are you willing to invest?
You may start small and expand over time by purchasing more containers, plants, and soil. When you begin hardscaping and constructing on the roof is when the costs become significant. Adding up the costs of laying tiles or stone, constructing raised beds and boxes, adding lighting and furnishings, etc. Moreover, you may need additional structural work to sustain them.
Regardless of the size of your initial design, a rooftop garden is an investment in tranquility for many urbanites, bringing hours of pleasure and satisfaction.