Designing for Low Maintenance
Once properly installed, the maintenance requirements for an extensive green roof are usually minimal.
Watering and Fertilizing
Initial watering and occasional fertilization are required until the plants have fully established themselves. Once the plants are healthy and well established, extensive green roofs no longer need to be irrigated except in cases of extreme drought..
Trimming and Weeding
If properly designed and established, a typical green roof does not need to be cut. Occasional weeding of the rooftop, especially in the establishment phase, will remain necessary.
Inspection for Drainage
Inspection of the drainage flow paths (or channels) is crucial, especially on extensive roofs.
Inspection for Leaks
There are areas on the green roof where occasional inspection for leaks is advisable, including abutting vertical walls, roof vent pipes, outlets, air conditioning units and perimeter areas. If leaks occur, sensors can be installed to isolate the leaks without tearing up the entire green roof. This technology can be installed at the beginning of the project insuring detection of any leaks from the beginning. This is prevenitive advice and does not represent a common occurence.
Green Roofs are generally more effective than conventional roofing systems in protecting the roof membrane. This reduces regular maintenance costs and extends the life of the membrane itself. According to a study in Germany, a vegetated roof on average can be expected to prolong the service life of a conventional roof by at least 20 years.