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Green roof maintenance

Living roofs require limited but essential maintenance to ensure that plants will last (at least) forever. As our Client, we recommend that you formalize the maintenance of your extensive green roof in a contract with our firm as soon as the project is approved. Regular inspections during the first two years after the installation of the green roof will provide peace of mind to you as the Customer and to us as the Supplier. At Inova Top Green we offer a maintenance contract designed for each individual project.

BASIC MAINTENANCE TIPS
Green roofs require maintenance to ensure that the Sedum species selected will grow well and thrive. Maintaining sedum succulents is easier compared to caring for garden plants. However, the first two years will need more specific care until the green roof really comes to life. Monthly inspections or two visits per year, one in the spring and one in the fall, will help keep the green roof at its best.

ROUTINE MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS
After the first two years of the green roof’s existence (subject to a potential contract), we recommend some routine maintenance operations that you as the Customer could also perform. Below is our quick seasonal maintenance guide for your extensive green roof.

Spring maintenance

  • Hand weeding of unwanted plant species, e.g. grasses, mosses, clover, etc. and removal of leaves that may smother vegetation;
  • Fertilization – we recommend slow release granular fertilizer be applied in April/May as sedum should not be fertilized after October/November. It is dormant during the winter months;
  • Inspection of stormwater outfalls and surrounding vegetative barriers: remove vegetation or debris around stormwater drains;
  • Recharge/restoration of any areas with clumped or washed substrate. You can aerate the substrate as needed with a fork-like tool or supplement with general purpose substrate or soil;
  • Check the irrigation system (if any): adjust watering periods according to weather conditions, check that sprinklers or drip irrigation pipes are working properly;

Summer maintenance

  • During hot and dry periods, a little but frequent watering will help the Sedums to green up and prevent the leaves from turning red;

Autumn maintenance

  • Remove the wilted flowers (shake the stem first so the seeds fall out). Make a light mowing. Cuttings can be left as they will re-root and thicken the plant carpet;
  • Hand weed unwanted plant species e.g. grasses, mosses, clover etc. and remove foliage that may smother vegetation;
  • Inspection of stormwater outfalls and surrounding vegetative barriers: remove vegetation or debris around stormwater drains;
  • Recharge/restoration of any areas with clumped or washed substrate. You can aerate the substrate, if necessary, with a fork-like tool, or supplement with general purpose substrate or soil;
  • Check the irrigation system (if any): drain the whole system before the first frost, check that sprinklers or drip irrigation pipes are working properly.

Winter maintenance

  • No visit is necessary. After the first frost the sedums will turn red and remain dormant until spring.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE YOUR GREEN ROOF LOOK GREAT?
Substrates for green roofs can sometimes have problems retaining nutrients for plants, especially if the season has been very wet. If your sedums are nutrient deficient, then you may want to consider fertilizing after rainy periods. If, on the other hand, you have had an abundance of flowering sedums, then the plants may be heading towards exhaustion and may need mowing before winter. Too much rain or a prolonged cold snap can cause the sedum to change color, the blackening of the foliage is a sign of dormancy often seen in the winter months. It is a good idea to feed your sedum roof once or twice a year, especially if there is frequent rainfall.

Contact us if you need any advice on your green roof.

Lastly, we hope your (evergreen) roof doesn’t need any advice. Living roofs – that’s what we at Inova Top Green offer.

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