Collecting Rainwater from Your Roof
If you're looking into green roofing solutions for your home, you should also consider harvesting rainwater for your lawn and garden. The two simply go together. The reasons for collecting rainwater are hard to dispute, and the cost of putting in a rain barrel is economical enough to make perfect sense. Depending upon where you live, your roof can yield up to 600 gallons an hour during a moderate rainstorm.
Ask your roofing contractor about costing in either barrels or a ground-catchment system. Both are capable of harvesting rain through your roof gutters and drainpipes. In climates where water costs for irrigating lawns and gardens is especially high, it makes sense for roofers to offer both systems. Collecting rainwater has immediate benefits in
- Reducing your municipal water use and bills
- Providing a salt-free, chemical-free, or pesticide-free water supply for your flowers, houseplants, and vegetable garden
- Preventing high run-offs that can damage your garden or lawn
- Eliminate run-off into the city water supply of toxic lawn or garden chemicals and household bacteria
Water Catchment Is a Green Roofing Solution
Mortgage News Daily says the simplest rainwater recovery device can be a 20-gallon trash can, although a buried 6'X6' residential cistern catchment system can hold as much as 1,269 gallons of water. A basic system put in by roofing contractors or do-it-yourself homeowners consists of sloped gutters that drain easily even in heavy storms. Rainwater harvesting systems need routine maintenance to prevent clogging, especially after the first rain of the season. Storage barrels and tanks need covers to prevent evaporation loss, mosquito breeding, and algae.
You can buy barrels designed for the job through online green roofing or garden catalogs. Put barrels beneath the downspout closest to your lawn or garden. If you put them on a platform, you'll increase the pressure of the gravity feed from the barrels. Gravel beneath the barrels can absorb any runoff from a heavy storm. Talk to local roofers about the size of your gutters and downspouts. Typically, a 5-inch gutter and 3-inch downspout is sufficient. You should ask your roofing contractors to screen the downspouts at the top of the gutter to prevent debris from entering the barrels.
Some states still prevent rainwater harvesting or have strict provisions, so check with your local government or university agricultural extension. The New York Times has weighed in on new laws in the American Southwest that allow residents to harvest rainwater, and in places like Santa Fe, catchment systems are required on new dwellings.
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Asphalt Shingle Roofing
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.
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