In late October of 2008, my family and I lost our home to the Santa Ana wind-driven wildfire that threatened the Getty Center. Our new home had a shake wood roof just like our old home did, so the first thing we decided to do was to replace it with fire resistant roofing materials.
There are quite a few types of residential roofing materials that offer fire protection; we decided to do the main part of the house with a new type of metal roof system that also meets Energy Star compliance. Our new home is an architectural beauty; there is a section of the house that has a flat roof top patio that looks out over downtown Los Angeles.
After doing a bit of research I found out about green roofs and how architects and roofing contractors are using new environmentally friendly technologies to create fantastic self-contained garden spaces atop commercial buildings. I wanted to utilize that new technology in my residential roofing application.
To do green roofs on flat roof buildings there are some structural issues that need to be considered. The roofing contractor I ended up hiring to do the work had previously done a few green roofs on some residential roofing jobs back in the summer of 2008. I was fortunate enough to have purchased a home that was designed by an architect that used commercial grade materials for the home’s residential roofing structure.
The biggest change that had to be made to the roof was a roof coating that was sprayed onto the commercial waterproofing that was on the roof from the time it was built in the nineties. There is no difference to using a roof coating on a residential roofing project than there is when using one on a commercial application.
My new home is now completely remodeled and we have just moved in. The entire pitched part of the roof has a fire resistant metal roof that was manufactured with an Energy Star compliant roof coating that reflects the Southern California sun’s heat away from the interior and the flat section of the home has a roof top garden space that looks out over downtown. What really makes me happy about using environmentally friendly techniques on my remodel project is the fact that we saved a lot on our taxes.
With the federal government offering tax payers a credit for using Energy Star compliant materials and with the money we are going to save on utility costs, I think more people should use more environmentally friendly materials on their residential roofing applications. If you think that it is time to replace your roof, I suggest you consider looking into using the new technologies that offer not only fire protection but that also help cut energy costs.
Even though we lost everything in the wildfire, I’m content knowing that we have a home that is Energy Star compliant and gives us protection from any future fires.