Turning Your Roof Top Irrigation On? How to Handle Dysfunction

Posted by Ecogardens

A well maintained irrigation system on your green roof will keep your plants thriving and your system healthy.When springtime sun and warmer weather hits, you know it’s time to give your roof top a little love. And that often starts with assessing your irrigation system. Super exciting, right? We know. While most find this topic less than enthralling, we thrive on the challenges we often meet this time of year. 


Trust us, it would be a banner year if we sailed through each system without any hiccups. But the reality is that we often inherit systems we didn’t install, but are charged with maintaining. These gems provide us with some interesting puzzles to solve, especially when we turn on the system for the first time in the spring. 

ecogardens-turning-your-roof-top-irrigation-onSee How the Winter Affected Your Green Roof Irrigation

What could possibly go wrong on an exposed roof top, ten stories up, during the harsh midwestern winter you ask? We’ve seen it all — but most likely it’s a valve failure or corrosion in the electrical wires or an outright break from freeze/thaw cycles. So what to do when dysfunctions, breakage, leakage, and corrosion have taken place?

Depending on how things were installed in the first place, this process may take a lot of investigative work, but after assessing and isolating the problem (i.e. the dirty work), we come up with a thoughtful solution that fits the problem.

And yes, this could sometimes mean removing decking or pavers to get things right, but other times we’re able to tap into our tool box of innovative solutions that can save time, money, and we don’t have to tear up an entire system to fix it. How so? We can create zones within existing systems that work independently, but get to the heart of the problem. All without harming the hardscapes, soil, or plants.

Often, green roof irrigation systems aren’t winterized properly, leaving zones leaking or seeping into greenscapes.Not Winterizing Your Green Roof Can Cause Major Complications

Another issue we frequently come across – especially with inherited green roof irrigation systems – is that the system wasn’t winterized properly. Listen, we get it. There’s a lot to do to maintain a green roof for maximum benefits. And, not to toot our own horn or anything, but this is why it’s often a great idea to bring in a professional to handle the stewardship for you. You get to enjoy your green roof without stressing over whether or not your irrigation system is protected for the winter, and we handle the nitty gritty.

This time of year is when we first see the side effects from not winterizing a green roof properly. We’ll run through each cycle, check that timing settings, water pressure, rain sensors, and zones are all working as the controller is set up to do.

Much of the green roof irrigation systems are exposed all year, so they need regular maintenance and stewardship.

If this process holds little appeal to you – but you still want your green roof to operate as it should – give us a call! This is what we do. 


Topics: Green Roofs

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