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in Problem solving
We have 2 big double garages with asbestos style corrugated roofing and a few bits of moss growing on them (moss probably being the best bit of it, but not enough!). They are South facing but shaded by a row of tall Poplars in summer. The roof structure is not strong, so tiling with slate or similar is not an option. (Neither is demolishing the garages as other half very fond of them).
The roofs are in line with our stone barns and step down along the drive, and are sadly well in view of the house. Is there anything I can grow up and over them to hide the roofs? Ideally someting evergreen? And reasonably quick to grow without making its way through gaps into the garages?
By the way, the roof pitch is too steep to allow for a green roof I think. Makes me start to wonder whether there is an artificial medium to put on those roofs?
Any advice most welcome!
I don't know how much weight a succulent roof would need; here's a link to a lovely dog kennel (!) - I have started something like this on the pitched roof of our shed so I suppose I will find out in the fullness of time!
These asbestos roofs must be quite old by now and will not last for ever. Plus, when you do decide to take them down they will need a specialist firm to rmove the asbestos. Nor will they take a weight of any kind. They were never designed to be covered in anything.
I'd bite the bullet and have them replaced with something else now while you are still in the mood for a revamp.
A green roof would have to be reinforced but would look terrific.
Imagine a collapsed asbestos roof and a mass greenery all over the contents of the garages.
round here you get the asbestos off and dump it in heaps by the road.
Russian vine will cover anything and everything, I shudder to think where my original planting is now at my old house. It will go mad, so I am not advocating that!
We covered our unsightly shed roof in our present garden with Clematis Montana. It took a few years but it did the job. We used two variaties both pinkish (can't remember their names), one was more vigorous but the other was more fragrant. True they are unsightly in winter but magnificient in flower in spring and early summer.
One solution is to use various vaieties of Clematis to give flowers all year and use some kind of trellis to encourage them up and over the roofs.
Thank you all!
Sara 4 - that dog kennel roof is terrific and your dogs look lovely, too. Nutcutlet has a point about spending all that time and energy on greening the roofs which might then collapse under the weight. Also, the roof angle might be a bit too steep?
I have now attached a photo of the offending roofs and the first one shows the re-slated barn roofs with the first garage just below the second barn.
I like the idea of a variety of Clematis and they might do well there - and in due course a slower growing EG might help in winter. Russion vine is not an option - I recall it making its way through a pretty thick brick wall somewhere and growing around some printing presses.
Due to the new garage doors (not installed as yet) the whole structures need to be strengthened anyway but re-roofing (whilst it would be sensible) is not an option at present as there is so much else still to do.
The garage doors are going to be grey (to match slate roofs of the barns) and I will clad the white garage walls with larch boards which will also go grey with age. Just leaves the horrible roofs.
How about putting astroturf on them? Or is there a fake moss?
There's a sealant paint you can use on asbestos roofs called Teamac Acrylic and its available in green, grey and red. Maybe, that would be a tempory solution for smartening the appearance.
Excellent idea, Macavity the Cat. I shall look it up
That first garage roof is sagging already. I just copied your photograph into GIMP and drew a straight line along its ridge, and there's a gap under the line, as big as the ridge structure where it's in line with the garage door.
If you do rebuild that roof, you could put a solid roof there and put a trellis over it, but I suspect the supports for the trellis would be ingress points for rainwater. An alternative would be posts mounted on the end wall to support wires stretched to the barn wall, but then you're putting a lot of force on the posts and bolts, increasing as plants on the wires get heavier. Also, you'd be waiting a while for plants to grow from ground level to the wall top and then along the trellis to its peak, and I reckon most climbers would find their way under a tile somewhere eventually and up behind the barge boards almost immediately.
I'm not sure how the succulent roof was done, but I assume it could be achieved by putting wooden rails around the outside of the roof, leaving slots for drainage, and placing potted plants on the roof. As long as it's not delicate and they can't slide around, they shouldn't make holes in it.
A variation of that would be a stepped planter. You could have a series of low walls along the roof, filled with soil between them to make beds, and leave a couple of spaces to walk up there to check on them, feed them or whatever. Bury a perforated hose or length of 50mm drainpipe in each one with an open end by the steps so you can just pour diluted feed into it and reasonably expect it to be spread along the full length. Two down-sides: one is that it's one heck of an engineering project, to the extent that I'd want to get the walls' max load checked before I put that much stuff on them, and the other is that when it needs replacing it'll be another huge project (and a real mess if it comes down on a car because you put it off too long).
For a lightweight option, replace the existing roof with big 4mm acrylic sheets and seal the edges with gutter sealant. It'll save you using electric lights in the garage during the day. You may need to get slightly clever with the woodwork underneath them to get the overlaps rights, but it's not that big a deal. I was going to do that for a covered washing line here, but the company went for exposed rotary ones instead.
Thank you Charlie November
A very detailed response! The Teamac paint recommended earlier is too expensive - but would work well for a smaller area so I will keep that in mind for future purposes.
I will investigate polycarbonate roofing - they say it is quite strong which it has to be with the amount of snow we get up here.
We could also use grey cladding but I think that will get very hot in the summer and any plants would probably just wilt away.
Who needs garages these days anyway?