Fear of breaking the roof when building a tree on the terrace

My terrace is quite large, many people recommend making a planter to grow plants. But I’m afraid the roots might cause a hole in the roof. Please advise.

Readers: Ngoc Bui

Growing ornamental plants and clean vegetables on the terrace is now a matter of interest to many people for mental and health benefits. However, to have a safe and effective rooftop planting space, it is necessary to pay attention to waterproofing treatment as well as aesthetic design.

According to architect Truong Thanh Trung (T&T Architectural and Interior Design Consultant), the first thing that Ngoc Bui readers need to do is check the load-bearing coefficient, the beam and column system under the position determined layout. Crops. These parameters must be calculated from the time of making design drawings.

If the desire to plant trees arises after building a house, it is advisable not to gather too many plants in the same location, to avoid sagging and cracking of the floor because of the unstable structure.

The second note is that the drainage system also needs to be properly technical to avoid that when it rains heavily, the soil and sand will overflow from the tank, draining together with the roof drain, causing clogged pipes. Proper drainage system must have anti-overflow groove around the location of the basin. The water that spills over here is filtered with a geofilter, so that when drained, the water will not drift with the sandy soil.

The construction of a planter on the terrace needs to ensure aesthetics as well as good waterproofing. Illustration: masterclass.com

Depending on the terrain and finances, you can choose from the following solutions.

A. If you build a planter

Avoid building to the west. This direction is always hot from noon to afternoon, this is considered the peak of the heat of the day, so few plants grow well.

When building, the bottom of the planter should be separate from the concrete floor. Do not use the ceiling of the roof as the floor of the plant basin because the stagnant water can easily cause floor cracks and seepage. Moreover, with plants with strong roots, they can eat through the ceiling.

To make a planter tub, it is recommended to pour a thin layer of reinforced concrete from 50-70 mm as the bottom of the tub. Install small holes on the side of the tub as drainage holes, to prevent waterlogging. Walls and walls of the tank after brick construction (building a row of 50 mm or 100 mm bricks) should be thoroughly plastered on both sides. Absolutely do not use the balustrade wall as a planter wall. The final step is to paint the inside of the tub with waterproof paint. After scanning, it is necessary to soak the test water for 24 hours.

B. If you don’t build a planter

Styrofoam boxes and plastic trays can be used as planting pots. The advantage of these pots is that they are easy to move, avoid leaking for the ceiling, but they are not durable and take up space.

In order to avoid plants with strong roots that can eat through the foam box, even through the ceiling, you should arrange an iron rack system with wheels to place the foam box system on top, just as convenient. convenient for moving, while handling the waterproofing from the roots.

Currently on the market, there are pots made of composite materials that are quite popular because of their beautiful designs, diverse sizes, and importantly, they have been treated with waterproofing from the place of production. However, this type of pot is a bit expensive, before buying should consider.

Trang Vy


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