Can I Overlay My Existing Decking or Paving?

Timber Tiles – CATA Romania

Whilst many people automatically assume their only option is to remove everything from the original installation, with factors such as time and expense to consider, exploring alternatives can pay off in a variety of ways.

The decision on whether to overlay an existing deck/paving structure or rip it up and start afresh can be a complex one but it’s always important to explore all options to ensure the best possible solution.

Resurfacing An Existing Deck

Resurfacing an existing structure with decking or paving offers a number of advantages including:

  • Removing the need to dig fresh foundations
  • Creating the chance to implement effective waterproofing solutions
  • Save time and money during installation
  • No creation of waste & no issues with waste disposal

Removing The Risks Associated With Standing Water

By using timber tiles on top of free-standing pedestals which are installed on top of the existing structure, we are able to ensure that the new tiles are kept clear from excess standing water which might make them warp.

This, in turn, will leave space underneath the freshly installed tiles for cables, pipework and outlets and as tiles aren’t fixed to the pedestals, access can be gained simply by lifting a tile.

Natural, Attractive Finish of Timber Decking

By using suspended Wallbarn Timber Paving Tiles, installers combine the natural, attractive finish of timber decking with the speed and ease of laying paving slabs.

Traditionally laying timber decking directly onto these deck surfaces led to additional costs of employing specialist carpenters. Laying timber joists directly onto the waterproofing membrane also risked damage over time. Wallbarn Timber Paving Tiles offer the ideal solution. The weight of the tile will hold the system in place.

Creating A Free-Standing  Suspended System

This suspended system avoids having to fix anything onto the deck and lifts all the timber away from any standing water, avoiding the dangers of a slippery surface.

As everything is free-standing, the tiles can be taken up and replaced without disrupting the whole area, should the deck need to be inspected. Unsightly items such as drainage outlets, cables and pipes can be hidden beneath the tiles and accessed easily.

Something Just A Little Special

Stunning finishes can be achieved. The tiles can be laid in a straight-line pattern or in a “chessboard” style, depending on the client’s wishes. We have a range of different timber available sourced from South America, chosen for their beauty and durability including Ipe and Cumaru.

We can also supply FSC® certified timber as we have FSC® Chain of Custody (please speak to your Wallbarn representative).

Click Here To View Our Range of Hardwood Timber Decking Tiles

Deck Planning & Estimating Software Available From Wallbarn

Deck Planner Image

New software available from Wallbarn allows clients to create an image of how their decking will look on their own project. The exact colour swatch of EasyClick or EasyChange decking boards can be visualised on the deck space.

Our gallery has a selection of images to choose from. Alternatively, users can send Wallbarn a photograph of their own deck area.

Click the ‘Floor’ icon and choose the preferred ‘Duro Excellence’ colour. The deck will change colour, giving the user an accurate account of how their project will appear when decked out in Duro Excellence.

MegaPro is an estimating software which will calculate and place the correct number and correct size of pedestals required for the paving or decking project.

Users should send a PDF or drawing to Wallbarn of the deck space.

Certain details are required:

  • All changes in fall at each point across the roof
  • Steps or specific details on the roof
  • Position of drainage outlets
  • Slab size and thickness along with the spacing
  • In the case of decking, the centres of the joist frame
  • The height off the deck at each corner point/change of direction

The software then calculates the distances and area (which can be edited if needed).

The ‘calculate’ button is pressed and the software lists the exact number and height/product code of each pedestal required. It will separate them by height/code and create a drawing of the exact layout. This drawing will colour code each pedestal type, creating a user-friendly drawing to give the reader a visual layout of where each pedestal is located.

It will total up the number of each pedestal height and create a chart and schedule of each product so that the client can cost the project accurately.

The visual simulation of the pedestal layout can be used by surveyors and installers, the Bill of Quantities by estimators and purchasers.

For more on this deck planner, please contact us today.


How To Install An Instant Green Roof

An image of a green roof on top of a building

Whether retrofitting an existing property or specifying a new build, choosing the right solution is critical to the success of your green roof.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Roll-out ‘blanket’ varies in quality and is easily damaged during transit and installation. They are awkward to move around and up ladders and can cause a terrible mess if carried through homes and onto rooftops.

Inferior modular units lack the depth of substrate and proper drainage to keep plants healthy.

Wallbarn’s painstakingly designed M-Tray® modules overcome all of these challenges, providing a seamless and enduring finish.

Remaining At The Forefront Of The Green Roofing Sector

Wallbarn is at the forefront of developments in the green roofing sector and has always provided products that combine top-quality ingredients with user-friendly, hassle-free maintenance. The purpose of M-Tray® is to enhance rooftop living.

Our Bespoke Design

Our bespoke design allows us to supply the best quality vegetation to site. The fully established, mature sedum or wildflower plants, are contained within easy-to-carry trays which click together to form an almost invisible join.

With dimensions of 500mm x 500mm x 100mm (4 per square metre), the new M-Tray® modular green roofing system has been designed to significantly improve the ease of installation.

Estimating & Installing Has Never Been Easier

Exactly 4 units per m² make estimating and installing much easier. M-Tray® modules are extremely easy to transport and deliver. They can also be used in areas where standard roll-out is not possible.

Modular systems are much more convenient and are faster and future proof compared to roll-out green roof systems.

The Key Advantages of the M-Tray® Modular Green Roofing System

  • Deeper cavities for extra root growth
  • Optimum drainage leading to stronger plant growth
  • More established vegetation at point of installation
  • More efficient transport and packaging
  • Exactly 4 units per m²
  • Easier to carry trays with smooth handles
  • A closer connection between trays ensures more seamless plant growth
  • No sharp edges ensure reduced risk to the membrane
  • Nothing spills out, less mess
  • Made from recycled plastic with a recycled substrate
  • Less packaging means less waste
  • UK designed and manufactured

For more on the M-Tray®  modular green roof from Wallbarn, please click here.

How To Maintain Your Green Roof

always fill borders with stones on a green roof in Hammersmith

Because green roofs are living structures, they will still need some attention throughout their lifespan. Some vegetation types such as sedum (which is used in the M-Tray®) are utilised in part because they require much less maintenance than grass roofs for example.

Providing A Little TLC

Whether you are looking to install a new green roof for your property or maintain your existing one, now is the time for action.

Please Note – Regular attention to soil moisture and feed levels, as well as the removal of weeds, is essential to maintain optimum performance.

Taking A Closer Look At 4 Key Areas of Maintenance

Below we have identified 4 of the key areas that should receive some attention this spring.

1) Removal of undesirable weeds – Windblown seeds and weeds can find their way into all sorts of areas which they are not required. As such, efforts should be made to remove all unrequired vegetation which could prove to be detrimental to the sedum and structure of the green roof. These weeds can be removed simply by hand pulling.

2) Irrigation – It’s essential to check that the irrigation system (if applicable) is still working correctly to ensure the green roof is receiving enough moisture and replace the timer batteries if necessary. If your green roof has any particular rain sheltered areas, the deeper M-Tray® substrate-level will hold more moisture, and therefore give the plants more chance during hotter, drier periods. However, as demonstrated in the extremely hot, dry summer in 2018, all plants including green roofs will require artificial irrigation to prevent the plants dying. Check irrigation pipes for damage from mice and other pests.

3) Fertilisers – Apply a suitable slow-release granular fertiliser at a rate of 50gsm at the start of the spring growing period. All plants require fertilizing in the longer term to ensure sufficient nutrient levels for your green roof. The application of fertiliser should always be kept to a minimum but is required to help maintain the health of certain plant species. Granular fertilizers suitable for sedum are available from many garden centres.

Please Note – Where rainwater is harvested from a green roof, fertiliser should not be applied.

4) Drain Heads and Outlets – It is important to clear all debris from drainage outlets to help ensure the optimum performance. It is essential to ensure that excess water is able to leave the roof, to avoid ponding and overloading of your green roof.

What makes the M-Tray® unique?

Wallbarn is at the forefront of developments in the green roofing sector and has always provided products that combine top-quality ingredients with user-friendly, hassle-free maintenance.

Our M-Tray® has been specifically designed to make sedum roof installation quick and easy – with minimum disruption to the plants and the structure they are going onto – and to provide a seamless, verdant finish – an instant and sustainable green roof.

  • deep cavities for healthy roots
  • optimum drainage means stronger plants
  • established vegetation at the point of installation
  • 100mm deep substrate for the longevity of plant life
  • no sharp edges or mess, less risk to the membrane
  • click-together trays create a seamless connection
  • easy to transport and install

Click Here To Find Out More About The M-Tray® Modular Green Roofing System

What Is An Inverted Roof?

An inverted roof

Typically defined as a type of roof which has the waterproofing layer beneath the insulation rather than above it, inverted roofs require the insulation to be ballasted to prevent wind uplift or floating in rainfall water.

How Does The Process Work?

Very small, irregular or multiple changes in height can be accommodated using the simple but durable twist mechanism on the stem. Once the slab is placed on top of the support, the whole system locks into place.

Inverted roofs can be paved to an even finish extremely quickly and effectively using these supports, cutting down labour time considerably. Edges and end of runs can either be bordered with a line of washed pebbles or by removing the lugs and sliding the support underneath the slab and out of view. Services such as cables or water pipes can be laid underneath the slabs easily, keeping the upper surface uncluttered.

What Are The Benefits Of An Inverted Roof?

Offering a wide variety of benefits, inverted waterproofing systems are an alternative to the warm roof method.

These benefits include:

  • The waterproofing layer is protected
  • The functional life can be considered to be significantly longer
  • Improved environmental performance
  • Thermal shocks are among the most important factors involved in ageing and fatigue for waterproofing membranes which are not the case for inverted roofs.
  • Better stormwater management
  • Flat roofs can be constructed to offer full and easy access for any future work
  • They can withstand surface traffic
  • They remain unaffected by freeze/thaw cycles

AKA  ‘Upside-Down Roof’

Often referred to as an “upside-down” roof, the requirement for increased thickness of the installation board means designers need to be sure that sufficient weight is placed on the boards to prevent movement.

Concrete paving slabs offer a good ballasting solution. To prevent damage to the rigid installation board, the slabs should be suspended onto pedestals.

Wallbarn’s range of pedestals will separate the slab from the deck, create an air gap beneath the slab for effective roof drainage underneath and between the slab and the positioning lugs create uniform straight paving lines drainage.

Offering The Ideal Solution

Offering a durable, cost-effective range of products, our pedestals offer the ideal solution for anyone looking to create a suspended system for their inverted roof which allows easy access to the concealed surface beneath.

More roof and balcony designs incorporate a completely flat upper surface in order to utilise them more effectively as leisure areas. More attractive paving with spirit-level-flat finishes can be achieved using a much larger variety of different stone and slab shapes using our universal supports.

Wallbarn’s range of universal support pedestals/pads ensures that even where contractors build their roofs to a fall to allow good drainage, a completely flat upper level of paving or decking can be achieved.


What Is World Green Roof Day?

A close-up of an M-Tray installation in Whitstable

It is with great excitement that we look forward to the inaugural World Green Roof Day taking place on the 6th June 2020.

This new annual day of celebration belongs to the world of green roofing and is the perfect opportunity to share images, projects and case studies of all the fantastic green roof and roof garden projects around the globe.

To engage with World Green Roof Day on social media just use the hashtags #WGRD and #WGRD2020 on the day and in the run-up to it.

World Green Roof Day

What is #WGRD?

A celebration of green roofs all over the world and the benefits they bring to people and nature.

Why #WGRD?

Towns and cities globally are going green to adapt to climate change. Green roofs also provide vita wildlife habitats and make life better for everyone.

How to be part of #WGRD2020

Share the green roof love on social media with images, events and gatherings.

Become a #WGRD2020 supporter

You can support #WGRD2020 as an individual or organisation

We believe World Green Roof Day is a tremendous idea by the team over at Bridgman Landscapes and encourage everyone to get involved.

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How Can Green Roofs Help To Improve Mental Health?

An overhead shot of a green roof

Mental Health Awareness Week starts today! We would like to use this opportunity to shout about it and help get the nation talking about kindness, mental health and ways to improve wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. 

The focus on kindness is a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having a big impact on people’s mental health.

“Some people have mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, which means they have feelings that won’t go away and which start to really affect day-to-day life.”

Mental Health Statistics: UK and Worldwide

With a recent study by the UK Mental Health Foundation highlighting just how serious a problem this is becoming, finding an effective method of combatting this has never been more important.

  • mental health is the main cause of overall disease burden and the primary cause of disability globally, resulting in more than 40m person-years of disability annually in 20–29-year-olds per year around the world
  • 1 in 6 people in the UK experiences a common mental health problem every week
  • anxiety and depression is the cause of 20% of days lost from work each year in the UK.

However, despite our increasingly urbanised, high-density and the high-pressure world, there is growing evidence that a proven way to help reduce stress levels and improve mental health may be available to us in the form of green roofs.

Losing contact with the outdoors

Losing contact with the outdoors has, therefore, become commonplace over the last century as a result of living in modern spaces. Spending more time indoors, being glued to screens and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to this disengagement with nature.

As of 2018, 55 per cent of the global population was inhabiting urban spaces across the world, according to a report by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Projections for the year 2050 estimated that 2.5 billion people in the world or 68 per cent of the world’s population will occupy urban areas.

While natural spaces continue to decrease within cities, there is an urgent need to address the impact of losing contact with nature on mental health. In a reflective piece for The Conversation, Dr Zoe Myers, author of “Wildness and Wellbeing: Nature, Neuroscience, and Urban Design,” suggested building greener neighbourhoods through constructing small biodiverse patches, as opposed to long green corridors with logistical challenges.

“If the evidence shows that nature contact helps to buffer against negative impacts from other environmental predictors of health, then access to these landscapes can be considered a matter of environmental justice,” Greg Bratman, lead author of a study published in the journal of Science Advances in 2019, said.

For more on this story, please click here to visit the Medical Daily website.

How can green roofs help?

It has been widely accepted for some time now that the addition of a natural landscape to an urban area can lift moods and make us generally feel better.

There is increasing evidence that visual and physical contact with natural greenery provides a range of benefits to people. These include both mental health benefits (such as reduction of stress) and physical health benefits (including cleaner air). Access to green space can bring about direct improvements in a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and can aid general well-being.

For more on this, please click here.

For more on the M-Tray®, Wallbarn’s unique modular green roof, please click here.



How To Choose The Correct Sedum For Your Green Roof

Sedum green roof summer flowers

Wildflower or biodiverse green roofs are supposed to contain a mixture of native flower species to attract native insects and birds. However, if you were to prepare a green roof substrate of bare earth and introduce a few native flowers after a period of time the roof will become overrun with grass and very invasive weeds such as goat willow, bindweed and nettles. The result after time will be unsightly and potentially dangerous for the membrane beneath. 

How To Make Sure You Choose The Correct Sedum

Many “wildflowers” are either annual or biennial or have such large root structures that they are unsuitable for green roofs.

What to do? Wallbarn is offering a solution by using the standard sedum M-Tray® green roofs as a basis for our green roof and adding wildflower seeds. Our sedum mix, which is based on the Jellito “Northern European and English Mix” seed mix which that company supplies, contains native sedum species and those deemed suitable for the English climate. Many of these sedums are flowering, have different leaf structures and textures, and grow and retreat throughout the year.

Sedum is not just a green carpet. It has many different varieties and if it is planted up in the right manner, can produce an extremely complicated and attractive garden.

This Is The Right Way To Introduce The Wildflower Seed Mix

In order to get more wildflowers into the system, Wallbarn is broadcasting the sedum trays with a wildflower seed mix at the point of harvesting and packing.

If we planted up wildflower trays on the farm, the flowers would be crushed upon packing and would be dead by the time they were delivered. Therefore, the tray units will look like regular sedum trays when they are delivered. The seeds will start to germinate immediately and will start to appear as flowers within 3 weeks of delivery and watering (we recommend that the trays are watered once installed).

This seed mix is designed to attract bees and butterflies, so will increase the amount of nature on the roof.

Effective Maintenance For “Wildflower” Green Roofs Is Essential

There are certain things to consider: these flowers are chiefly annuals, so will die off at the end of the growing season.

Therefore, in order to have flowers the next year, the roof will need to be reseeded. Either user can harvest the seeds in this season’s crop to sow the next year, or purchase another seed mix (available from Wallbarn) the next spring. Also, these wildflowers can grow very high, up to 80cm and will have much more fibrous structures than sedum (which is succulent) so the dead stalks and other vegetation will turn not rot but remain on the roof after the flowers have died off.

This makes the roof look unsightly and is also a potential fire risk, so these dead stalks should be removed every autumn. Clients should bear this additional maintenance in mind when choosing wildflower – if the roof is inaccessible this can prove a major problem. The additional costs of more maintenance should also be factored.

Need More Information?

More information on Green Roofs can be found on our website.

If you would like to talk to us to discuss our green roof solutions, please contact us today on 0208 916 2222 or email

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Green Roof Installation Made Easy – Perfect For DIY

Green Roof Installation

The M-Tray® modular system clicks easily together allowing the sedum vegetation to blend quickly, promising to transform once-cold grey utilitarian roofs into a much more appealing sight for the surrounding residents. As the trays simply clip together they are quick and easy to install. The vegetation begins to blend within days.

Not only are our M-Trays® easy to install and easy to transport, but they will also last indefinitely. Every now and again throughout the year, you will need to do some maintenance; weeding, but apart from that, our trays are designed to be self-sufficient (they are designed to capture rainwater, releasing it gradually feeding the species set into our special substrate).

Green Roofs Installation Sydenham

How Easy Is It To Construct A Green Roof System?

Throwing grass seeds on a flat roof doesn’t make it a full-fledged green roof. However, the good news is that with the introduction of the new improved M-Tray® modular green roofing system to the UK market, installation is easier than ever before.

This pre-grown sedum green roof product is supplied in easy-to-handle plastic tray units.

A fully established, mature modular green roof system can be installed quickly and easily on difficult-to-access roofs by hand without the mess and disruption associated with traditional extensive green roof systems.

Offering Energy Efficient Qualities

Whilst there can be little doubt that the installation of a modular garden roof system can greatly improve the aesthetics of a standard roof, the benefits do not stop there as it green roofs actually offer a variety of benefits including:

  • Increased Roof Lifespan
  • Energy Reduction
  • Reduced Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE)
  • Increasing Biodiversity and Wildlife
  • Improved Air and Water Quality
  • Reduced Sound Transfer

Green Roofing Units

This trademarked design incorporates strong tray units measuring 500 x 500 x 100mm, made from an injection moulded recycled polypropylene. The frame itself is 2mm thick throughout and is designed to tolerate significantly more than the 15-20kg saturated weight produced when the units are fully loaded with substrate and sedum plants.

The M-Tray® modules are delivered to site on shrink-wrapped pallets. Because these are live products, it is essential that they are unpacked as soon as possible and given access to light and water. The plants will suffer if they are left palletised longer than 24 hours after delivery.

For more information on the M-Tray® modular green roof solution from Wallbarn, please click here.

How To Create An Instant Green Roof

M-Tray - Project - Whitstable

Due to the modular nature of the M-Tray®, we are able to provide a viable option for areas which are simply not suitable for other types of green roof installation and the perfect option for anyone looking to create an instant green roof.

Creating An Instant Green Roof

Our M-Tray® green roof system consists of specially-designed modular trays containing superior, engineered substrate and fully established flowering sedum

  • M-Trays® are designed to click together forming a single verdant surface
  • Once trays are connected they start to blend straight away, forming a seamless layer of vegetation
  • Modular M-Trays® can be easily lifted out giving access

Minimising The Risk During Installation 

Moving bags of aggregate-based substrate onto rooftops is fraught with risk – the aggregate goes everywhere and as it is so granular, it can damage waterproofing membranes very easily. Sedum blankets are also supplied rolled up, so the plants get damaged during the transport and installation process.

Issues relating to accessibility and concerns relating to disruption during installation are common reasons for property owners assuming that the installation of a green roof may not be possible for their building. Particularly when it comes to retrofitting a green roof onto a rooftop area.

Due to their modular nature, the M-Tray® is particularly well suited to DIY installations on single storey flat roofs, garden storage areas and many other flat areas which can be utilised.

Exactly 4 units per m² make estimating and installing much easier. M-Tray® modules are extremely easy to transport and deliver. They can also be used in areas where standard roll-out is not possible.

Transforming An Open Flat Roof

A recent project involved an extension on a domestic property

Being a wide extension overlooked by two different bedrooms, the owners were not keen on the idea of looking down on a bare rooftop.

The homeowner wanted to save on contractor fees by installing the green roof himself. M-Trays® simply clip together meaning that no specialist roofing or landscaping expertise is required and offered the perfect solution.

M-Tray - Project - Whitstable