Installing Commercial Solar Panels On Older Roof
Is it a Must I Replace My Roof Before I Install Commercial Solar Panels?
Solar panels setups have been on the rise in the commercial sector for a couple of years now. Studies have shown that the number of setups has been increasing with time. The number is expected to rise with experts estimating that there will be 4 million installations by 2023. The main reason why this is happening is it is an attractive option for many business owners. Self-contained and discreet, solar panels make the buildings energy-efficient. They work especially well on flat roofs.
There will be no block-wide power outages, high energy bills, and the building will have complete self-sufficiency.
You have decided that you are going to install solar panels for your business. But you have some common questions business owners ask before doing it.
Is my roof able to handle it?
Is there a lot of work involved in protecting it?
Should I replace the entire roof before the solar panel installation is done?
We are going to take a closer look.
Why Replace the Roof?
The lifespan of the solar panel installation is the big issue here. A commercial solar panel installation can last for 30 years or even more. This is what makes them an attractive option because it means you have the chance of making savings on your utility bills for three decades.
Solar panels have a big lifespan, and many business owners will question whether the roofing can handle it. The roof should have the structural integrity to hold up the solar machinery for a long time. When the roof is old, it might not handle the installation. There is a risk of collapse if it is installed on an old roof.
Imagine you install the solar panels, then after a couple of years, you notice that the roof has bucked inward? The roof has not collapsed yet, but you now have to remove the solar installation, replace the roof, the install the solar setup again. This is a nightmare that you don’t want to go through. It will involve closing the office because of safety and noise. You also have to spend a lot of money replacing the roof.
How to identify problems: A damp area inside your ceiling
An easy way of spotting a problem is to spot the problem it makes. If you aren’t sure if the roof is letting in moisture or leaking in a way that means replacing it, then you have to look inside the roof.
Use a flashlight to have a look at the underside of the roof sheathing, you can do this by yourself or with a contractor. Look for light water stains or signs of rot. These could be a sign of a bigger problem.
To Repair or Replace the Roof
If the flat roof is damaged or leaking, you have to do something about it. Which option should you take? You need to have the roof replaced or repaired before the solar installation can be done (but it is also important to do that even if you are not going ahead with installation). You have to find out whether your roof can be repaired or if the only option is to replace it.
The first thing to do is hire a licensed roofing contractor who is going to do a roofing inspection.
Get this done before you decide whether to install solar equipment or not. There are other signs you might need to look out for before deciding whether to move on. Some of them include;
Loose and cracked tiles
Exposed nail heads that can be seen through the covering of your roof
Rusting metal roof material
Businesses that are looking to go with the solar option usually choose asphalt roofs because they are popular. You can expect these roofs to last more than 20 years, which makes them a great option for solar installation. You can choose to have 3-tap shingles instead of building shingles, but keep in mind that the roof might not have the lifespan needed to support the solar equipment.
If you have two or more layers of shingling that are weighing down the roof, the frame might not be in a condition to provide enough support for all that including solar panels. The extra weight is not good for the roof.
Flat roofing provides the best option for solar panel installation. You are going to spend about the same amount when compared to roofing options like a pitched roof. It has a minimal likelihood of leakage because of advances in newer tech. Many have been concerned about installing solar on flat surfaces because they can’t self-clear which causes pooling. The panels can be clear of water, rain, and other liquids that can damage them by using ballasts.
Is Solar going to be worth it if you choose to reroof?
Many choose solar installations because it gives them a chance to save thousands in utility costs over the lifespan of the solar system. The cost of re-roofing a commercial property can be high, but it is not that much when you compare it to how much you are going to save in the long run.
This is also going to be a double incentive to do it if you have been planning to re-roof your building. This is going to make an investment in solar worth it. If you take the time to see how much you will spend and how much you can expect to save, you will see that it is an investment with a good return.
Commercial Solar Installation
If you have been convinced that a commercial solar installation is a great investment for your business, then everything that you have been told is true. It is going to save you a lot of money and you get to avoid the problems people go through when they rely on the grid.
But it is important to ensure the installation is being done properly, and this begins by making sure the roofing is good. Look for any signs of aging, weaknesses, damages, and other damages that might seem severed. It is a good idea to work with a professional because they know how to check the condition of your roof. You will be advised on what you can do to make sure the roof is in the best condition possible. Don’t make the mistake of having it installed in its current condition then have to spend a lot to dismantle your power to replace the roof later when the problem can no longer be ignored. Fix the issues now before moving on with the installation.
We have experience with a lot of large-scale roofing restoration projects. Our team is in a good position to handle any type of roofing project. The most common and exciting types include elastomeric coating systems and silicon restoration. With silicone, you can expect it to last for 25 years or more. Elastomeric systems can last for 20 years or more. They are both great choices if you want to install your solar setup because you don’t need significant replacements for your roofing.