Man on flat roof with caption Solar Ready Roof: What It Is & Why You Need It

Solar Ready Roof: What It Is & Why You Need It

Flat or low-slope commercial roofs have become valuable plots of electricity generation. To convert your roof into a power generator, you must make it solar-ready. A solar-ready roof makes installing a solar power system easier, safer, and cost-effective. Ideally, a roof not designed to carry the additional weight of a Solar Energy System (SES) could result in a nightmare of cost overruns, safety concerns, and project delays.

Why You Need a Solar Ready Roof

Installing a rooftop SES might appear straightforward, but if your roof isn’t solar-ready, certain pitfalls could incur. Before installing solar energy systems on your roof, have your roofer conduct an infrared scan, pull tests, and core cuts of your roof and decking. This will identify any underlying issues on your roof.

Having a solar-ready roof also means the roofing system can comfortably handle the planned or future SES load, reflectivity, and conditions. Besides the extra weight of the SES, your roof will have to withstand wind and snow loads. Typically, an SES can add up to 4 lbs per square foot and over 40 lbs at the attachment points. For a ballasted system, your roof will carry another 10 lbs per square foot. 

Saving Costs and Hassles

Installing an SES over a not-ready roof means at some point you’ll need to remove the whole system to repair or replace the roof. Since an SES limits access to the entire roofing system, carrying out any repairs can be expensive. By making your roof solar-ready, you can ensure your roof service life matches your SES service life.

Enhancing Safety

Safety is a critical part of a Solar Ready Roof. An experienced roofer will ensure your roof includes adequate roof access, and whenever appropriate, tie-offs or guardrails. It’s also essential to have walk pads for high traffic areas. With infrared scans, your roofer will be able to identify any potential water infiltration in the roof deck.

Leveraging Incentives for Renewable Energy & Efficiency

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) entails a comprehensive source of local, state, federal, and utility incentives and policies meant to promote renewable energy and efficiency. State-run facilities such as schools, state buildings, non-profits, and corporate buildings can access many programs to help cover the cost of switching to solar power. You can visit their website to discover the available sustainability incentives in your area.

Make Your Roof Solar Ready With Vanguard!

Vanguard Roofing can help you get your roof solar-ready, whether you are considering an SES now or in the future. Our experienced roofing specialists will first assess your roof to ensure it will last as long as the SES. Our proposals consider your needs regarding function, longevity, manufacturer, appearance, budget, code requirements, and safety. Contact us today to schedule your consultation! We proudly serve the Tri-State region.