will solar work on my roof

Will Solar Work On My Roof? How To Be Certain

No one likes paying sky-high energy bills, especially commercial building owners. Your building needs a lot of energy to keep the lights on, HVAC working, computers running, and so on. What’s the solution?

Leaving the lights or AC off isn’t an option if you want happy staff and customers. Thankfully, the best solution could be right outside your window. The sun’s rays can provide your building with solar energy. You might be able to reduce your reliance on your local energy grid or even eliminate it! All of this may cause you to ask, “Will solar work on my roof?”  Because solar panels can be large and heavy, that’s an intelligent question. Knowing more about roofing and solar energy systems (SES) can help you understand what your roof might go through if you make the switch to solar.

Will Solar Work on My Roof?

Solar energy systems work on many kinds of commercial roofs. So, the short answer is that yes, your roof can most likely handle solar. Depending on its design, slope, material, and other factors, it might need a lot or a little preparation for this kind of system.

Part of this depends on what kind of SES you get. 

  • Ballasted racking systems use concrete blocks or other heavy objects to secure solar panels to your roof.
  • Attached racking systems use hardware that penetrates your roof.

What About Weight?

Weight is one of the biggest concerns with these systems. Ballasted racking systems are typically heavier, which can be problematic for some flat or low-slope commercial roofs. Your roof needs to be able to support all of that added weight. How much weight are we talking about? Ballasted racking systems can add over 10 pounds per square foot to your roof.

Attached racking systems aren’t as heavy as ballasted ones but still add weight to your roof. These systems might add as much as 4 pounds per square foot to your rooftop and more than 40 pounds at each attachment point.

Don’t forget about snow loads. Winter storms can dump large amounts of snow on your commercial roof. Without enough support, your roof might not be in any shape to handle snow loads and your solar energy system.

Is your roof doomed to collapse if you add solar panels to it? Not if you invest in a Solar Ready Roof. This means having commercial roofers take all the steps needed to prepare your roof for SES installation.

Will Solar Raise the Risk of Roof Damage?

This depends on how well your roof is prepared and whether or not you get quality solar panel installation. Your best bet is to have a commercial roofer handle preparation for solar panels. A Solar Energy System, if installed without proper preparation, can leave parts of your roof vulnerable to water leakage. Attached systems penetrate your roof in certain areas, and as with all roof penetrations, require very precise preparation and fitting to ensure that water will not enter the roof.

flat roof

Having a Solar Ready Roof means you’ll have experienced commercial roofers ensure your roof is in good condition to handle the installation process. This includes making sure your roof has no issues that might raise the risk of leaks after your SES is installed, such as areas of wood rot.

Will I Need a Roof Replacement?

Is your roof in good condition overall? How old is it? Have you had any problems with it? Was it installed using quality materials? These questions can help you better understand whether or not you should budget for a roof replacement before getting a SES.

To be completely sure, have commercial roofers check your roof. Preparing to get a Solar Ready Roof includes having your current roof checked to see if it’s nearing time for a replacement. If your roof is old, damaged, or worn, roofers will recommend having it replaced before you have solar panels installed. Remember solar panels can last up to 25 years, you do not want your roof to be close to the end of its life cycle when you are newly installing solar. Make sure to check with your solar installer to be ascertain whether your manufacturer requires a pre-inspection.

Who Should I Hire for a Solar-Ready Roof?

Vanguard Roofing is your go-to for this type of roof. Our expert roofers can make sure your commercial roof is fully ready for solar energy system installation. What does this process involve?

Our roofers take infrared scans to see if any areas of your roof deck are vulnerable to water infiltration. We’ll also complete core cuts and test your roof and decking to check for other issues that need to be addressed before installing a SES.

Remember that we can install a white Solar Ready Roof to help boost your energy savings. These roofs reflect sunlight, keeping your interior cooler.

If you want to hear more about our Solar Ready Roof service, please contact Vanguard Roofing. We offer dependable commercial roofing services for customers in the northeastern US.