Solar panel setups in the commercial sector have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Recent studies show that installation numbers continue to rise and experts expect commercial solar installations to reach 4 million by 2023! It is understandable why this would be an attractive option for most business owners. Discreet and self-contained, solar panels make buildings completely energy efficient. And they work extremely well on flat-roofed buildings, which most commercial properties have. Not to mention energy bills are lower, there are no block-wide power outages, and your building is completely self-sufficient.
Installing Commercial Solar Panels: Do I Need to Replace My Roof First?
If you have decided that it is time to step into the future with a solar panel installation for your business, we are here to help. There are likely a few questions you have on the use of solar panels.
“Is my business’ roof up to the challenge?”
“Are we going to need work done to protect it?”
“Should I get it replaced before I invest in a whole commercial solar panel installation?”
Read on, as we have the answers you seek.
Why Would You Replace Your Roof?
The biggest issue relating to solar panel installations is their lifespan. Commercial solar panels last anywhere from 30 to 35 years in many cases. This is part of what makes them such an attractive option. Three decades is a long time over which to save on energy bills too.
Solar panel systems may have a gigantic lifespan which can cause building owners to question the roof they have. Roofs need the structural integrity to hold up that heavy machinery for a long period of time. The older they are, the less likely they will be able to do this. This means there is an increased risk of your roof collapsing. What if you install the solar panels, and then realize the roof is buckling inward? It hasn’t collapsed, but now you’ll need to uninstall the solar system, replace the roof, then reinstall your power. This can be a logistical and financial nightmare.
You need to look over the roof to identify any problems. Damp roofing and leaks are the most common problems. If you’re not sure if your building roof is leaking or letting in moisture in a way that would mean replacing it, the answer may be inside your roof. Look at the underside of your office’s roof sheathing with a flashlight and check for signs of rot or light water stains. These are clear indicators of a bigger problem that needs attention.
Repair Or Replace?
If it’s clear your flat roof is leaking or damaged, it may be time to do something about it. It either needs to be repaired or replaced if you want to push forward with solar installation. And even if you don’t, you still need to address the problem. You just need to determine whether your roof can be repaired or whether replacement is the only option. You’ll want to start by hiring a licensed roofing contractor to inspect your roofing system. Get this done before deciding on whether to invest in solar equipment. Other common signs you may need work in order to move on, keep an eye out for:
- cracked and loose tiles
- rusting metal roof material
- exposed nail heads, visible through your roof’s covering
Asphalt roofing is very popular in general with businesses. It’s easy to imagine these roofs lasting 20 years, reasonably, which makes them suitable for solar installations. If a roof is being weighed down by two or more layers of shingling, the frame itself will likely not be strong enough to support a solar panel’s weight.
Is Solar Worth The Investment?
The average solar installation allows business owners to save tens of thousands in utility costs, over the lifetime of a building. The cost of re-roofing a business property can be high, but it is worth the long term investment and the amount of money that will be saved over time. If your roof needs to be replaced because of damage, then you might as well get solar panels installed anyway. It will make the average solar panel cost completely worthwhile.
Commercial Solar Installation
A commercial solar installation is a great way to save money and safeguard against the common roofing problems. You need to be ready to handle the installation properly, and that starts with solid roofing. Look for damages, weaknesses, and aging. If it seems severe, call in a professional to give you a quote on reinstallation.
We have undertaken multiple large scale roofing restoration projects over the course of our careers. We are here to help you assess any damage and evaluate if you need to repair or replace your commercial roofing. If solar panel installation is your wish, we have the resources and team to make this happen as seamlessly as possible for you.