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How Solar Panels Impact Commercial Roof Systems

FiberTite How Solar Panels
August 13, 2019

By Aubrey Barto, FiberTite.

With the need for sustainable energy ever growing, some people turn to solar panels as a potential solution.

The overall impact of these solar array systems needs to be taken into consideration; this includes more than just potential cost savings. If the proper steps are not taken, solar panels can negatively impact the performance of the roofing system as well as your customer's wallet.

1. Roof’s Current Condition and Return on Investment (ROI)

As solar panels add a considerable amount of weight to a roofing system, it is important that the current condition of the roof is known. The first step is to schedule an inspection and understand the expected lifespan of the current roof. 

Generally speaking, it’s advantageous if solar panels are considered during the initial construction plans for a facility. Although solar panels are a rather large upfront cost, you can ensure that your customer sees a return on investment, as a brand new roofing system should last anywhere from 15 - 30 years depending on the type of roofing membrane.

2. Stress on Roof System

Solar panels are commonly installed through the use of bolting mounts or some other penetrating technique that will need to be sealed properly to avoid premature roof failure. A potential solution to this problem, depending on the roofing system and solar panels, is to utilize a ballasted mounting system. The fewer the penetrations in your roofing system, the better. Again though, you must be mindful of the extra weight and how that weight might put stress on the roofing system.

3. Maintenance

Just like the roofing system, a solar panel system will require routine maintenance. In order for both systems to perform the way your customer needs them to, they’ll have to invest some capital into their upkeep. Maintenance options typically depend on how they purchased their solar array system. Some solar panels come with a monitoring system of sorts that will alert the owner to potential problems. Others do not, in which case more manual monitoring will need to occur. 

About FiberTite
FiberTite Roofing Systems provide operational security to the world’s most powerful brands with an innovative, high performance coated fabric membrane. Since 1979, FiberTite has been protecting buildings, setting the performance standard in roofing with a proprietary, proven formula utilizing Elvaloy® Ketone Ethylene Ester (KEE).

For more information, please visit https://www.fibertite.com.

Original article source: FiberTite



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