The Hidden Risk of Installing Solar Panels on a Commercial Roof

Make Sure Your Commercial Roof Is Ready for Solar Panels

Adding solar panels to a commercial roof is an excellent investment in the future of your business. Solar panels reduce utility expenditures in the long run, are highly incentivized through tax credits and rebates, and help your business operate more sustainably by reducing your carbon footprint.

However, solar panels do pose some risks when installed on a flat or low slope commercial roof system. Some solar panel installers will attempt to gloss over these risks to expedite installation, but the reality is that the success and cost benefits of a new solar panel array are directly tied to the health of your roof.

At Moser Roofing Solutions, we help business owners throughout Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic plan for every situation related to commercial roofing. With over two decades of commercial roofing and business planning knowledge, our team can fully inspect your commercial roof to ensure your it’s ready for solar panels. Here’s how.

The Risks of Installing Commercial Roof Solar Panels

Solar panels are relatively easy to install on a flat or low slope commercial roof, but the installation process is not without risk. Any time you install a new piece of equipment on your roof—such as HVAC equipment, a catwalk, or roof-mounted electrical components—you penetrate the roof’s surface. This leaves the potential for moisture intrusion if the penetrations aren’t properly sealed.

Solar panels are no different. Installing a solar panel array requires multiple penetrations of your roof’s surface to securely mount the solar panels and other necessary components to your roof. While working with a reputable solar company will help ensure the quality of the installation, the bottom line is that solar companies aren’t roofers—so they may not realize if one or more of the punctures they make in your roof aren’t properly sealed against moisture intrusion.

Is Your Commercial Roof Ready for Solar Panels?

In addition to risks during installation, there are also considerations that must be made for the expected lifespan of your new solar panels in relation to your commercial roof. If your commercial roof was recently installed, then the lifespan of your solar array should coincide nicely with that of your roof.

However, older commercial roofing systems may need to be replaced or restored to avoid extra expenses down the line. This is because adding solar panels will make the process of replacing your commercial roof more complex. If solar panels are installed on your roof, and your roof is due for replacement in just a few years, your solar array will need to be removed and reinstalled. This means you’ll have additional expenses and may even risk damaging your solar system in the uninstall and reinstall process. There may also be structural integrity issues with an older roof. With these variables, it may make more sense to replace your roof at the same time you install your solar panels in order to get the maximum return on your investment. 

Schedule an Inspection Before and After Installing Solar Panels

So how do you avoid these potential issues? Schedule a roof inspection both before and after installation of your solar panel array to ensure the integrity of your commercial roof.

Scheduling a preliminary inspection with a commercial roofing expert will give you a full assessment of the condition of your roof. Your commercial roofer will be able to estimate the roof’s remaining lifespan and determine if your roof is ready for solar panel installation. If not, you’ll be able to schedule the necessary repair or replacement services before adding a solar array.

Then, an inspection following your solar panel installation will reveal if any vulnerabilities were created in your roof. If so, it will be a simple matter of having your commercial roofer fully seal your roof against moisture intrusion. This inexpensive and proactive fix will avert potentially major roofing issues down the line.

Contact Moser Roofing Solutions for Your Solar Roofing Inspection!

If you’re interested in adding solar panels to your commercial building, schedule an inspection with an expert commercial roofer to ensure your readiness and maximize your return on investment. Moser Roofing Solutions is the most trusted commercial roofing specialist serving businesses throughout Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic. Our expert team will complete a full diagnostic inspection both before and after your solar panel installation to ensure your solar array—and your commercial roof—will last as long as possible.

Interested in going solar? Make sure your roof is up to the task! Schedule your free commercial roof inspection from Moser today.

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