Preparing Commercial Roofing for Solar Installations

Everything you need to know before installing a solar roof on your home

Solar installations have seen a steady rise over the last 10 years. A study from 2018 showed that solar energy accounted for nearly 7% of Arizona’s net electricity generation, and 31% of the solar generation was from small-scale solar PV sources, many including solar rooftop panels. Arizona ranks second in the nation in net generation from solar energy.

Frequently asked questions from potential commercial projects and investors include: if solar installations are bad for roofs; if solar installations protect your roof; and if there are any other issues to consider when installing solar panels on roofs.

Those interested might be intrigued to know that solar panels actually provide an increased layer of protection for the roofing system, and might even help increase the value of your structure in the long run.

What does a solar roof do? Since solar installations and systems are located in many configurations on the roof, they help keep the roof cool from any harsh sun rays. They absorb the sunlight that would usually fall directly onto the roof, and since there is plenty of year-round Arizona sunshine, your roof should have no issue with this renewable source of energy. There is a space between the solar panels and the roof where air can flow to help cool underneath the panels. Solar panels also act as a protective agent against harsh weather like excessive rain and hail, and can help your roof last longer than it otherwise would without them.

Are solar panels ideal for a commercial or multifamily roof? The answer is yes. Both commercial building owners and housing investors can expect a return on their investments in solar energy. Along with added protection, if there is a plan to sell the building, a solar installation can be a great help. More people today are looking for ways to be sustainable regarding the environment, and knowing that an owner has invested in solar power can be a huge advantage when trying to sell a property. Whatever the roof was worth before may now have doubled, or more, simply because you invested in a solar system. Having solar panels installed on your roof not only helps protect it from leaks and damage, but helps keeps electric bill down and is safer for the environment.

How do you prepare your roof for one? Inspect the roof by contacting a professional to inspect it as well as to scan for damaged shingles or potential leaks. Have any issues the roof may have repaired, and you may want to have a roof system installed based on engineer requirements. Most solar roofs are designed to work for 20 to 25 years, and the entire roof system will need to last that long as well. It’s best to install solar panels on a roof that is no more than five years old. You also want to examine, or hire a professional to examine, the trees and greenery around your roof and trim away any branches that shade the area. The square footage area of the roof will need to be measured to determine how large the system needs to be to offset your utility bill. A roofing professional, like our company, can help get this entire process started.


When making decisions regarding your roof and preparing for big investments, consider American Roofing & Waterproofing. We’ll provide you with quality service you can trust.

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