When the owner of an office building, warehouse, restaurant, retail space or any other business property in Utah first thinks about planning a commercial solar project, several questions come to mind. For many, one of the initial concerns involves the impact of installation on the roof warranty.
This is completely understandable, as no one wants their warranty to be voided. Fortunately, when installed properly, a rooftop solar power system should have no negative impact on a building or the roof warranty.
Rooftop Mounts for Commercial Solar Installations
Photovoltaic contractors generally use one of two methods for mounting solar panels on the roof of a commercial building – attached racking or ballasted racking.
Attached racking systems can be used on flat or sloped rooftops. Several different types are available, and experienced solar installers can choose the right racking for a particular application. All require roof penetrations, with the number depending on the building structure, local building codes and the design of the commercial solar array.
With ballasted racking, heavy blocks are used to anchor commercial solar panels on the rooftop. This type of mounting is only applicable for flat roofs that are capable of supporting the additional weight, and in some jurisdictions in the state of Utah, the use of fully ballasted racks is discouraged.
In some cases, a hybrid racking system – one that has both roof penetrations and ballast weights – is the preferred option for a solar project. Whatever method is employed, there should be no impact on rooftop integrity.
Will Your Roof Warranty Remain Intact After Solar Installation?
With a reputable and experienced commercial solar installer, you shouldn’t have to worry about your roof warranty.
When planning your project, your contractor should conduct a roof evaluation, assessing the condition of the surface, the drainage routes and the structural load capacity. They’ll use this information in designing the rooftop solar array, while also making sure that the PV system meets all local building codes.
Photovoltaic contractors often work with roof manufacturers to ensure that a commercial solar installation is completed in a manner that preserves the original roof warranty. A representative of the manufacturer may also inspect the rooftop after a solar array is installed to confirm that the work has been completed correctly.
What if the installation results in damage to the roof? Again, with a reputable photovoltaic contractor, one with extensive experience in commercial solar installation, this is unlikely to occur. But if any damage is done, the installer’s workmanship warranty should cover the necessary repair work.
What if You Need to Replace the Roof After Solar Installation?
As we mentioned, any reputable solar installer will assess the condition of the rooftop before beginning a project, so this shouldn’t be a concern.
That being said, most photovoltaic contractors aren’t professional roofers. So, their ability to predict whether or not a roof will need to be replaced during the life of a PV system is limited. To resolve this issue, some installers create commercial solar contracts that include the removal and replacement of solar panels for the purpose of roof replacement at a later date.
While this can be a solution, these agreements often designate that the building owner bears responsibility for some or all of the cost and for any lost revenues when the PV system is down. Choosing a solar company that works with a team of factory-certified Master Elite roofing experts – like Nationwide Solar – is a better solution. Go that route, and you won’t have to wonder if your roof is structurally sound.
Is the Roof of Your Building Suitable for Solar Installation?
Many commercial buildings in Utah feature large, flat roofs that have plenty of space for solar panels. If that’s true of the building you own, the rooftop may be the right spot for your array.
On the other hand, the configuration of the vents and rooftop equipment might pose a problem for your commercial solar project. Depending on where your building is located and what’s nearby, shading could also be an issue. In either situation, an experienced photovoltaic contractor can provide you with other options.
If your Utah property has a sunny area available, installing a ground-mounted solar array could supply your commercial building with a reliable source of electricity. Or, if you have a parking lot or parking garage, a solar canopy structure may be your best bet. Whatever the challenges with your property, the right solar installer can find a way to power your business with the sun’s energy.
At Nationwide Solar, our professional team makes it easy for business owners in Utah to make the switch to photovoltaic power. We’d love to handle your project, and our work won’t affect your roof warranty. Contact us and schedule a free, no-obligation to discuss commercial solar installation today.