In the third and final part of the EcoFasten guide to best practice tips for solar mounting installation, “Keeping it Lean in 2019,” we focus on how the slope or pitch of the roof can affect the installation.
While we don’t claim to be roofers, we thought it would be worthwhile to gather some tips passed along by our colleagues in the roofing trade that might help installers in their efforts.
Alongside the different roof types explored in our last installment, the slope or pitch of your customers’ roof will determine which mounting components and systems you should select for the system you install. Below we list 10 things for installers to consider when it comes to roof slopes.
Different Slopes for Different Folks
Of course, the slope of the different roof types also plays a critical role in the design and installation of PV mounting systems. Here’s an assortment of roof slope and roof condition basics from a roofer’s perspective that solar installers on the go should know:
-Installing any roofing material on a roof with less than 3:12 pitch does not make it low-slope roofing.
-The minimum slope that asphalt shingles should be installed on is typically 2:12 pitch.
-Low-slope roofs can be used on commercial roofing as well as residential.
-Low-slope roofs have a minimum 1⁄4-inch rise over a 12-inch run, so follow the roofing manufacturer’s instructions.
-All low-slope roofs must allow water to drain.
-All low-slope roofs must have the ability to dry within 24 hours, apart from humidity-induced moisture conditions.
-If the roof does not drain properly, bacteria and organic growth will appear on the surface of the roof; organic growth will break down the roofing materials prematurely.
-Roof inspections increase the life of the roof and should be done at least twice a year.
-Low-slope roofs are often patched during roof inspections.
-Roofers look for signs of wear and patch the roof prior to any problems.
Maintaining the integrity of the roof should be first and foremost in the approach of solar installers. EcoFasten works hand in hand with installers across the U.S. to understand the latest challenges they face on the roof, so that we can design and deliver the most innovative products possible.
For more information on best practices for working with a given roof covering, we recommend checking the National Roofing Contractors Association’s Roofing Manual. For more information on PV mounting structure installation (and rooftop PV installation in general), we suggest SEIA’s Installation Best Practices Guide – Residential Portfolios, the NABCEP Resource Guide, and Solar Energy International’s Solar Electric Handbook.
KEEPING IT LEAN IN 2019
We hope that this guide to solar mounting installation best practices has given you plenty of helpful hints on how to keep it lean in 2019 and accelerate your success in the years ahead.
You can read part one (pre-installation roof conditions) and part two (roof types and materials) of the blog series based on EcoFasten’s “Keeping it Lean in 2019” whitepaper, here and here. You can also sign in and download the complete whitepaper here.