Solar Ready Roof

01 HiGear Products Inc

When we first arrived at HiGear Products Inc, they had an aged EPDM roof system that had been patched extensively. In addition, they also had the seams stripped in, which is a technique that can be used once to extend the life of older EPDM roof systems, where only glue was used to hold the seams together Modern EPDM systems use seam tape, which is a far superior technology.

Stripped in Seams, ponding, etc

EPDM roof system that existed before Chaffee installation.

HiGear Products Inc and their solar contractor quickly realized that, if they installed a new solar system over this tired and badly worn-out roof, they would end up spending significantly more money in the near future on replacing this roof. These extensive expenses would have come in the form of removing all of the solar panels and electrical connections, storing all of this equipment while the roof is completed, then reinstalling all of this equipment after the new roofing system was installed. Like almost anyone else considering a solar project, installing a new solar ready roof before installing the solar panels made economic sense, since a new roof system is typically designed to last longer than the solar panels themselves.


Scope of Work

To accommodate the new solar system being installed, the scope of work for our solar ready roof consisted of:

  • Remove both layers of existing roof down to the steel decking. This portion of the work was completed at night to reduce the noise and disruption to the buildings daytime occupants. It also reduced the duration of the job, since two shifts were working on the job instead of one.
    • Removing both roof layers is required by building code.
    • In this case, it provided the additional benefit of removing a significant amount of weight from the building.
  • Install new 3.3” polyisocyanurate rigid insulation, mechanically attached to the deck. The total R-value achieved with this insulation is 20, which is the minimum required by building code at the time of this installation.
    • For some solar projects, or non-solar projects that have heavy foot traffic, a layer of HD Coverboard can further enhance the puncture resistance of the roof system.
  • Install new .060 TPO Membrane. For this project, a TPO Roof was chosen due to its puncture resistance, heat welded seams, and white, reflective appearance.
  • 20 year total system warranty through Carlisle. To compliment the projected life and warranty of their solar system, HiGear chose a 20 year warranty through Carlisle.
    • A manufacturer’s warranty is better than any contractor warranty because it includes a specification that the contractor must follow and a third party inspection of the roof to ensure it was installed properly.

By the time Chaffee Roofing was finished, HiGear had a warranted solar ready TPO roof that will last the test of time. Shortly after, they installed their solar system, which sits on the roof today. HiGear will not have to pay for an additional solar removal and installation at the expense of an old, tired roof.