Infrared Roof Surveys for Residential Solar PV Systems

These days, solar PV systems are no longer being used solely for industrial and commercial applications. In fact, more and more homeowners
are jumping on the solar panel bandwagon, and it’s easy to see why.

Solar PV allows you to generate cheap, eco-friendly electricity from something we all have free access to—sunlight. You can then use this electricity to heat or cool your home, power lighting systems and operate appliances. No wonder solar roofs are becoming so popular so quickly!

But before you run to your computer and order your solar PV system, you need to ensure that your roof is in good shape; otherwise, you could end up with a major headache and even bigger expenses.

To get you started, we’ll first briefly discuss what solar PV systems are and how they work, and then we’ll talk about what you need to do to ensure that your roof is ready to become a lean, green, electricity machine!

How do solar PV systems work?

Solar panels, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV) systems, capture solar radiation (energy) using photovoltaic cells and transform it into electricity. Without going into too much technical detail, these modules convert sunlight into electricity in a clean, sustainable way that taps into one of the most plentiful renewable energy sources—the sun.

How powerful is solar PV? Simply put, a small PV system is able to produce enough electricity to power one home. Meanwhile, the electricity generated by a larger PV setup can be used by multiple households or even stored for future use.

One of the best things about solar panels is that they don’t need direct sunlight to work, so you can generate electricity even on a cloudy day! What’s more, the efficiency of solar PV systems increases in colder temperatures, so they’re ideal for the Canadian climate.

Infrared roof inspections

Infrared Roof Inspection

Infrared Roof Inspection

By now, we’re guessing that you can’t wait to get your hands on your very first solar panel. But, to ensure a smooth, hassle-free transition, you’ll want to do the proper prep work.

In addition to meeting with a qualified system designer, it is essential that you get an infrared inspection of your roof to ensure that your current roof is in good enough condition to house PV panels. As you’ll soon find out, not every roof is fit to be a solar PV system.

Buildings with flat roofs, for example, are well-known for their moisture problems, which, if not taken care of properly, could interfere with the installation, proper functioning and longevity of your PV system.

Luckily, a safe, quick and completely non-contact infrared roof survey will detect any ongoing defects or moisture problems with your roof, ensuring that your roof is completely dry prior to the installation of the PV system. The following is a list of the most common problems identified during an infrared roof survey:

  • Damage to the roofing material
  • Leaks and moisture intrusion
  • Poorly sealed penetration points
  • Cracks, gaps and holes
  • Signs of wear
  • Blocked gutters
  • Trapped moisture or standing water
residential infrared

residential infrared

Because solar PV systems can last more than 20 years, you don’t want to be forced to dismantle them prematurely in order to perform maintenance or repairs of your roof. Therefore, finding any issues before the PV installation is crucial.

A thermographic scan of your roof can also be conducted after the PV panels have been installed in order to check for overheating components—a common sign of poor electrical connections and eventual system failure. This infrared inspection can also help to identify which solar modifications should be implemented to optimize the performance of your solar PV system.

You will receive the results of the infrared inspection in a comprehensive report that includes a detailed summary of the problems found, high-resolution, digital infrared images and professional recommendations for repairs.


building diagnostics

building diagnostics

Needless to say, it’s hard to find a reason why we shouldn’t all be installing solar panels on our rooftops, especially in a time that’s so afflicted by climate change. We’d be saving money, using clean, sustainable energy and doing something good for our environment,

But if we want our solar PV systems to last us a lifetime and continue to operate efficiently, we must take proper care of them. This means checking that our PV systems are in good shape before, during and after installation to avoid moisture problems, excess heat and potential equipment failure.

You may think that this is too much work, but all it really requires is regular infrared roof surveys, which are a quick, non-destructive way of identifying problems with your PV setup.

And if you’re looking for more ways to make use of the sun’s plentiful energy, try switching to materials that have favourable thermal properties, designing spaces that allow air to circulate naturally, and orienting the position of a building so that it faces the sun.

By making the most of what our planet has to offer, we can all lead happy, healthy and more meaningful lives without sacrificing comfort. So why not give solar PV a try?!


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