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Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in everyday life. So many of the things we interact with each day are “smart.” For many of us, iPhones and Androids have replaced cell phones, fitness trackers have replaced watches, and a home thermostat can be adjusted with a smartphone app from the grocery store or a vacation destination.
Like most other industries, the roofing industry is constantly evolving. Advances in reflective roofing, for example, have helped make buildings more energy efficient, reducing energy use and saving customers money. In some states, solar arrays on rooftops help building owners save money by generating electricity for the building. The latest technological development, solar shingles, are the latest sensation—at least in theory.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced earlier this summer that Tesla would be selling solar roof tiles. Tesla claims that these tiles, made of glass with solar collectors embedded in them, will last longer and cost less than traditional roof shingles. Experts in the roofing industry aren’t so sure this is an accurate assessment.
Musk is known for his pursuit of futuristic travel on Earth and in space. His foray into roofing materials has understandably generated quite a bit of excitement. But there’s not a lot of information out there about how they will perform over time. Many questions remain.
Have solar roof tiles been tested as thoroughly as traditional roofing materials are tested? What is the ply rating for the tiles? How will the tiles respond to high winds, ice, hail, and heavy rain? Are they watertight? Will they keep the interior of a building dry in all four seasons? Is climate a consideration for their installation?
If you’re considering solar tiles, or any new technology, ask plenty of questions and be sure you get clear answers.
Be Smart About Going Green
For many consumers, going green can be a great idea. And saving money is always a great idea. But knowing what makes the most sense for where you live is essential. In some states, rooftop solar arrays help customers save money and energy, but success with solar requires the cooperation of both the state government and the local power companies. In Illinois, for example, a lack of government grants and a low buyback rate from the electric company reduce the benefits of solar. In New Hampshire, on the other hand, existing incentives make solar quite popular. Working with a roofing company familiar with the finer details of roofing of all types in your region will help you decide what’s best for your building.
If you do decide to install a solar array or solar shingles, make sure you’re working with an excellent base. A good roof must always be your starting point. High-end technology atop a 20-year-old roof becomes far less useful—and even more expensive—when that roof needs to be repaired or replaced.
Some technologies are a flash in the pan, others stick around. Solar is likely not going anywhere, but with solar roof tiles and any new technology, it’s important to ask questions and gather as much information as possible—especially when that technology is costly and when it’s meant to protect the building and the people beneath it.
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Solar Shingles: So Many Questions
THE RIDGEWORTH BLOG
Your commercial roof offers many possibilities when it comes to energy savings and cost-efficiency. Ridgeworth Roofing’s team of experts is ready to work with you and help you understand what might work best for your roof—and possibly save you money in the long run. Turn to experience you can trust.
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