Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation
While conducting a webinar recently on thermal performance in building envelopes I was reminded about a very important issue related to both commercial cool roofs and photovoltaic roofs. They must be cleaned!
If you do not clean your solar panels and cool roofs their efficiency plummets. Roofs are out of sight but it is important to not forget about them. Cool and photovoltaic roofs should be inspected every six months to insure that they are performing properly and providing the maximum benefit of the product.
Reminder! No one should work on a roof but a roofer. The integrity of the roof is very important and the correct tools and cleaning agents much be used to properly clean a cool or photovoltaic roof without damage. I cannot stress this point enough – any cleaning to be performed must be done in accordance with the recommendations of the roof or photovoltaic manufacturer. Inspections should also be conducted only by a roofer or the manufacturer.
If you would like to read a great paper on the economic viability of cleaning cool roofs just follow this link: http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/staff/papers/new_51.pdf.