A Guide To Putting Solar Panels on Different Roof Types
Installing solar panels on a roof is a great investment for residential property owners, but the task can be challenging—mostly because it can be hard to find a compatible roofing system. If you’re unsure if your roof allows solar panels, here is a guide to putting solar panels on different roof types.
What Roof Type Works Best With Solar Panels?
There isn’t one roof style that works best with solar panels. Nearly all types of roof materials can have solar panels installed on them. Here is an overview of roof styles that homeowners can use when installing solar panels.
Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Asphalt is a common shingle type, and they’re one of the most straightforward shingles solar panel installers know how to install. During your shingle and solar panel mounting, roofers drill studs into the material to attach panel mounts. A roofer puts a flashing over the strut to avoid water infiltration around the bracket.
Clay Tile Roofs
You can find traditional Spanish tiles along the United States’ Southwest coast. These tiles have dome-like ridges that make stacking them easier, but they’re fragile. Since these are clay tiles, roofers might find installing solar panels challenging, as they might accidentally break the cladding when walking around up there, so they use other methods.
Roofers remove what they need to fit the anchoring system to avoid breaking the cladding. Once the racking is in place and the solar roof installer drills the metal hooks and flashings, the tiles slide right back on. One thing to consider is that not all clay tile roofs are the same; many are unique enough that roofing professionals must design special hooks and flashings to fit correctly.
Concrete Tile Roofs
Concrete tiles can have solar panels, but it depends on how much the roofing contractor needs to remove, so the panels fit correctly. The concrete tiles have a similar process to the clay tiles—the roofers remove the cladding and replace it during the installation process. Doing so allows the solar system’s anchoring system to stand correctly. Unlike clay, concrete can have drilled holes, but replacing them isn’t any easier because the material is equally brittle.
What Other Roofing Types Can I Install Solar Panels on?
Homeowners with flat roofs will learn if their roof style supports a solar panel system in this section. Additionally, metal and wooden roofs may also handle solar panel installation. Here is what homeowners should know.
Wooden and Cedar Roofs
Wooden and cedar tiles are much like asphalt; they’re easy to remove and drill rivets into to mount the solar panels’ anchoring system. Even though wood shingles do warp, and they’re not the best for supporting solar, a solar company likely recommends treating wooden tiles with a sealant before doing further work on them. After sealing the tiles, a roofing professional may need to do more work before installing solar panels.
Flat roofs are easier to walk on but don’t have the tilt advantage of standard slanted roofs. You may not have any solar power to use in your building if the panels lay flat, so ensure your roofing professional installs them at a slant so you can reap the energy savings.
You have two options for flat roofing solar panel installations: penetration mounting and a ballast system. Both processes work well, but a ballast system is better for your roof’s solar system because its weight keeps the racking system and everything else in place.
Not every metal roof is the same. For example, an aluminum roof might need more work than a copper roof. But don’t feel discouraged—solar panels work on metal roofs. It just depends on the work roofing professionals do before installation.
Standing seam roofs have hidden fasteners already on the tiles, making clamping the solar panels onto the roof easier to do. No drilling is necessary, but if your roof is ten years old or older, then you need to talk with your roofing contractor about possibly replacing your roof before they install the solar panels.
Should You Replace Your Roof Before Installing New Solar Panels?
You don’t need to replace your roof before installing new solar panels. Since solar systems and roofs have a similar lifespan of twenty-five to thirty years, you can remove the need to do both jobs separately by doing both at the same time.
Cutting down on project time is a good reason to get a new roof and solar panel installation at the same time. If the panels damage the house, you will need to spend more money later because your house is older than your solar panels. Get new solar panels and a roof simultaneously, so you don’t have to worry about either aging faster than the other.
Do You Only Have To Install Solar Panels on Your Roof?
Nope! Solar panels can go anywhere—if you have a barn, chicken coop, shed, greenhouse, or driveway, those structures can safely support the weight of solar panels. Contact your local solar power installer if you have other places with roofs you think could use solar panels! They’re more than happy to explain what buildings work best.
The Benefits of Solar Power Panels on a Roof
Another advantage to having a solar power system connected to your home is the money you save. Homeowners also enjoy rebates covering startup costs on their tax returns.
When switching from traditional electricity to solar, you waste less energy during the day. Give yourself another reason to go green this year by switching your home to renewable energy using a solar power grid system.
Hire an All-in-One Roofing and Solar Installer
Go Solar Power is an all-in-one roofing and solar power installer. Our team members have experience in roof assessment and replacement and solar energy system installation. It costs too much to do these projects separately, so save you time and money by installing solar panels and a new roof simultaneously.
Go Solar Power is a leading solar power company specializing in new roof installations. Contact us to schedule a time to install your home’s solar panels and new roof. Wherever your panels go, savings will follow.