Solar panel installation is becoming increasingly popular among businesses and homeowners seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs. But when considering solar panels, your primary concern might be whether your home has the roofing material suited for the installation.
An efficient roofing system is integral to the success of your solar panel installation. It means selecting the right roofing material is essential. We’re sharing a guide to four common roofing materials to help you determine which option works best for your project.
Solar panel installation on a metal roof is an excellent choice due to its durability, fire-resistant properties, and energy-saving features. It can last up to 75 years. If it’s light in color, it can keep your home cooler. However, metal roof installation costs can be high, which may discourage some homeowners.
Hiring an installer who has previously worked on a metal roof is crucial to ensure a successful installation of solar panels on your metal roof. A specific skill set and distinct racking equipment are necessary for installation. If your metal roof has standing seams, attaching solar panels directly to the seams can be an option. This procedure eliminates the need for drilling holes, saving you money on labor costs.
Metal roofs can be durable and energy-efficient when considering solar panel installation. However, it’s essential to consider the initial cost and installation needs before deciding.
Asphalt shingles are a common roofing choice in the US and work well with solar panels, lasting 12-30 years. They offer adequate protection against weather and debris and are typically cheaper than metal roofs. To ensure solar panels’ longevity, use high-quality asphalt shingles. With asphalt roofs, reputable installers should install solar energy systems proficiently. It is important to understand that asphalt retains heat more than other materials, which may make your home warmer during the summer.
When you install solar panels on asphalt shingles, you’ll need to drill holes, which can damage the roof’s surface. To prevent this, consider using an adhesive mounting system with a clamp-based design that attaches to existing shingles or tiles without damage.
If you’re a homeowner considering installing solar panels at an affordable price, asphalt shingles could be a viable option. Remember to factor in heat absorption and installation costs before deciding.
Tar and Gravel Roofing
Tar and gravel roofs are an excellent choice for solar installations because they are durable and energy-efficient. In addition to their strength, gravel on the roof also reflects sunlight. This roofing material has a lifespan of 20-30 years and is easy to fix. However, since these roofs are generally flat, special hardware may need to angle the solar panels correctly. This hardware can increase the installation cost but guarantees the solar energy system’s most accurate alignment and angle. This results in more significant long-term savings.
Tile roofs are popular in hot or coastal areas because of their durability, lasting over 100 years. Although they are more expensive than asphalt, they are cheaper than metal roofs. However, if you have a tile roof and want to install solar panels, it can be tricky and increase labor costs. It is due to the fragile nature of the tiles, which need removal for panel installation.
It’s important to ensure that your solar panel installer is experienced in working with tile roofs, as not all of them are. Although it may be more expensive and complicated, installing rooftop panels on a tile roof is possible. It can offer a dependable solar energy solution that lasts a long time.
Do I need to replace my roofing material if I install solar panels?
When determining if you need to replace your roofing material before installing solar panels, consider the type and age of your roofing material. Metal and tile roofs typically don’t require replacement, while shingles, tar, and gravel roofs require replacement. If you have a shake roofing material, replace your roof before solar panel installation if it needs replacing in the next five to ten years.
Talk First to Your Solar Company of Choice
To prepare your roof for installing solar panels, make sure that you consult with the solar installation company that will install your solar energy system. They can advise you on the most efficient and cost-effective roof material replacement. Companies like Solaria Energy Solutions offer free roof assessments to help ensure your roof is ready for solar panel installation. In addition, all necessary precautions are taken before installation begins.