How Does Solar Affect Your Roof?

Solar Panels And Your Roof

Many property owners are worried about going solar because of the possibility of damage to their roofs; putting racking and solar panels on your roof alter one of the core parts of the structural makeup of your home or business, and can put your roof at risk if done incorrectly, so the concern isn’t unreasonable. 

If you’re thinking about getting a solar system, you’ll be happy to know that rather than causing damage, solar panels can actually add a small layer of protection, while increasing the value of the roof on your home or business! Since these installations last upwards of 30 years, it’s important to make sure that the project won’t cause any harm. Luckily, installers take many precautionary steps to insure that any damage or leaks are prevented.

Here, we will go over the benefits of having solar on your roof, as well as how installation companies(and you) can prevent any possible damage. At the bottom of this page are links to two videos from our CEO, Seth Wells, to give you more information about leaking roofs and roof warranties. Follow our Youtube page and check out our other videos for more information on solar and our company. Enjoy!

Benefits Of Having Solar On Your Roof

The Cooling Effects Of Solar

Since the panels sit above your roof and soak up all of the sunlight that would otherwise be absorbed by your roof, they’re actually protecting your roof from the harsh rays of the sun. There is also space between the roof and panels, which allows air to flow and keep the area under the panels cool. Solar panels effectively act as a shade tree over the roof, so they not only protect the roof from falling limbs or debris, but also reduces the temperature in the home by 35% or more, according to a study done by UC San Diego, which you can read more about here.

Bad Weather Protection

Inclement weather such as snow, hail, and excessive wind and rain can certainly damage your roof over the years. Solar panels over the roof act as a sort of shield to some degree, which protects your roof, and can even help it to last longer than it would’ve without them! Although snow isn’t a big concern for us here in Texas, you should know that it isn’t a big concern with solar, as the arrays are made and positioned for the snow to slide off. It’s also surprisingly notable that solar panels in the winter actually improve in performance because the photovoltaic technology in the panels is able to convert sunlight more efficiently when they’re colder, minimizing the drop in production due to snow on the panels or loss of daylight hours. Furthermore, the panels are able to catch sunlight that is reflected off of the snow, adding to what they would receive on their own throughout the day.

Added Value To Your Home

One overlooked financial benefit of solar power is the resale value that it adds. After the initial investment, solar not only saves you money from lowered electricity costs, but you could potentially see the property value increase; that roof that was originally worth $9000 is now worth twice as much or more! With more people than ever wanting to ‘go green,’ knowing that the property owner has invested in solar can be a huge advantage!

Proper Installation

Just like any home improvement project,  using the right service provider is essential to your solar job, so your first step is making sure that you’re working with a reputable, experienced installation company. If you’re concerned about damage to your roof, you can question the company about their installation process and the measures that they take to prevent damage. Some companies also offer a workmanship warranty, which should cover your roof in the off chance that damage does occur.

In most cases, solar panels will not cause damage to your roof if you’re working with a licensed, qualified professional and your roof is in good condition. If you hear of damage caused by solar, it’s likely that the roof was initially in poor condition. The installation company that we now work with comes out for a site survey to inspect the roof and answer any questions that you have prior to installation, which is something you can ask to have done regardless of what company you decide to work with.

Holes In Your Roof

One of the biggest concerns for owners are the holes needed to secure the panels to the roof. These holes are for lag bolts, and can very in depth and size, depending on what your roof is made of. While holes in your roof never sounds great, there are precautions that installers take to make sure that your roof remains structurally sound and won’t leak.

To prevent leaking, the bolt fixture is first surrounded by flashing, which is a metal or plastic shield that fits under the existing roof tiles. The flashing is sealed with tar, or a similar material, and the hole is then filled with a sealant to protect against water leaks.

If you have a flat roof, you won’t need holes in your roof to install solar panels. Installations on flat roofs commonly use ballast mounting systems, where the mounts are weighed down sufficiently to ensure the system remains secured on the roof.

If you have a standing seam metal roof, panels can be easily attached by a mounting system that clamps onto the seams of your roof without having to drill any holes. Using this type of installation can speed up your installation times, since the installer doesn’t have to drill any holes(as well as possibly lower the labor cost)!

Another option to avoid putting holes in your roof is to use solar shingles, which are roof tiles that contain solar cells and replace the existing roof material. While these shingles have aesthetic benefits, the costs are still high and the technology isn’t as efficient as traditional panels. 

If you want to see how a solar system would look on the roof of your home now, use our solar design tool on your desktop!


Where To Install Instead Of The Roof

If you’re still concerned about putting holes in your roof to install solar panels, there are still some less common ways to benefit from solar energy!

Solar systems can be installed many places, including on a shed or garage, as well as an awning or overhang. A pergola, carport, solarium, or gazebo can be constructed to hold your panels as well. When you build a structure to suit your solar production, you can optimize performance by choosing the ideal orientation, direction, and slope, and since these structures naturally receive so much sunlight, they’re great candidates for a solar project. 

Garden features like gazebos and pergolas are a great place to install for things like poolside heaters, while panels on carports can easily be paired with a home charging station to power an electric vehicle!

Getting Started

There’s not always one right choice when it comes to deciding where and how you want your system installed. All of these solutions offer plenty of benefits, and the best arrangement usually depends on your property and personal preferences. After reviewing the benefits and drawbacks of each option, if your still not sure what will work best for you, connect with us for a consultation or to get your questions answered. We can access the property, provide a recommendation, and use a solar calculator to determine the cost and benefits of having solar for your home or business!

For any more information or to set up a free solar consultation, click here or give us a call!