How to Protect Your Roof When Installing Solar Panels

Do solar panels cause roof damage? It’s a question most homeowners ask before they install a system. After all, your solar panels will last up to 35 years, so you want to ensure your setup doesn’t cause deterioration or decay. This possibility often deters homeowners from using solar panels in general.

Luckily, you can rest assured that solar panel installation won’t harm your roof. These systems actually provide protection — as long as you make a few crucial choices. Take a look.

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    Solar Panel Installation Process

    It’s essential to understand the solar panel installation process. This way, you’ll know what to expect. These systems require detailed steps to ensure your panels operate correctly and don’t cause damage to your roof.

    Here’s a quick overview.

    Place Mounts and Racks

    First, you should note that solar panels can operate on most roof types. There’s often no need to make changes to your current setup to accommodate the new system. If your roof doesn’t seem compatible, you can install solar panels on the ground — but in general, you likely won’t face issues.

    After you determine your roof can handle solar panels, your installer will set up mounts to create a solar panel base. These racks are usually a significant concern for homeowners because mounts require holes. Who wouldn’t question drilling roof holes?

    Try not to worry about how holes will impact your roof. This process involves safety measures to ensure no damage occurs. These holes are for bolt fixtures, which are surrounded by metal or plastic flashing. It’s also standard to apply a sealant for extra weather protection.

    Install the Solar Panels

    Then, your solar panels will be attached to the mounts. It might seem stressful to place added weight onto the roof. However, you can rest assured that roofs can withstand more pressure than solar panels create. This point remains true even amid inclement weather because your installer should position the panels at an angle to avoid snowfall accumulation.

    If you’re still concerned about weight, you can talk to a roofer to calculate whether your roof can hold your setup. Houses with newer roofs shouldn’t have a problem since solar panels weigh around 40 pounds, and roofs can endure several pounds of pressure per square foot. Check that your roof will last for at least 15 years before you proceed.

    Wire Electricity, Attach the Inverter and Connect the Battery

    Next, your installer will wire the solar panels before connecting the panels to your electrical system via an inverter and battery. These steps don’t affect your roof, so you shouldn’t have any concerns.

    If anything, you might be worried about fire hazards — but you’ll stay safe as long as your installer follows codes. It turns out that solar panels use up to 70% less electricity than traditional energy sources, so you’ll minimize your electrical fire risk anyway.

    Therefore, you can see that solar panels don’t inherently cause roof damage. This process comes with minimal concerns overall. If you’re still wary about solar panel installation, you can take a few steps to ensure you don’t experience problems.

    avoid roof damage

    Ways to Avoid Roof Damage

    Remember that you can’t prevent every issue. However, you do have control over a few elements regarding the solar panel installation process. These preventive measures can be the difference between a protected roof and a damaged roof.

    Choose a Professional Installer

    It might cost additional money, but you have to hire the best solar installer for the job. If you don’t pick a professional installer, you could deal with repercussions from their mistakes down the road. This point should go without saying, but you should never install your solar panels unless you’re already licensed.

    Be sure to vet different experts before you sign a contract. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s easy just to trust an expert because they have the experience, but you should inquire about their methods and techniques to ensure everything goes according to plan.

    Ask About Specific Risks

    If you have an older roof, you need to do a little extra work to ensure the installation process won’t cause damage. There likely won’t be an issue, but you can never be too careful — especially when your home’s structure could be at risk. Talk to roofers to ensure your roof has the strength to withstand added weight.

    Explore Other Options

    Are you concerned about putting holes in your roof? If so, you have other options. It’s not always necessary to install mounts and racks to use solar panels.

    Instead, you can try solar shingles. These are roof tiles that capture solar power. Homes with flat roofs won’t need holes in general. If you don’t want solar shingles but don’t have a flat roof, you can sometimes install solar panels on the ground. It all depends on your situation.

    These systems provide ways to save money on energy costs while you support sustainability. Therefore, you should ensure your installation happens successfully. Otherwise, you might have to spend additional cash to fix specific errors. These mistakes may also create waste, which won’t be eco-friendly.

    Consider every possibility, so you know what’s conceivable. It helps to have your installer walk you through the solar panel installation process so you can consult about which option would work best for you. Never hesitate to think outside the box when you’re completing an important project.

    Do Solar Panels Shield Roofs?

    It turns out solar panels can protect your roof. These setups have different qualities that guard your roof against dangerous situations. Try to consider how your solar panels might improve your roof. This way, you won’t be as worried about the installation process.

    If you envision your solar panels as a second layer, you can quickly see how they act as a shield against harsh weather. Now, you have a way to “defend” your roof from snow, ice, and more. It’s a helpful way to limit damage from fallen twigs, too. This added protection might even help your roof last longer.

    There’s a gap under the solar panels that allows air to flow between them and the roof. Therefore, your roof won’t be as hot during the summer — and your house will feel more comfortable temperature-wise. Due to your system’s shading qualities, you can enjoy an even lower energy bill. Plus, your roof’s material won’t fade from sunlight as quickly.

    Remember that while solar panels are sturdy, they can’t resist all damage. It’s still essential to practice maintenance so that everything works properly. If you’re concerned about roof damage, you can rest assured your roof will be more protected.

    Tricks for Solar Panel Maintenance

    How do you preserve your roof alongside your new solar panel system? There’s not too much to do. That said, you should check your setup throughout the year to ensure everything functions. If your solar panels are dirty, they won’t absorb as much sunlight as a result.

    It’s best to consult your warranty before cleaning. Manufacturers sometimes void the warranty when the homeowner cleans the solar panels themselves. However, you should generally be okay to give the system some light TLC.

    Use your garden hose to spray the solar panels with water. It’s best to clean them when they’ve cooled down enough, so you should wait until the morning or evening. If you spot grime or dust that water can’t remove alone, you can scrub your solar panels with a soapy sponge.

    Be sure to have a professional inspect your system about every three or four years. This way, you’ll know whether you need to make improvements. This expert can also let you know about specific tricks you need to use to maintain your particular setup.

    Can Solar Panels Void the Roof’s Warranty?

    It’s crucial to know whether solar panels will cancel out your roof’s warranty. If you’ve installed a new roof, you likely purchased a warranty plan as well to protect your roof from damage. There needs to be a guarantee that your renewable energy system won’t void your warranty.

    If you have an expert install the solar panels, you can rest assured the system will align with your warranty. These setups are arranged in a way that ensures no voids transpire. Thankfully, you shouldn’t run into warranty issues as long as you have a professional complete the job.

    Do you have further concerns? Feel free to call whatever company you hired to build your roof so that you can ask about the solar panels. These experts should give you knowledgeable advice — especially considering that solar panels are becoming more popular. This question will likely be one that many customers ask.

    Planning Your Investment in Solar Energy

    Solar Panels Are a Safe, Protective Choice for Green Energy

    Those who want to install solar panels often wonder whether the system will harm their roofs in the process. Fortunately, you’ll be able to use solar panels without harming your roof. This renewable energy source can protect your roof against weather damage and other risks. If you hire an expert to install solar panels on a relatively new roof, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything.

    Author
    Rose Morrison writes on home improvement topics and is the managing editor of Renovated. She is especially passionate about helping homeowners find ways to be sustainable in their daily lives. Check out her Twitter to see more of her work.