5 Things You Need To Know About
Roof-Top Solar Panel Installation
Rooftops are a great location for home solar panel installations. Your roof has the tendency to be the least shaded area on your property, out of harm’s way, are generally close to existing utility hookups and in most cases do not need any modifications to accommodate solar panel installation. Because of these reasons, around 80% of residential solar installations take place on roofs.
A good home solar system installation not only meets the electricity needs of the homeowner, it also has to leave your home in serviceable condition. A successful solar installation will leave your roof in as good of condition, if not better, than before the installation.
Here is a list of the 5 most important considerations for your roof when you install home solar:
- Match the life expectancy of the roof to the solar panel system. This is the most obvious one of the five considerations. A home solar panel array will produce electricity for 20 years or more. As a matter of fact most solar leases, PPA’s and solar financing agreements are for approximately 20 years. An old roof that needs to be replaced in 5 years or so could present problems down the road.
- If possible match the roofing design to maximize your solar potential. Ensuring the roof is solar-ready up front will avoid a lot of unnecessary work in the future. There are some solar specific performance conditions, to consider when choosing a roof system to ensure the best solar performance. Solar panels, for example, tend to work best in cooler environments, so a cool roofing material can provide better electrical output over the long haul. Also some roofing systems, like clay tiles, do not lend themselves to increased foot traffic that installation and regular solar panel maintenance might require and special accommodations might be required.
- Roof Drainage is important. Roof systems are designed to drain water off of the rooftop and away from your home. Solar panels are installed on rack systems and there are also wiring bundles that attach the panels to each other and your home. These racks and wires must be installed in a manner that does not inhibit or change the way your roof was designed to drain. Improper roof drainage can lead to leaks.
- A competent professional solar installer is a must. Any good roof is durable, but its purpose is to protect your home from the elements, not to be a construction site. Incompetent solar installers carelessly moving panels around or dropping tools can cause unnecessary damage to even the strongest of roofs. Excess installation debris might clog drains or cause other problems if not properly cleaned up and disposed of.
- Establish a realistic maintenance plan. Basic maintenance and inspections are something you would do even if you didn’t have a home solar system but the need for maintenance is amplified when a solar panel array is installed. Competent solar installation providers have comprehensive monitoring and maintenance plans to avoid any problems so they won’t become big issues over the 20+ year life of your solar panels.
Our Solar Service Provider partners are all certified and highly trained solar installation professionals that will thoroughly inspect and make recommendations that will ensure your roof-top solar panels are installed properly and the integrity of your roof will not be compromised.