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Solar Panels and Roofs: What Type of Roof is Best for Solar Panels?

June 13, 2019

Solar panels are an effective way to offset energy costs and reduce the environmental effect on your home.

Come to think of it, solar panel technology provides you with a lot of benefits and it helps to contribute to energy independence.

Truth be told; we all want to be free from the unreliable electricity prices; getting solar panels is a great step in the right direction.

Solar panels help you save thousands of dollars. With solar panels and simple mathematical calculations, you can calculate how much electricity you will need, the price, and what type of solar system is needed.

That is really great!

Wouldn’t you say?

Yes, the benefit of installing one in your home cannot be overemphasized. There are some questions that need to be answered when it comes to choosing the best roof for your solar panels. Some of them might have been lingering in your mind but you are lucky to be here now.

We will be answering these questions so that you can get a better understanding of the way solar panels work.

Knowledge is power. Keep reading to find out!

Answers Revealed: What Type of Roof is Best for Solar Panels

This is an important question most people ask but the truth is that solar panels can be installed on any type of roof, with a little knowledge and craftsmanship.

But, before you think of installing solar panels for your house, you need to know if you have the perfect roof for it.

Lucky for you, fortunately, solar panels can be mounted on almost every roof; metal, gravel, wood shake, tar, torch-down, and, even foam. Let’s embark on a quick journey to check them all out!

1. Tile:

Tiles, themselves are made of different materials. To install solar panels on a tile roof, installers would need to attach the solar panels to brackets that would lift the panel up and rest below or under the tiles. We have Metal tiles, Ceramic tiles, Concrete tiles, Bituminous Tiles, Polymer-sand Tiles, Composite Tiles, and even Stone Tiles. Please, do not be surprised.

2. Metal:

There are a lot of benefits with Metal roofs. They are eco-friendly and durable; they can outlive your solar panels. Solar panels work well on metal roofs so we recommend it for those on a low budget.

3. Tar & Gravel Roof:

This roof type is considered one of the oldest types. They are installed by interchanging layers of asphalt or tar and some supporting materials directly on the roof. They add weight to your buildings and it is difficult to perform roof maintenance with them. Additional braces and other material may need to be used.

4. Torch Down Roof:

This roofing type is usually designed for low-angle and flat roofs. They are more expensive compared to others but their resistivity to rough weather and durability make them worth the price. If you are looking for something really durable and you can pay the price, this might just be the perfect type for you.

5. Foam Roofs:

Surprisingly, foam roofs are lightweight, seamless, and durable. Foam roofs are energy efficient and can be installed easily. Do not forget that, foams are good at preventing moisture and heat transfer.

6. Wood:

In this case, it depends on how the roof is structured, Shingles might be needed to position the panels. As a matter of fact, this type of roof type is not the best option, but solar panels can be installed.

When installing solar panels in your home, note that it should face south or southwest and should be positioned at a 30-degree angle. You should make sure there are minimal obstructions to sunlight. To position your panels properly, you might make use of tilt-up brackets on your flat, tile, foam and gravel roofs.

Can Solar Panels Be Used as a Roof?

Yes, solar panels can be used as a roof. The location of installation is very important. The solar panel’s direction and the location are important for all kinds of solar installation systems.

For solar panels to serve the purpose of a roof, you need to arrange them in a way that prevents leakage. You also need to check your wallet and consider the cost. If you can afford enough solar panels to serve the purpose of your rooftop, it is a wise decision to be nearly energy independent altogether.

If there is enough access to the sun and the direction is perfect, you are good to go with installing them on your roofs. You can also make use of solar shingles as the building material for siding or roofing.

Can Solar Panels Ruin Your Roof?

Before making your final decisions, you might be worried about solar panels causing damages to your roof. That is expected as a property owner. But, you do not need to worry about that because it is quite the opposite. If your solar installer is a qualified professional and your roof is in good condition, installing solar panels will not ruin your roof.

On the contrary Solar Panel rails strengthening your roof. The system is design in to sustain up to 185 per hour wind (category five hurricane).

At times, holes and bolts are needed in your roof to hold the solar panels, but professional solar panel installers know how to secure your roof to make it structurally intact and prevent leaks after installation.

As a property owner, you need to ask yourself this very question – “Is my roof good for solar panels?” to know if your roof is compatible with solar panel installation.

Finding a reputable installer can help you rest assured that your solar panel installation work is handled by a certified professional. If your roof is not in the best of conditions, it would do you good to replace your bad roof before installing solar panels.

Can You Walk on Roof Solar Panels?

This question might sound funny, but it actually needs to be answered. We can answer the question directly with a spot on–NO. Walking on solar panels will definitely spoil them.

It is really not logic. Experienced solar installers know better than to try. You should avoid walking on the glass, rails and even the frame.

Walking on solar panels sounds like a really bad idea. I am sure you will fire any contractor you see walking on your panels. Walking on your solar panels is not advisable and could damage the panels and negatively impact their optimized production.

It’s not recommended for you to walk on any solar panel because it may reduce the efficiency of the solar panel system. Experienced professionals are able to scale across your solar systems, avoiding known weak spots and potential disasters by directly walking on solar panels. If you are not sure how to scale your solar panels for cleaning, seeking a certified technician or installing self-cleaning solar panels, is the best option.

Solar Metal Roofs

Before we have a look at the best solar panels for roofs, let’s check out some things you need to know about solar metal roofs.

Metal roofs are durable and are made up of materials that can be recycled. Are you aware that it is quite easy to install solar panels on a metal roof?

Metal roofs are known to be durable and they can even outlast your solar panels. Sounds like a feature in a roof everyone would want, right?

Before you install solar panels on your metal roofs, consider the ease of installation, eco-benefits, and durability. Once you have done that, you are good to go with your solar metal roof.

Best Solar Panels for Roofing

There are a lot of solar panels out there in the marketplace. Some are really expensive but are bad investments at the end of the day. So finding the best out of many might be a bit stressful.

There are some criteria that are used to rank solar Panels, they include; efficiency, temperature coefficient, material warranty, and price.

We all want the best at the least possible price, right?

The logic is quite simple; all you need to do is research to know the type of solar panel that will be suited for your needs and roof type.  Remember to take into consideration the above-listed criteria.

To maximize the electrical intake from your solar panels, getting batteries for your solar panels can be quite advantageous. They can save you in respect to cost, power outages, and emergencies. This does not sound like a bad idea after all.

You can check our blog on “How Solar Panels Work with Batteries,” to see the advantages and disadvantages of using batteries for solar panels.

What’s Left for Solar Panels for Roofs?

After breaking down the different types of roofs you can install solar panels on and providing some advice on which is the best roof for solar panels, we hope you have been able to get some new insights about what type solar panels are for you.

Do you have solar panels installed on your home and want to share your experience with us?

For any additional information or if you just want to say your peace, feel free to leave us a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts!


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