Solar Panels Can Protect Your Roof
Because quality solar panels are resilient in all weather conditions, your new system can protect your roof from the impact of weather and debris. You can think of a solar panel system as an extra layer in weatherproofing your roof against the sun, rain or snow, potentially extending your roof’s lifespan by a decade or longer.
Speak with a recommended installer in your local area.Remember to contact a good quality solar panel manufacturer first when looking to discuss your concerns about your home’s unique roof.
Inexperienced installers can provide misleading information about what is safe or inadvertently damage your roof during the mounting process. Don’t try to install solar panels yourself.
A trusted manufacturer can recommend a professional installer that can come and evaluate your roof at no charge. During the on-site visit, the installer will discuss with you the best way to mount your solar panels, how much it will cost and how the warranty works. The installer can also make recommendations, while providing you with knowledgeable answers about fitting and set-up, financing and incentives, local regulations and technical compliance, and what your warranty covers. For more information on what to expect at this meeting, check out the blog: Choosing the Right Installer for Your Rooftop Solar System.
How Will I Know If My System Stops Working
Its crucial to regularly check how much your power your panels produce and most solar companies are making that easy these days.
Most panel manufacturers and micro-inverter makers offer web-based updates and phone apps that monitor production. Some even email you when things arent up to par.
Some companies also regularly monitor your panels and inverter themselves and contact you as soon as they spot issues.
These safeguards mean youll probably know your system needs a repair before it shuts down altogether.
The Roof Was Initially In Poor Condition
Before signing up for a rooftop solar installation, have a roofing inspector check your roof for the following:
- Loose or falling shingles
- Sagging or soft roof deck
- Load-carrying capacity
- Your building height
- Wind loads
All of these factors can play an important part in your decision, so make sure you do your homework or hire a professional to do it for you.
As with any home repair or improvement project, do your homework and make sure you are comfortable with your solar-panel installer. Call several, choose a few and then ask them some of the questions noted above before making this important decision. Your installer should have answers to these questions to your satisfaction, and if that person does not, go back to the drawing board. Your solar panels can be expected to live on your roof for 30+ years, so choose your installer wisely and feel confident in your final decision.
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Skilled Installers Choose Mounting Locations Wisely
Our installers will also do everything they can to make sure they choose mounting installation points wisely so they can avoid having to drill through your roof unless absolutely necessary. We will make sure that all mounting points will be in secure spots, where they can be easily and completely sealed off in order to prevent water from sneaking through.
How Do Solar Installers Prevent Roof Leaks
One way workers ensure a sound installation is to secure the bolt fixtures with flashing that surrounds them. Flashing is a piece of metal that acts as a shield underneath your roof tiles. This flashing can then be sealed with tar or a similar type of roof patching material to prevent leaks. Professional installers should also be expected to use a sealant around the lag bolt to protect the roof from seepage.
If your home has a flat roof you will not need the lag bolt holes drilled. These installations typically utilize a ballast-mounting system, which uses weights to secure the system to the roof.
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Do Solar Panels Make Your Roof Last Longer
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, studied how solar panels protect roofs from the direct heat of the sun and found that they can help keep buildings cooler during the day and warmer at night. By blocking solar radiation from the roof itself, solar panels may also protect your roof from heat-related degradation.
Keep in mind that older roofs will eventually need to be repaired or replaced, and doing so means taking down existing solar panels. This can be costly and increase the possibility that either the roof or the solar panels will be damaged in the process. Solar panels can last between 20 and 25 years, so if your current roof will not last that long, consider getting a new one before installing solar so the timing of replacing both systems matches up.
Solar Panels Are Designed To Be Installed On A Roof
Many people assume that installing them elsewhere will cause damage, especially to the roof. The truth is quite different though. You see, panels are installed using strong and durable anchors because they would inevitably be pulled by their own weight otherwise. This means that even if you install your solar panel on a wall, it wont make a difference anyway.
The truth is that while solar panels will inevitably pull on the roof, its actually less than what they pull on your homes wiring. The same amount of strain is placed on the roof whether or not you place solar panels over it.
This statement includes those who live in warm and sunny weather all the time. There is no need to do anything about your roof, as it wont be damaged by solar panels.
There are some people however who will experience a problem with their roofs anyway. The reality is that if you had an old or weak roof when you bought it, you were probably not aware of that. Also, if you have strong winds where you live or your home is new, this could be an issue too. In such cases, however, the problem isnt really with solar panels. Its because the roof wasnt properly installed in a first-place or it simply cant handle the weight of solar panels anyway.
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The Installation Of Solar Panels
Putting racking and installing solar panels on your roof can alter one of the core parts of your homes structural makeup and, if done incorrectly, your home may be at huge risk.
One big concern would be with the holes needed in your roof in order to secure the racking which will hold the solar panels in place. Its important that the professionals responsible for placing the solar panels on your roof abide by strict safety measures to ensure that your roof stays structurally sound and watertight.
Failure to securely fit the racking can cause water to seep through the holes, causing rot and great damage for your roof and so seriously affecting the structure of your home. To prevent water from getting through the new holes, the bolt fixtures should be surrounded by flashing this is either a metal or plastic shield that slots under the existing roof tiles.
This shield is then further sealed with tar or similar material. Finally, its crucial that the hole where the lag bolt is placed is also filled with a sealant to protect against any potential water seepage. You should hire a professional to assess the quality and layout of your roof to determine whether solar panels are a viable venture.
Dont Forget About Maintenance
Keeping your solar panels working and your roof in good condition is all about establishing proper maintenance procedures. Its a good idea to find out from your contractor what those maintenance procedures are before the installation begins. If you are unable to meet those maintenance requirements, there is a good chance your equipment will not last as long as you want it to.
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My Roof Leaks After Installing Solar Panels: 3 Sneaky Causes
Will my roof leak with solar panels?
This is one of the most common questions homeowners have when it comes time to go solar. In virtually all cases, the answer is no. Roof leaks after solar panels are extremely rare. When roof leaking after the solar panels are fitted does occur, however, it usually becomes evident very quickly after the installation process is finished. Almost always, homeowners will notice the leak within the first year, when it begins to rain or snow.
Fortunately, these leaks are quite rare, and there are things you can do to find the root of the issue and address it quickly before it does lasting damage to your home.
Heres what you need to know.
Solar Panels And Roof Damage
Many property owners worry about damaging their roof when installing a solar panel system. These installations will typically last around 30 to 35 years, so its important to make sure installing panels doesnt cause harm to your roof. Fortunately, roof damage as a result of a solar panel installation is extremely rare because installers take precautionary steps while installing panels to prevent leaks and other damage from occurring.
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Potential Roof Problems With Solar Panels
When solar panels arent installed properly, roof damage can occur, which causes more problems down the road. For example, gaps or holes left in the roofs material can lead to drainage or leaking when theres rain or snow.
Your installer must understand solar panel placement on a variety of roof types, especially yours.
Its important not to oversize solar panels, too. They shouldnt take up more roof space than needed, as this adds extra and unnecessary weight. Any reputable, professional solar installer will look at your energy use before installation.
In addition to looking at energy use, theyll analyze the shape and size of your roof to configure the most appropriate and smallest panel array for your home. Their goal will be to leave lots of space for flashing and that gutters and fixtures can function properly. Also, panel hardware should be installed away from any nearby vegetation, such as big tree limbs.
Any roof issues come from improper planning or installation. Once your solar panels are installed, remember to keep them clean and free of debris for optimal performance and durability.
Your Roof Isnt Compatible With Solar Panels
In virtually all cases, you will need to drill into the rafters and seal it properly during installation. While solar panels can be installed on virtually any residential roof, some shingle materials arent as compatible with solar panels and may require additional consideration during this phase.
If you dont have the ideal roof for solar panels, poor installation tactics are more likely to make it leak. Roofs made from wood shingles, clay, slate, and terracotta tiles are particularly vulnerable to leaks and damage during installation. We advise replacing the areas of the roof where solar will be installed with composite shingles in this case, since it will be hidden under the array anyway.
If youre experiencing leaking with one of these roofs, youll want to contact your solar installer. Their warranty will hopefully cover the damage and help you resolve the problem quickly.
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What If The Solar Panels Did Damage My Roof
Its important to do your research before you install solar panels on your home.
Make sure the company you hire is experienced in doing this type of work so they do not cause any damage or leave behind a mess when removing their systems at some point down the road.
If there are already cracks and other issues with your roof, its best to do a full inspection and do what needs to be done in order for you not to have any issues with your roofing material.
If you do find out that your solar panels do cause damage, it is possible to get the company who installed them to fix the issue under warranty or pay part of their cost if they do not cover this type of problem.
Solar Panels & Roof Protection
Other than the obvious purpose of harnessing the suns energy to create renewable electricity, solar panels also serve to protect your roof. Solar panels form a protective barrier between your roof and the outside elements. Having solar panels on your roof can help protect it from mother natures wrath. Outdoor elements such as wind, rain, snow, and the occasional falling tree are prevented from directly hitting your roof and causing damage.
Solar panels also absorb direct sunlight that would otherwise fall directly on your roof. The gap between the panels and your roof forms an air pocket that also has a cooling effect on your roof. One study shows that installing solar panels can decrease a homes internal temperature by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a team of researchers led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
Given this information, solar panels can actually protect your roof from a number of potential damages. Additionally, homes located in an area known for harsh weather conditions will weather any storm thrown their way.
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Roof Replacement Can A Roofer Remove Solar Panels
A roof replacement is a costly investment, and one that most homeowners do not relish. However, the comfort of knowing that your roof is sound and will last at least 12 to 15 more years or potentially far more while providing shelter for your family cannot be overlooked.
However, if your home has a roof-top solar panel system, you may be wondering how that impacts the re-roofing process. Will your roofer be able to remove the solar panels? Will the solar panels impact the cost associated with the roof work?
Solar panel installations are generally done by specially trained technicians. These technicians are trained to understand the complexities that can be involved with the installation process. They must handle not only fastening the panels to the roof, but also the electrical connections and interconnections between panels. In Florida, the panels must be able to withstand potentially harsh wind and rain conditions, so the initial installation is very important.
However, when it comes to removing and reinstalling solar panels that have been professionally installed, an experienced roofing contractor should be able to handle the job. Solar panels today are typically installed with a mounting system that is straightforward and easy to remove and replace. The cabling is also easily detached, so removing solar panels is a job that can be done by most licensed roofers.
What Is Roof Flashing
Installing thin metal material at a certain area to direct water away from that area is called roof flashing. This helps to prevent water leakages after any penetration through your roof.
These flashings must be installed properly. Otherwise, they will not be able to stop any leakages.
Commonly used materials are aluminum, copper, and steel.
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Reason If Your Roof Gets Leaked Or Damaged
We are gonna some reasons so if you found your roof damaged or leaked, reason would one of the following
One of the primary reasons behind damage or leakage is installation. So it means if you do not choose to work with professionals then you may have to face such occurring. If you work with experts then they know how to ensure no leaks and damage. So please sure your installation is done nicely.
Another reason for damage or leakage even if you have experienced, and an expert installer is that your roof is old or very poor or incompatible. If you have a flat roof, then you would not need to hole in the roof. As we promise we would explain to you which roof is best.
So the summary is if your roof is set and okay with good installation and good installer, you would not have to face any leakage or damage.
Make Sure Your Roof Is Ready
Before you let a professional solar installer begin working on your roof, you must make sure its ready. Get your regular roofer to check that its in good shape.
Theyll look for loose shingles, tiles, or flashing. Theyll also check for cracks or breaks, pooling water, and any other damage. Theyll remove any debris and clean out your gutters to ensure theyre ready for any elements or weather after your solar panel installation.
Get your regular roofer to take care of any roof maintenance or necessary repairs before adding solar panels. Doing so prevents additional or more severe damage that could go unnoticed or be harder to fix once your new panels are installed.
Any professional roofer should be able to tell you whether your roof can handle solar panels. If they think the weight will be too much, theyll suggest an additional support method for your solar panels.
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Whats The Likelihood Something Will Break
Pecan Street, a University of Texas-based energy research center, monitored solar systems on 255 homes with rooftop solar over four years and reported just two major failures during that time. In both cases, the inverter which converts solar power into electricity you can use was the culprit.
Indeed, the inverters the solar component most likely to need replacing.
Stellar Solar co-founder Michael Powers said inverters generally last 15 to 20 years and many companies warranties cover fixes for at least half of that timeframe. His company offers 25-year warranties for microinverters and 10-year warranties for more basic ones known as string inverters, though customers can buy longer warranties.
If your warrantys up when your inverter fails, youll likely pay a few thousand dollars for a new one, though Powers said costs have come down significantly in the last decade.
Another 54 homes in the Pecan Street survey had more minor issues that researchers said usually cost less than $25 in parts and less than an hour of labor.
Those fixes wont necessarily be on your dime, though.
If youre leasing the panels, your agreement might cover maintenance or product problems.
And warranties in California usually cover panel issues for at least 10 years and often promise those panels will produce at least 80 percent capacity after 25 years. Solar installers also often offer warranties that cover installation issues that may have negatively affected the panels.