Best Roofing For Solar Panels

solar roof

Spring is the time to buy new homes, repair or replace roofing and gutters, and install solar panels. Installing solar can provide you with so many benefits, like financial benefits with tax incentives and using a clean energy source. Fortunately, solar can be installed on nearly every type of roof, though some are more suited for solar. We dig into the best types of roofing for solar panel installation.

Factors To Consider

The first and main factor to consider is the condition of your current roof. Your roof should be fairly new and in good condition for solar panels to be installed on it. The most popular type of roof, asphalt shingle roofs, last about 20 years. The lifepan of a solar panel is between 25 and 30 years. If your roof is over 5 years old, have a professional evaluation done on your roof to determine if it is holding up well enough for solar panels.

If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, it is best that you replace the roof before going ahead with a solar panel installation. This ensures that your roof can support the solar panels. It also helps prevent you having to pay to take the panels off and reinstalled when you need to install a new roof. 

Basic Requirements To Install Solar

There are a few basic requirements you need to meet before you can install solar panels on your roof. First, ensure your roof faces south or southeast so it receives enough direct sunlight to meet your electrical needs. Second, you need to make sure that your property’s roof is free from shade caused by trees, neighboring buildings, landscaping, or chimneys. Too much shade can make entire sections of solar panels ineffective. 

The Best Roof Types For Solar Panels

While solar can be installed on virtually any roof, there are some roof types that are best for solar panel installation.

  • Tile

Tiled roofs are the best for solar panel installation. To install solar panels to a tile roof, installers need to attach the solar panels to brackets. These brackets will lift the panel up and rest below or under the tiles. There are many types of tiles one can use for their roof. Metal tiles, ceramic tiles, concrete tiles, composite tiles, and even stone tiles are possible. 

Tiles can vary in price depending on the material they are made of. They are labor intensive to install. It is your best option to purchase extra matching tiles for any necessary repairs later on.

  • Metal

There are tons of benefits with metal roofs. This is a great candidate for solar panel installation. Metal roofs are eco-friendly and durable. If your roof has standing seams, your roof is an even better candidate for solar panels. The standing seams eliminate the need to drill to attach them. Additionally, metal roofs provide additional reflection where the sun doesn’t hit the panels. 

Solar panels are easy to install on a metal roof. This means it is considerably less expensive than other options. Your metal roof can even outlive your solar panels. 

  • Tar and Gravel Roofs

Tar and gravel roofs are the oldest type of roof. They add weight to your building, and it is usually difficult to perform roof maintenance on them. However, they’re still a good candidate for solar panels. Make sure that the solar panels are at a 30-degree angle to ensure optimum performance, since most tar and gravel roofs are flat. 

  • Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle used on housing. It also makes for the best type of roofing for solar panels. They make asphalt shingles from a flexible material, making it the perfect material for solar panels. Installation of solar panels on an asphalt roof is usually quite simple. It is done by drilling studs into the roof and attaching the mounts to those studs. The space between the panel and the studs is often sealed with flashings to prevent water from entering your home.

These types of shingles are cheap, and the material is very durable.

  • Wood Roofs

Wood roofs have fallen out of popularity in recent years. They’re not the best option for solar panels, but it is still possible. They are the most difficult to install solar on and require a very experienced installer who is familiar with wood roofs. 

This type of roof is time-consuming for installation and can cost more money to add solar to. 

The Best Roof Pitches For Solar Panels

The pitch of your roof determines the type of solar panels, how the install will be done, and how much sunlight your panels will actually be able to absorb. 

The Best Roof Pitches for Solar Panels

  • Flat Roofs

More cost effective for solar panels, flat roofs require less material because of less square footage. They are easy installs and very easy to maintain. 

Flat roofs provide poor drainage for your roof. Work with an experienced roofer with an excellent reputation for your flat roof.

  • Low-Sloped Roof

Low-sloped roofs require less square footage of materials and are easy and safe for roofers to work on. They allow for easy water runoff.

  • Pitched Roof

A pitched roof provides a better slope for runoff for debris, water, and snow. This means there is less risk for water buildup which can lead to leaks and mold damage. 

Pitched roofs make maintenance trickier because of the steep pitch. It is also harder to install solar panels on them because of this. This increases the costs of installation, repairs or maintenance. 

Can I Use Solar Panels As My Roof? 

You can actually use solar panels as a roof. It is very important that the location of the solar system is ideal for maximum sunlight. For solar panels to serve as a roof, you need to arrange them to prevent leakage. This is a more expensive option, but if you can afford it, a great option to be nearly energy independent completely. Check with your roofing specialist and solar specialist for this option.

Will Solar Panels Ruin My Roof?

Some people worry solar panels may ruin their roof. This is not the case. As long as your solar installer is qualified and your roof is in good condition, solar panels will not ruin your roof. Solar panels can actually help strengthen your roof. 

Most roofs are suitable candidates for solar panel installation. Solar panels are so beneficial for so many reasons. Let Second To None inspect your roof to ensure it is good for solar panel installation by calling us at 636-699-0449.