A Look At Installing Solar Equipment On Different Types Of Residential Roofing

Posted on: 28 April 2021

When you make the switch to solar power and you want to mount solar panels on the roof, the first step is to start with a roof that's in good condition. You'll need a roof inspection to find out if your roof needs repairs or if a new roof is advisable. You may even want to switch the type of roofing material on your home for the best experience with solar power.

When your roof is ready, the solar equipment can be mounted. You can put solar panels on nearly any type of residential roofing. This is a quick look at how solar panels and solar shingles are installed.

How Solar Panels Are Installed On Residential Roofing

Solar panels are installed in different ways depending on the type of roof you have. The panels can be put on metal, asphalt shingle, tile, flat, and wood shake roofs. However, some areas have restrictions on wood roofs due to the risk of fire. If you have a wood shake roof, you might need to replace it with another type of residential roofing in order to install solar panels.

Solar panels are sometimes installed by drilling through your roofing. This could create a risk of leaking, but any time drilling, screwing, or nailing is done, care is taken to prevent leaks by sealing around the holes and using flashing. In the case of a flat roof, the panels can be drilled directly to the roof, but a better option might be to raise the panels so they can angle toward the sun. In that case, the panels can be held down with weights.

If you have an asphalt roof, the solar panels will probably be installed by screwing brackets through the shingles and into the roof. If you have a metal roof, the panels may attach with brackets without the need to do any drilling. Clay tile roofing is more difficult to work with since the tiles crack easily when drilled or nailed. The tiles under the solar panels may need to be removed or individual tiles might be removed and replaced with brackets that look like tiles. The brackets are made of metal so they can be screwed down securely.

If you need to get a new roof before you can have solar panels installed, talk to a roofing contractor about the best type of roofing to get. Metal might be a good option since installation is easy and you won't increase the risk of leaking.

How Solar Shingles Are Installed

If you want solar power but don't like the look of panels on your roof, consider getting solar shingles installed. Instead of panels, the shingles are in long strips that go on your roof in a manner similar to asphalt shingles. The end result is a sleek roof that has a flat surface.

There are pros and cons to solar shingles when compared to solar panels, so be sure to discuss your choice with a roofer and solar power professional when you need help making an informed decision on the best way to install solar equipment on your roof.