Articles tagged "roofing"

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An photo of a solar panel racking system.
How are solar panels installed on a roof?
The most visible part of a home solar system is the panels. Around 95% of homeowners choose a roof-mounted (rather than ground-mounted) system, so how the panels are attached to the roof is a key detail of the installation. Solar panels are attached to a roof using a mounting system. The most common type is a rail-based system, which uses aluminum rails as the structure onto which the panels and other components, such as wiring and inverter components, are attached.
Do solar panels keep your roof and attic cooler?
If you live in a hot climate, it’s likely that air conditioning is your largest energy consumer. Photovoltaic panels make a lot of sense in these climates, because hot climates also have higher solar energy potential. Fortunately, solar panels can keep your house cooler. They do this by passively shading your building, helping to reduce the heat gain into your attic. Roof-mounted solar also have an air gap of several inches between the panel and the roof, permitting airflow to keep both the panels and roof cooler.
Photo of hailstones.
Can solar panels be installed on a flat roof?
Most houses have sloped roofs, but flat roofs tend to be popular in mild climates that don’t need peaked roofs to deal with snow loads, such as southern California and the southwest. If you’ve seen photos of solar panels on a typical house with a sloped roof, you may have noticed the racking system holding the panels in place. In the most common case where asphalt shingles are used, the racking is attached to the roof deck with bolts that are drilled through the shingles and attached to the deck underneath.
Photo of solar panels on a tile roof.
Can you install solar panels on a tile roof and avoid leaks?
Tile roofs look great, don’t they? Not only do they really suit the architecture of the southwest where they are most popular, but they’re practical too. A well-installed clay or concrete tile roof can last 50 or even 100 years. But when it comes to installing solar panels, tile roofs represent the biggest challenge for solar installers. Not only can installing on a tile roof be more expensive, but there can be a higher risk of a poor installation causing damage to the waterproof integrity of the roof, leading to expensive repairs down the road.
Photo of a metal roof
Can solar panels be mounted on a metal roof?
The most common roofing material in the United States is asphalt shingles, and for good reason: they’re inexpensive, durable, and come in a wide variety of styles and colors. But while they’re less popular, metal roofs have a lot of advantages. If you’re a homeowner with a metal roof, you might wonder: can you install solar panels on them? The answer is: yes! While the majority of solar homes have asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs are actually a better choice if you’re planning to go solar.
Closeup photo of asphalt roof shingles.
Should I replace my roof before installing solar panels?
A big part of the cost of a home solar installation is in the labor. An installation requires a multiple person crew, and a bucket truck to move equipment up to the roof. Costs can vary quite a bit from installer to installer, but according to a government study of the solar industry, installation labor on average is 11% of the total cost of a residential solar system. This means that if the gross cost of your system was $20,000, the cost of labor for the day or two it takes to install the panels will be in the ballpark of $2,200.
Will installing solar panels void my roof warranty?
Your roof keeps the rain off your head. It’s one of the most important components of your house, and an expensive thing to replace. When you get a new roof, you want to make sure that your investment is protected. But installing solar panels on a pitched roof involves drilling dozens of holes right into the roof. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? First of all, it’s recommended that you don’t install solar panels on a roof that has 10 or fewer years of life left in it.