If you’re driving in a neighborhood and see solar panels on a house roof, chances are you may wonder about it. They still look new and surprising to many people because, as of 2019, only 6% of homeowners reported that they have a source of solar energy on their roofs.
Upon seeing a house with solar panels, you may wonder how they work and if solar panels can damage your roof. If you are among the growing number of homeowners looking to transition to solar power, there are many things you should look into ahead of time.
Do Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
The thought of adding solar panels to your roof may be nerve-wracking for you as it is a big change and can seem costly upfront. However, upon proper installation, solar panels should not be of concern because they should not cause permanent damage to your roof so long as it is in good condition and does not already have damage.
That said, installing solar panels is not a weekend do-it-yourself project. If you do not have the proper training, you risk causing damage to your roof or harming yourself.
Because of these risks, it is important to consult certified or licensed individuals and companies. While there is a national program, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, that tests and certifies professionals in solar installation, different states have varying guidelines of what they require for licensing. You must research the guidelines of your state to understand what you should expect from installation.
When considering solar panels’ massive size, you might also wonder if your roof can support their added weight. Your roof should support this extra weight. Still, when choosing the type and size of solar panel you want, make sure you factor in the age of the roof, its material and the estimated weight of the panels.
If you work with roofing and solar panel experts to account for all these factors, your roof should come out unscathed. Solar panels do not damage your roof, and they may even increase the overall value of your house. Homes with solar panels can potentially sell for around 4% more than homes without them.
How Solar Panels Are Installed on Your Roof
Another important thing to consider before committing to roof-mounted solar panels is the installation process. The main steps professionals take for solar panel installation are:
The first thing a solar company will do is send a professional to your home to evaluate if it is suitable for solar power and discuss the solution best for you.
2. Platform Installation
In general, you should not experience any structural problems with solar panels on roofs. However, roof-mounted panels require workers to drill holes in your roof to install the platforms where the solar panels rest. The sizes of the holes depend on your roof’s foundation and material. These holes hold the fasteners which attach the solar panels to your roof.
Like how roof construction normally works, solar panel installation requires workers to use flashing. Flashing is plastic or metal sheets that fit underneath the tiles or shingles of your roof. Workers then seal the flashing and the area around the fasteners to prevent the holes from allowing water to leak into your home.
3. Panel Placement
After installing the platforms, workers will then arrange the solar panels on the roof and fasten them to the platforms.
4. Electrical Work
Once mounted, professionals complete the panels’ wiring. They place an electrical component, such as a battery or an inverter, into your home to store the energy the panels absorb.
Solar Panels Can Protect Your Roof
Here’s some good news to alleviate homeowners’ concerns about solar panels and roof damage — solar panels can actually protect your roof. As the panels cover your roof and do not lay directly on it, this allows the panels to protect your roof in a variety of ways.
Solar Panels Provide Protection From Weather
One major advantage of having solar panels is that they block the roof from directly receiving the effects of inclement weather. Hail, rain, snow and wind can damage your roof, wearing it down over time. Solar panels act as shields that block your roof from being directly hit by the elements, protecting it and helping it last longer than it would without solar panels.
Solar Panels Create a Cooling Effect
Another pro of solar panels is that they also shade your roof in the warmer months. One study reveals that solar panels can cool a building’s ceiling by 5 degrees. This means that because your roof receives less direct sun, it will absorb less heat, and your house will be cooler.
Installation Does Not Create Major Holes
Although solar panel installers drill holes in the roof to install solar panels, they also seal the hole around the fasteners tightly following installation. The holes are also relatively small and do not affect the roof’s water-shedding abilities or structural integrity.
Do Solar Panels Affect Roof Warranty?
If you have correctly installed roof-mounted solar panels, they should not affect any existing warranty. Still, it’s wise to check your existing warranties to verify that installing solar panels will not void them.
Typical roof warranties include a warranty on the materials and an installer’s warranty. These guarantee reliable materials and correct installation, respectively.
The addition of solar panels should not affect this because it does not change the material or its installation. The only real modifications being made are the holes drilled into the roof. When done correctly, all warranties should still be valid. Your existing warranty may even have provisions for solar panel installation.
Also, it is important to look at warranty options for the solar panels themselves. Since they are an addition to your roof and will take the brunt of the weather’s effects, you should consider the quality of the solar panels and the guarantee they come with. If they are durable, long-lasting and correctly installed, they take some of the pressure off your roof’s warranties because you are less likely to have roof damage.
In general, you can solve or avoid any possible problems with roof-mounted solar panels and your roof’s warranty by working with professional roofers and solar panel installers.
Install Solar Panels With Help From Solar Alliance
Since solar panels will not damage your roof and can even protect it, consider how powering your home with solar energy may benefit you.
Now that you have an understanding of the installation process and the pros and cons of solar panels on your roof, the next thing to do is look at suitable options, such as the SunBox Solar System.
The financial advantages solar power has the potential to offer you are important considerations when thinking of the next steps for your home improvement. That’s why you should get in touch with Solar Alliance as you embark on your journey to go solar. We provide thorough financial modeling for our solar installations, so you can see upfront the long-term savings and other benefits your solar panels can provide.