Do Solar Panels Compromise Roofing?

Roofing Tips

Roofing

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With our environment in the state that it’s in, many people are trying to go green and install solar panels. What we don’t tend to think about is the potential damage that these panels could be doing to our roofing. Solar panels put less stress on our wallets and natural resources, but if installed incorrectly can cost you more than just an electrical bill. Inspections need to be done on your roof to make sure that it will be able to support the panels and necessary precautions need to be taken to prevent damage.

Before Installation

There is quite a bit that needs to be done once the decision has been made to install solar panels on yours roof. Contact a professional contractor to perform the following inspections.

Roofing Inspections              

The contractor will need have an engineer inspect the roof to determine the strength and life span. From this assessment they will be able to determine whether the framework of the roof can handle any additional weight and if there are any weak spots. Calculating the lifespan of the roof is a very important aspect as there is no point in installing solar panels that will last 20+ years, on a roof that will need to be replaced shortly thereafter. If the solar panels lifespan exceeds that of your roof, the contractor will most likely suggest that your roof be replaced before installation. 

Roofing Materials

It is also important to determine if your roofing materials are suitable for solar panels and to decide which installation design would cause the least obstruction to airflow. The most common types of roofing materials compatible with solar panels are composite, tiles, tar and gravel and modified flat roofs.

Potential Roofing Compromise

With the weight and expense of solar panels, it is necessary to make sure that they are installed properly the first time and that the contractors have taken into account all of the aspects that can result in potential roof damage.

Additional Weight

The framework of a roof is generally designed to support only the roof and potential dust or dirt, but nothing more. The more solar panels one decides to have, the more weight is placed on the roof, and its framework. If the roofing is able to hold the extra weight without reinforcement, over time the roofing may start to sag, and tiles begin to break or create gaps. Make sure that the necessary inspections and any reinforcements are done to ensure that your roof is a perfect candidate for solar panels.

Water Leaks

Holes are drilled into the roof where the frame for the panels are secured. Although making holes in your roof sounds ominous, the contractors should install pitch pans then fill these with a high-grade pitch pan filler to prevent any water entry. If you are still uneasy, speak to your solar panel contractor as there are other options that do not involve the drilling of holes.

Bring The Heat

Solar panels absorb heat, meaning the roofing below it will reach rather high temperatures. Overtime this heat may have undesirable effects on your quality of roofing.

Despite there being potential roof damage, there are many preventative measures that are taken when the solar panels are installed. Reinforcing the roofing framework and sealing the holes drilled into the roof are simple but effective solutions. Like most things, solar panels are effective and would only cause minimal damage if installed by a professional. For roofing needs or advice, a professional at AABCO Roofing will be more than willing to help.

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