Is My Roof Suitable for Solar?
If you are planning on going solar, you might be wondering if your roof is suitable for solar panels. Depending on the pitch and style of your house’s roof, solar panels could be a great option to offset energy costs and be more environmentally friendly.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding to install solar panels on your roof.
What Kind of Roof Do You Have?
Solar panels work best when installed on strong durable roofing materials such as composite, asphalt shingled, or metal roofs.
If you have a roof made with wooden shakes, slate tile, or clay with mortar, you can still install solar panels, but it may be a little more complicated.
What Size or Shape is Your Roof?
A square roof is optimal for solar panel installation, and for every kilowatt of your system’s size, you will need about 100 square feet of roof space.
Dormers, turrets, and skylights will affect the amount of available space on your roof for your solar panels.
Is Your Roof Flat or Sloped?
Flat roofs are fine for solar panel installs, and if you have a sloped roof, the best angle is between 30 to 40 degrees. For solar panels to be “self-cleaning,” they need an angle of at least 15 degrees. Once you get to 40 degrees and over, you could have efficiency and performance issues.
What Condition Is Your Roof In?
If your roof requires repair or replacement, it is best to do so before installing solar panels, as they have an expected lifespan of up to 40 years and you will not want to remove them to repair your roof after they are installed.
How Much Sunlight Does Your Roof Receive?
To ensure that your roof is a good candidate for solar panels, set up an appointment for a consultation from Solar Bear who can visit your home and inspect its orientation, as southern-facing solar panels capture more energy.
The angle and pitch of your roof and any tree shading will also have an impact on how much sunlight your solar panels will receive throughout the day.
The more direct sunlight that your home receives, the more energy your solar panels will be able to produce.
How Do Solar Panels Attach to My Roof?
Solar panels are attached to roofs in several ways. The method of attachment used will depend on the material and pitch of your roof. Typically, solar panels are mounted with a system that screws into the rafters.
Here are some common setups:
Asphalt shingles: Solar panels are attached with an easy-to-install standard penetrating mount.
Tile Roofing: Solar panels can be installed on tile roofs with standard penetrating mounts that raise them above the roof. Installation can be a little more complicated as some tiles may need to be cut or removed to make room for the mounts.
Standing Seam Metal Roof: The raised seam on these kinds of roofs allows solar panels to be attached with a clamp, so there is no need to drill into the roof.
Flat Roofs: On flat roofs, solar panels can either be installed with ballasted racking or a standard penetrating mount. Tilt-up brackets are used to keep solar panels at an optimal 30-degree angle on flat roofs.
While you might be concerned about drilling into your roof, the stanchions used to mount panels to the roof rafters are flashed, which keeps water from leaking into your home.
What if My Roof is not Suitable for Solar Panels?
If your roof is not ideal for installing solar panels, you could try the following:
- Install a ground-mounted solar panel system in a southern facing area on your property.
- Build a solar panel carport to power your house and shade your vehicles.
- Invest in a share of a solar garden, which gives you the benefits of rooftop solar, but from a larger solar panel array somewhere in your community.
Harness the Power of the Sun with Solar Bear
If you are ready to install solar panels on your roof and experience freedom from paying for energy to power your home, call the solar experts at Solar Bear! We will come out for a consultation to ensure that you get the most efficient use of your solar panel system.