What you need to know before installing rooftop solar panels
What do you need to know before installing rooftop solar panels?
Doing your homework and becoming knowledgeable about solar panel installation and your requirements, will protect you from difficulties and added costs. Because solar panels are sometimes installed by solar professionals who may not have a background in roofing, they may not be aware of the impact to your roof's lifespan. When owners rent their roofs to solar providers, there are logistical and legal issues which may arise over loss of income during roof work, or liability issues in the event of theft, vandalism or damage. In addition, installation of solar panels can nullify your roofing material's warranty without the contractor or roofing manufacturer's permission.
There is also the issue of fires associated with solar panels. The occurrance of fire is rare but has happened. The plastic components that some ballasted systems use may not be fire resistant, and polystyrene insulation pads which are installed under the panels are also a potential risk.
According to buildings.com, to determine whether or not your roof is a good candidate for solar panels, factors to be considered are:
Installation choices include a penetrating, mechanically fastened, ballasted or laminated system. In low-slope roofs, NRCA recommends a penetrating system where the panels are attached to the building structure. Ballasted systems are less expensive to install because they minimize the risk to the building during installation. Use of curbs, sleepers or posts must be designed and attached to the building frame to with-stand wind and other environmental challenges. Penetrating and mechanically fastened systems can be designed to use with any building and roofing system.
Installing solar panels should not harm your roof if installed properly. Solar professionals will work with you and and show you how much weight your roof will tolerate and what equipment will work best for you and your roof. Panels should be laid out and kept away from walls or other structures that may cause shade. They also must not be installed near or close to equipment with hot exhaust, high-wind zones and roof perimeter.
In most cases, a racking system mounts the panels, with any resulting gaps sealed. Coverings such as flashing may be needed which results in additional barriers to protect your roof. Your roof's integrity is preserved and in some cases, may be made better.
How much do solar panels weigh?
Solar panels contain solar cells which are made of some form of silicon, and metal conductor strips and antireflective coating. Wiring and hardware attach panels to the roof. Solar panels don't add much weight, usually about four pounds per square foot. That being said, if a roof is in disrepair before they are installed, it doesn't take much weight to cause cracks or leaks in your shingles.
Many of today's top solar professionals have the expertise to install solar technology without inflicting damage. There is some drilling with installation but the equipment and attachments used by the professionals will protect your roof. In addition, these solar technicians have the expertise to maneuver your roof with no damage. If your roof's lifespan will not exceed the life of the solar systems, consider replacing the roof before installing solar panels.
We hope that you have found this article helpful and informative.
Joye Roofing> completes roof inspections throughout the Columbia area. Our roof inspector will show up on time and give you an honest assessment free of cost.
Need a roof certification letter or roof certification report? Whether you are buying a house, have roof damage, or are anticipating roof issues due to age or wear, we will do a free roof inspection for you. Joye Roofing Columbia has an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau, and tons of rave reviews from past customers.
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Derek Joye has been roofing homes and businesses in the Midlands for over 20 years.