Solar power systems produce clean, pure energy from the sun, reducing harmful and greenhouse gas emissions. Installing solar panels is a great way to offset energy bills, reduce environmental impact, and enjoy other benefits such as tax credits and reduced electricity losses. However, whenever someone considers installing solar panels, the first question they generally ask is, do solar panels damage the roof?
The answer depends on several factors, such as the roof’s age, load capacity, warranty, and more.
Learn more about whether installing solar panels on the roof can affect its integrity.
Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
Generally, solar panels can extend a roof’s life as they protect it from external elements like rain, debris, wind, and snow. They also make your property more energy-efficient in the summer as the hot sun is not beating down on your roof directly but instead is absorbed by the panels, ensuring cooler interiors.
However, the following factors might ruin your roof post solar panel installation:
- Your Roof Is Already Too Old
Installing solar panels on an old roof is not advisable. Hire a roofing contractor to inspect your roof before installing the panel. They can estimate your roof’s remaining life based on signs such as warped roofing materials or a saggy roof.
An improper drainage system can make water stand on your roof, causing it to deteriorate over time.
- Utility Interconnection
Utility interconnection refers to how your solar system connects to the power grid. By determining the easiest utility interconnection, you can protect your roof from damage or warranty invalidation.
Hire a reputable installer to design a system that provides easy access to rooftop surfaces, equipment, and panels.
An experienced installer will meet all understated conditions without risking voiding your roof’s warranty.
- Your Roof Is Not Compatible
Some roofing materials are incompatible with solar panels as they can create leaks. Hire a qualified roofing contractor to check your roof’s compatibility and mitigate leaks.
- The Load Capacity
Hire a roofing contractor to ensure whether your roof can handle the additional weight of panels and ballast used to secure them. In some older homes, the roof rafter structure may not provide adequate support to bear the weight, thus requiring the roof to be reinforced.
Will Photo Voltaic (PV) Systems Increase the Risk of Fire or Impede Fire Fighters’ Ability to Extinguish a Fire?
No, reputable PV installers will design PV systems according to recognized fire codes for your rooftop.
What Happens If I Need to Replace My Roof?
The solar installer will usually conduct a roof assessment to determine whether it will need to be replaced during the PV system’s life. If the roof requires replacement, replacing it before installing solar panels will cut down additional costs and revenue losses.
If you are looking to install solar panels for commercial buildings in California, contact Applied Roofing Services today. You can call us at 714-632-8418 or click here to get a quote online.