Monday, June 3, 2024

Can You Put Solar On A Metal Roof

Can I Put Solar Panels On A Metal Roof

How to Install a Solatube on a Metal Roof with a specially flashing

Metal roofs are becoming more and more popular because they last longer than other types of shingles and tiles that many people have used in the past to cover their homes.

But can you put solar panels on a metal roof?

The short answer is yes, but this question is not as straightforward as it may seem.

Solar panels are typically installed on roofs made of asphalt shingles or tile, but can also be installed over a metal roof.

However, in order to install solar panels, the metal needs to have enough space for an attachment point and sufficient insulation below the surface for wiring from the power inverter.

In this article, we will go through all the qualifications your roof must have to know exactly whether you can install solar panels on a metal roof or not.

So without further ado, lets jump right into it.

Contact Metal Roof Professionals

If you are considering solar panels for your metal roof, we can help. With over half a decade of successful installs under our belt, POWERHOME SOLAR has completed plenty of jobs involving both asphalt shingle and metal rooftops. Contact us today to request a free quote, and one of our solar representatives will help you determine whether your home qualifies to go solar!

Batten Mounted Metal Shingles

These metal shingles are usually installed on a wooden lattice, called a batten, thats then attached to the roof. While putting solar on batten mounted metal shingles you should place the solar flashings between two layers of metal shingles. The shingles have to be removed to connect the mounting hardware with the roof, then the layers of shingles are put in place so that the attachment point can stick out. To prevent any leakages, a waterproof sealant is placed on all the joints.

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Solar Panels Wood Roof

Can you put solar panels on a shake roof is a question that we get asked a lot and it can be hard to answer.

Solar panels can be installed on just about any roof, as long as the roof is stable enough and can support the weight of the solar panels, but installing solar panels on a shake roof can create some challenges.

In this article, we will go through whether you can put solar panels on a shake roof or not.

So without further ado, lets get to it.

Metal Roofs Have A Long Lifespan

Can You Put Solar Panels on a Metal Roof?

If youre going to install solar panels on your roof, you want to be sure the roof has a lifespan close to that of the panels. After all, why would you install panels, on a roof thats only going to last five more?

Metal roofs can last about 40-70 years, depending on materials and construction, which means theyre a great foundation for durable solar panels and wont require much maintenance or upkeep once the system is installed.

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Standing Seam Metal Roof

Solar Panels Installed on Standing Seam Metal Roof

This roof type consists of a series of flat, broad metal panels that are crimped together to form a continuous, concealed join. There is a vertical leg between each one this is the raised seam.

Not only is this type of roof lightweight and durable, when installed in sequence with the recommended underlayment, it is also watertight.

It’s almost as if metal standing seam roofs are specifically designed with solar panels in mind.

The installer attaches a series of high-strength aluminum clamps to the vertical legs with a single bolt. The mounting rail secures into place with no need to drill any holes into the roof. With no perforations in the metal, it remains watertight people with asphalt shingles have to check and maintain theirs annually.

Installing a solar array on a seamed roof is simpler and far-less labor-intensive, and therefore, more affordable.

The clamps and bolts are often covered by several-year warranties, although most owners claim they outlive their solar panels.

Metal Roofs Are Durable Enough To Outlast Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are extremely durable and can last for 25 to 30 years, which is part of what makes them such a great investment for your home. However, in many cases, this means that your solar panels can outlive your roof, which can result in an added expense. If your roof is aging, you have to replace it before installing solar panels, or incur the additional cost of removing and re-installing your panels when the time comes to replace your roof.

Metal roofs, on the other hand, are the most durable conventional roofing material available. If you have a metal roof on your home, it will likely last longer than the lifespan of your solar panels, which reduces expense and hassle in the long term.

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What Is The Best Type Of Roof For Installing Solar

Technically speaking you can install solar panels on any roof. The distinguishing factor that makes some roofs a poor choice is the extra expense incurred as the degree of difficulty in installation increases.

Wood shake roof is deemed a fire hazard in some jurisdictions however once you procure the permission you will need to use flashing to enable solar panel mounting. Drill the flashing deep into the wood shake and place a watertight seal.

Asphalt composite shingles call for attention in installation to avoid voiding roofing warranty by using unauthorized sealant by the manufacturer. You also need to use flashing that has a raised platform so that the area where the penetration occurs will divert water. The thickness of the shingle also plays a part in determining the best way to use the flashing to avoid poor drainage.

Clay or stone tile roofs are arguably the hardest to install solar panels on. The primary reason for the difficulty is that the tiles first need to be removed to install the flashing and mounts. Once this is done, the tiles then have to be cut so that they dont get in contact with the mounting gear. All this extra work makes for a costly and challenging installation.

On the other hand, a standing-seam metal roof is the easiest type of roof to install solar panels on as you install clamps on the seams to set the base for the racking that will hold up the solar panels.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels On A Roof

How to Install Solar Panels on a Metal Roof

This actually varies greatly depending on the wattage of your system. Most homes in the United States will have systems that are between 3kW to 8kW in rating, with 6Kw being the most common. A typical system will cost between $2.50 to $3.50 to install, though some may charge extra due to the presence of metal roofing.

A typical solar panel is pretty large, often upwards of 400 square feet. This means that a typical installation can range between $9,000 to $28,000 depending on the wattage as well as the overall size of the panels. While the range itself is high, you can expect a price tag of around $19,000 for panels on a metal roof.

If the price of solar panels is intimidating, dont panic. They pay for themselves in both tax rebates as well as decreased electricity bills. In fact, many companies will even help you finance them. When in doubt, just ask what is available to you.

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Shape And Size Of Roof

The shape and size of your roof can also affect its compatibility for solar panels. The average residential solar system in the U.S. is 5 kilowatts, which requires at least 300 feet of surface area on your roof. The best shape and size for solar panels is a large, square roof because it makes for a simple installation. A straight measurement of the size of your roof wont tell you everything you need to know, since anything that interrupts your roofs surface, including dormers, chimneys and other features, can affect your available space.

Since roofs can come in near infinite configurations of shape and size, you should consult a contractor who can take a look at your roof and give you some feedback on whether solar panels would fit well and how much of your roof surface can be equipped with panels.

How To Find A Company To Install Solar Panels For Your Metal Roof

If homes with metal roofs are common in your area, you may be able to easily find local companies that have experience installing solar on metal. However, you should always get multiple quotes from installers to ensure that youre working with a company that has the right expertise and background for your needs.

The best way to find multiple local solar installers is to register your property on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you join, simply indicate the location of your property on Google Maps so installers will know that your property has a metal . To ensure that you get quotes from companies who will work on your property, you can also indicate that your home has a metal roof when you set up your preferences after joining.

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Why Solar Panel Installers Hate Metal Roofing

If youre in an area where solar panels arent quite common yet, then you might have experienced a company that hung up as soon as they heard you say metal roof. Its sadly not uncommon. Metal roofing is considered to be the hardest type of roofing for solar panel installation purposes.

With most other types of roofing, its possible to use hammers and nails to pierce through shingles, then use tar to help ensure that the roof remains leak-free. Metal doesnt have that capability, as metal shingles are prone to cracking. Moreover, removing the shingles themselves can be a pain in the butt.

But, theres a bigger issue that impedes a lot of companies from installing roofing: the newness of the process. Metal roofs are still somewhat newat least in their modern form. This means that companies havent fully figured out the best way to handle installation on roofing and that training employees can be a bit. So some companies are still skittish about it.

Solar Panels Amplify The Benefits Of A Metal Roof

Solar Panels on Metal Roof

Most sellers wait between one and two months to receive an offer on their homes. To speed up the process, theyll upgrade finishes and features to make the property even more attractive to buyers.

A metal roof is one such selling point. Builders go for metal because its a cooling feature: it reflects light, whereas asphalt shingles absorb the suns rays and heat.

If you add solar panels, youll get an even more substantial cooling effect. Theyll soak up the suns energy while keeping the underlying roof cooler than before. Thats a win-win for you and your energy bills.

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When Should You Not Install Solar Panels On Your Metal Roof:

Yes, we can install solar panels on a metal roof but when should we use our metal roof and when should we not.

You should not use your metal roof for installing solar panels in the following scenarios.

  • Metal roof frame is weak If the metal frame which is underneath your solar panels is weak then you should avoid installing solar panels on it. Weight of one 330 watt polycrstalline solar panel is around 25 kg hence for a 5 kW system which has 16 such panels the overall weight of solar panels and mounting structure would be around 450 kg. Since the weight is distributed most roof can accommodate this much weight but it is also good to take a professionals opinion.
  • Old metal roof If you have a 10 15 year old metal roof, then chances are it wont last another 25 years, which we want since our solar panels life is well over 25 years. If your roof is old you should get it replaced with a new one before installing solar panels.
  • Is My Roof Compatible With Solar Panels

    Whether youre thinking of installing solar panels on your current roof or re-roofing first, there are a few things to consider to make sure your roof will accommodate solar panels. The good news is most types of roofs are compatible with solar panels. However, roofs today arent usually installed with solar in mind, so you may have to make some adjustments to your current roof. Or, if youre installing a new roof, you can keep these factors in mind in order to optimize your new roof for a solar installation.

    Besides the age and condition of a roof, the main aspects that affect its compatibility with solar panels are:

    • Material

    Lets take a quick look at each of these factors.

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    What Our Clients Say

    I ordered roof, because I like the visual appearance of this solution. The solar cells inside roof panels are almost invisible. In the long run the price of a solar roof is even cheaper than regular roof because your roof generates electricity over time. My first experiences this summer are great: my solar roof created so much energy, that 20% we used ourselves in the household, but 80% sold back to the grid

    Solar Roof owner from South East Estonia

    My summer cottage roof has partially Roofit solar panels and partially traditional roof panels. I like the idea that my roof repays its own cost and it is an investment that does not disappear. Solar roof is a great alternative to conventional roof and as source of energy. In 5-10 years time when electric cars with reasonable price would be available, the roof will produce electricity for the car and the household. Definitely solar roof is good investment.

    Solar Roof owner from North Estonia

    I was happy to find out that Roofit.Solar roof is a modern solution suitable also to old and historical houses. The visual appearance of the house is important, so we chose the elegant solar roof panels. We have 1,85 kW as active part facing South-West and during first 3 months it produced 650 kWh. The roof is quiet, no problem with wind, rain and hail. As a nice surprise, the 45 degrees roof doesn’t need cleaning, the rain does it for us.

    Solar Roof owner from South Estonia

    Do I Need A New Roof Before I Put Solar Panels On

    No Penetration (Part 1) Metal Roof Solar Panel Install !

    Whether you need a new roof for your solar panels depends on a few factors, but the main factor to consider is the condition of your current roof. Your roof should be fairly new and in good condition if youre going to install solar panels on it.

    According to the National Association of Home Builders , asphalt shingle roofs by far the most popular roofing material last about 20 years. Of course, condition does not always directly correlate with age, so its important you know not only how old your roof is but also what sort of shape its in currently. Especially if your roof is more than five years old, you should consider having a professional evaluation done on your roof to help determine whether it is holding up well and is ready for solar panels.

    If your roof is nearing the end of its projected lifespan or is in poor condition, then you are typically better off replacing it before installing solar panels. This ensures your roof will be able to support the solar panels, which weigh about the same as adding a second layer of shingles, and keeps you from having to pay to take down the panels when it comes time to replace the roof and reinstall them after the new roof goes on.

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    Solar Panel Clamps For Standing Seam Roofs

    A standing seam metal roof is made of individual metal panels that are connected together with a crimped connection that stands vertical to the roof surface. This âstanding seamâ provides a handy mount point for solar racking.

    Every manufacturer of solar racking will have a different design, but with a standing seam roof you can have a clamp that securely grips the seam without penetrating it. This is a great design because it means that you donât have to worry about permanently modifying the roof and creating entry points for moisture.

    Hereâs an example of a clamp from the company S-5! . S-5! clamp for standing seam metal roofs

    How To Find Someone To Install Solar Panels On Your Metal Roof

    While metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular, the truth is that many solar panel installers do not feel comfortable installing their panels on metal roofs. This is partly because the skills required can be more than what theyre used to, and partly due to the issue of insurance. Finding someone to do it, therefore, can be a little hard. Heres how you can make it happen.

  • Start off by talking to your potential solar panel providers about the type of panels that you will be receiving. If the panels are laminate, chances are that they will be able to be installed by the company itself.
  • Explain to the company that is selling you the panels whats up with your roof. Most customer service reps who work in the solar industry will be able to tell you what you should do as a metal roof owner. You should ask if the type of panels are compatible with metal roofing and if they will be able to do the installation themselves.
  • If they cannot do the installation, hit up the internet and find three other solar panel installation companies near you. Google is great for this. We suggest getting at least three businesses so that you can both price shop and hopefully find at least one company that will be willing to do the job.
  • Before you get any price quotes, ask if they do metal roofs. If they do, you might want to ask if they ever require the help of a roofer. This is particularly important if you have a roof that involves complex stylings or a customized tile.
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