Figure Out Where The Stanchions Will Go
Once you have the roof clean, its time to figure out where your stanchions will go. Many people make this part more difficult than it needs to be, but youll be able to get through this with a little patience.
Youll need a tape measure, a level, and a pencil or marker for this step. To find the most favorable spot to put your stanchions, youll want to take into consideration how much sunlight passes through in each season.
The Rise Of Metal Roofing & Solar
With the cost of solar decreasing significantly over the last decade, in addition to federal and local incentives as well as public policy mandates driving the popularity of solar, the breakeven and ROI improves every year evident even more with solar on metal roofs because of its lower installation costs, so it makes even greater financial sense.
Metal is the most solar-friendly roof available and the PV contractor should know about it.
Metal roofing is attractive, durable, non-flammable and requires almost no maintenance. The buy-it-cheap and fix-it-later mentality has steadily diminished over the last few decades and more building owners are choosing metal than ever before.
Generation X is leading the charge to more durable construction materials and methods that reduce maintenance and have longer service lives. These facts are borne out by statistics clearly indicating that metal has a much larger share of replacement roofing than it does in new roofing within the residential market.
What Kind Of Roof Materials Are There And How Are They Different For Mounting Solar Panels
If you have a house in Australia, you probably have either a tile roof, a slate or shingle roof, or a corrugated metal roof. Tiles are hard and held together by a combination of mounting hooks and gravitylike a jigsaw puzzle. It is possible to take broken tiles out to replace them, sometimes without any special tools. Shingles and slates, on the other hand, typically have holes in them and are nailed onto the roof substrate. In both cases, they overlap each other so that water does not penetrate the building as rain falls. Corrugated metal roofs are composed of comparably large sheets that usually overlap each other, or may be one large piece. In mounting a PV system on any of these types of roofs, it is important to ensure that no gaps are left in the roof that may later result in leakage.
Mounting a solar array on all of the above types of roof is possible and in fact quite standard practice for solar power system installers, as many installations are retrofit onto the roofs of old homes.
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If You Want To Go Solar But Have A Metal Roof You Might Wonder Whether A Solar Installation Is Even Possible For You
Metal roofs have a lot of benefits and while they make up just a small portion of residential roofs now, they are growing in popularity. If youre interested in solar, this naturally raises the issue of whether solar panels on metal roof is even possible.
When you think about it, metal roofs share many of the same benefits of solar and they are the perfect companions for each other. They are both long-term investments, environmentally friendly, and help you reduce your energy use.
Case in point: Metal roofs are composed of a high percentage of recycled materials and can also be recycled at the end of their life, unlike traditional shingles. They also reflect heat from the sun, instead of absorbing it like composition shingles, thereby reducing your cooling bill. Lastly, while they are more expensive upfront than composition shingles, they last 2 to 3 times longer if installed properly, so you save money in the long run.
If youre wondering if you can put solar panels on a metal roof, in short the answer is yes. How easy or difficult it is though depends on the type of metal roof you have. Find your roof below to see how you can safely install solar panels.
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Installer Fall Protection On Corrugated Or Trapezoidal Metal Roofs
If your metal roof is corrugated or trapezoidal, there is an additional point regarding safety and roof leakage to be aware of. Because there arent standing seams to clamp roof anchors to, safety equipment needs attached to be directly attached to your roof.
Many times, this means drilling a hole in your roof structure to attach this anchor to. Make sure your installer is using a fall protection anchor that doesnt make your roof leak once that anchor gets removed after the work is complete!
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Mounting System Versus Direct Attachment
If you are familiar with how solar panels are installed on shingles roofs, you might be concerned about attaching them to a metal roof. Typically, solar panels are affixed directly to shingled roofs by drilling holes through the roof. However, this is not how solar panels are attached to standing seam metal roofing.
If your metal roof is a standing seam metal roofing system clamps can be affixed to the seams of the roof without penetrating the roof. A clamp mounting system eliminates potential problem, such as leaking, from penetrating the roof.
We used three different S-5!® clamps to mount the solar panels on our own manufacturing facility in Peachtree City, GA. We actually replaced our existing metal roof on that particular facility before we installed our solar panels, but typically you wont have to worry about replacing the roof under your solar panels because metal roofing offers such a long service life. We only replaced our existing roof because it was already 34 years old. You can read more about our re-roofing project and solar installation here.
Is It Safe To Mount Solar Panels On The Roof
You have nothing to worry about if safety is your concern when mounting solar panels on your roof. Installing solar panels on your roof is not as damaging as you imagine. Of course, youve got to ensure that you install them correctly.
Many homeowners are careful of holes in their roofs. This is normal because once the roof is damaged youll need to prepare yourself for an expensive repair and renovation cost. Except for flat roofs and standing metal roofs, roof penetrations are needed to fasten the solar panels correctly.
Nonetheless, a correctly mounted solar panel system should not bring about any damage or leakage, even if penetrations are required.
The good news is that the solar industry has been setting up rooftop solar equipment for many years now, and appropriate measures have been developed. Such measures are designed to reduce the risk of any emerging water damage incidents due to incorrect solar panel system installation.
For a fact, mounting solar panels onto the roof can offer an additional benefit, and this is protecting your roof. Did you know that solar panels act as a protector against inevitable and typical wear and tear?
Solar panels are superbly durable and specifically engineered to tolerate much of what outdoor elements throw their way. They execute an excellent job of keeping roofs dry and tidy underneath.
It is vital for you to work with a trusted and licensed solar installer. In doing so, this will ensure that warranties support you.
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How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels On A 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.
How Solar Panels Are Mounted On Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Standing seam metal panels are a popular roofing material for many different types and sizes of buildings. Theyre long-lasting and stand up to much of what mother nature throws our way. Theyre also great for installing solar panels.
With a standing seam roof, U-clamps are attached to the roofs seams. Then, the solar panels and their racking system are securely attached to those clamps. In the vast majority of cases, there is no need to drill holes into or through the roof itself. This is a great benefit of a standing seam roof as most other roofing materials require penetrations in the roof to secure solar panels.
Another great benefit of a standing seam roof is that the installation cost is typically a little lower.
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Instructions For Installing Solar Panels On Roofs
Here are the pro tips when mounting solar panel systems on shingle roofs:
Step 1: Lay out the installation materials you need.
Make sure that all the materials necessary for installation are nearby. You surely wouldnt want to go from the roof and back repeatedly.
Step 2: Determine where the stanchions go.
Find the roof rafters with the aid of a stud finder or your homes blueprint. These will help you figure out the correct placement of the stanchions. Position the stanchions at least 4 feet apart.
Step 3: Fasten the screws to the roof.
When fastening the screws to the roof, utilize a drill to create holes in the rafters.
Step 4: Tightly put the screws in the holes and secure them.
It would help if you tightly secured the lower and upper aluminum rails to the stanchions. Utilize bolts to do this. Since optimal tightness is required, utilize an impact driver to achieve this.
Afterward, make sure that you seal the screws tightly to maintain the thermal envelope of your home. Substantially, thermoseal roofing is the most excellent way to execute this.
This approach will help keep an incredibly tight lock on your roof and prevent any elements from getting inside. Leakage is less likely to emerge if the stanchions are correctly installed.
Step 5: Gauge the distance from the rails.
Gauge the distance from the rails when installing solar panels. Put a measuring tape diagonally from the top of one rail to the bottom of the rail situated directly across from it.
Can I Install Solar Panels On Metal Roof
To answer this question, yes you can install solar panels on a metal roof. You can either lay down your solar panels directly on your metal roof using mounting rails or you can design custom frame to mount your solar panels to a specific angle and to face a specific direction.
The power generated from solar panels will depend on the pitch of your roof and the orientation of your roof.
The power generation of solar panels depends on the angle and direction of orientation. For maximum power generation, if you like in northern hemisphere, your solar panels should face towards south and if you live in southern hemisphere your solar panels should face towards north.
Hence, if you have a two face slope roof like north south slope or east west then one side in case of north south and two sides in case of east west will produce less power than it should.
If you have a east west roof and you directly lay down your solar panels then power generation will be sacrificed but the overall cost of installation will be less since no custom structure will be required .
But if you decide to orient your solar panels to the best direction and the best angle needed for your east-west roof, then overall power generation will increase but so will the overall cost of solar installation.
In most cases you dont have to worry about the angle of installation but the direction in which your solar panels face is important.
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Benefits Of Solar Panels On Metal Roofing
Not only is solar possible on metal roofs, but it comes with some major benefits. Metal roofing can actually outlive your solar panels. So you shouldnt have to worry about having to take the panels down and having to put them back up. The wind resistance of a metal roof is also highly valuable for solar. The metal roofing can help protect the solar panels from the weather. The durability of metal roofing is perfect for solar panels, a match made in heaven!
Also, metal roofing can help keep your home cooler. Adding solar panels onto your roof can add to the metal roofs cooling abilities. By pairing a metal roof and solar you actually have one of the best roofing options for the environment. Not only are you making your own electricity but metal roofs are infinitely recyclable. Theyre also energy efficient. Having a green roof can also lead to additional benefits from the state or your energy company, depending on where you live.
How Solar Panels Are Mounted On Corrugated Or Ribbed Roofs
The other popular type of metal roof is the corrugated or ribbed roof. Despite being made of similar material, solar panels will be installed a little differently on these types of roofs than they would with a standing seam roof.
Mounting solar panels on a corrugated metal roof will require some penetrations in the roof itself. However, it is done in a manner that will maintain the integrity and weatherproofing of your roof.
A small foot is mounted over or between the ribs, which will lag into the truss or purlin of your roof. A rubber bushing is located on the bottom to securely sealing those holes, keeping water out.
The solar panels and the racking system will then attach to those brackets.
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Bring On The Flashing
This step is crucial. The flashing prevents water from getting inside the house and causing damage to your homes interior. To install it, youll need a bit of self-leveling sealant and some aluminum cement .
First, put down a layer of self-leveling sealant on top of the mounting hardware. Then, attach a piece of flashing to this sealant and push it in place tightly against the roofs surface. Use aluminum cement on top of that before adding another layer of self-leveling sealant.
Finally, add some more flashing at any spots where there are gaps between your shingles or your roof and the flashing.
What Are Seam Clamps
These are engineered and fabricated small cubes of stainless steel or aluminum that are designed to be mechanically attached directly to the standing seams in a metal roof. They do that with a round-point set screw in the clamp that squeezes and dimples the standing seam for a true mechanical attachment. This approach is truly non-invasive since it does not penetrate or compromise the integrity of the metal in any way and therefore keeps all roofing warranties intact. Once secured onto the standing seam, then the seam clamp is the base for threaded bolts or screws that fit into specific locations on the clamp. From there, specific hardware can be secured to attach a variety of additional items. Specifically, seam clamps have been used for decades on metal roofing to secure accessory items such as snow retention systems, fall protection devices, HVAC equipment, lightning protection, satellite dishes, and even rooftop service walkways.
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Reasons Why Solar Panels Are Best Mounted On Metal Roofs: Cost
At Johnson Roofing, we have made it our business to help lead customers to the roofing solutions required while focusing on their budget and overall roofing quality. Weve found that many customers in and around our service area are growing increasingly interested in installing solar panels along with metal roofing. For some reason, this combination is not as well-known as we would hope. Today, we will discuss how installing solar panels on a metal roof can lead to a host of different benefits.
Solar Panels & Metal Roofing
Next to peanut butter and jelly, we arent sure if there is a better combination than solar panels and metal roofing. Solar panels and metal roofing each have a host of benefits that customers all over New Zealand have been able to appreciate. However, when you combine the two, you end up with something even better. Lets break down, why metal roofing and solar panels are so effective together.
1. Solar panels mount easily on metal roofs.
If you dont have metal roofing, you have to install your solar panels by drilling into your actual roof. This is an issue with many homeowners. However, thanks to metal roofing, mounting is easier than ever. There are multiple mounting options, such as quick mount systems implemented to install your solar panels without fear of damage.
2. Energy efficiency boosts the effectiveness of solar panels.
3. Metal roofing and solar panels make a long-lasting, eco-friendly combo.
Can Metal Roofs Handle The Weight Of Solar Panels
In general, yes, metal roofs can handle the weight of solar panels. However, each roof is different and will need to be evaluated before solar panels are installed.
A third-party structural engineer will visit your building to inspect the structure of your roof to make sure it can stand up to the additional weight of your solar panels. In most cases, the roof can handle the added weight, and the engineer will sign off on the project.
Additional support will be needed to safely install the system for the few roofs that dont pass inspection. The engineer will make the required recommendations for reinforcing the roof and the structure. If youd still like to move forward with the project, the alterations can commence. Then, the engineer will revisit the site and sign off on the project.
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