As solar panels have come down in cost, they’ve become more popular. If you’re thinking of getting solar panels, does it matter what kind of roof you have?
What’s the Best Roof for Solar Panels?
Solar panels are a big upfront investment, but most homeowners break even in eight years. After that, the savings add up each money when you get your electricity free from the sun.
Metal roofs with standing seams are the best roof for solar panels, because the panels can attach to the roof seams for simple, straightforward installation.
Composite roofs, which include those made from asphalt shingles, come in a close second. Composite roofs tend to lay fairly flat, thus it is easy for the technician to apply the panels to the roof without a lot of effort.
Tile roofs, such as slate or terra cotta, can accept solar panels. However, the installation is more difficult than when installing over asphalt. The tiles are uneven so the installer will use brackets, secured to the tiles to hold the panels in place. Given the difference in height in each roof tile, it takes much longer to properly mount the panels so they are floating on top of the roof. This means a higher upfront installation cost for you.
Tar and gravel roofs are generally flat. While the material takes solar very well, installers need to raise the panels at an angle so they capture the sun’s rays. This means brackets that tilt and adjust. The brackets and labor drive up the cost of solar panels on flat roofs.
Roofing material does matter, but it doesn’t tell the whole story when thinking of how well a roof takes solar panels. Pitch matters, too. While flat roofs mean extra labor, roofs with a low pitch are ideal for solar panels. Roofs with a higher pitch can take solar panels well but require added labor.
On average, installers can have panels up and running in a few days. There may be a delay with panels that are connected to the grid, as the utility has some back-end work to do on their end before things operate properly.
Before you install solar panels, get your roof checked out and perform any routine maintenance. Once the panels are in place, it’s a olt harder to get basic roof work done. To request an estimate, call us today.