A common concern for homeowners who have solar panels installed is, ”How will solar affect my roof?”  While there are handfuls of solar companies who install solar panels, there is only a handful that does it correctly.  If solar panels aren’t installed correctly, it can cause leaks, foundation cracks, and other major issues costing thousands of dollars.  Just like any home improvement project, using the right licensed company for a solar installation is essential. So how can you avoid roofing mishaps with a solar installation?  Don’t worry! Below are some simple steps to help you discover how going solar affects your roof.

Finding A Reputable Contractor

First thing’s first, make sure both your solar and roofing contractors are reputable and licensed companies.  An easy way to do this is to ask them if they can asses your home’s project without seeing it. To provide you with an accurate estimate they will need to examine your home before moving forward with your project.  Websites like Google Satelite are not accurate enough to be used alone without an in-person inspection, as the pictures taken by satellites are often months to years old. The next step is to research the company online, ask your friends, and neighbors, and lastly, ask the company.  In addition, ask the company what their plan for installation is and how they plan to manage and execute your solar or roofing project from installation, measurements, and damage prevention. While you’re at it, be sure to go over their workmanship warranty to see what’s covered under it, so you know you’re protected.        

You should also ask your solar provider how they plan on installing your solar panels.  Being concerned about this is reasonable, as it can affect the overall structure of your roof.  To install your solar panels, installers will often drill into your roof to secure the panels, and racking material.  Installers often use lag bolts, to secure the panels to your roof. Additionally, this ensures the solar panels will withstand hazardous weather conditions like hail, heavy rain, or snow.  These circumstances are necessary for almost any solar installation and will vary depending on the roof type.

The lag bolts are then surrounded by a flashing, which is a plastic or metal-like shield, that lives partly underneath the existing roof tiles.  The flashing and holes are sealed with a tar-like substance called sikaflex to protect the roof from leaking. While many homeowners are not thrilled about roof penetrations, although it is necessary to ensure your solar panels remain on your roof.   

Likewise, homeowners are also concerned about the amount of weight solar panels add to a roof.  Therefore, it is crucial to install solar on a structurally-sound roof to avoid any issues. Surprisingly, however; the weight of the solar panels does not compromise the integrity of a roof as roofs are made to stand great amounts of weight.   

If holes are still an issue for you, ground mounts are another feasible option.  Until recently, solar roof tiles and solar shingles have come to market and are attractive to buyers who want to integrate their solar system into their homes functionality.  While this option looks aesthetically pleasing, the technology for these products is incomparable to that associated with traditional panels. If none of these options are appealing to you as a homeowner, then high-efficiency panels are something to consider.     

To conclude, going solar and installing solar panels is a great investment.  Furthermore, when installing solar, make sure you’ve done your research on the company to ensure they’re reputable.  Ask your friends and neighbors what they’ve heard about the company. Lastly, ask the company about their installation process and how they plan to manage your project from start to finish.