Do solar panels damage roof? (Or do they protect?)

Do solar panels ruin your roof?

Solar panels do not damage your roof if they were installed by qualified professionals.

The reason is they take all the precautions before starting the installation process. But if the workers are not qualified enough then the roof can get damages.

Knowing how proper installation helps to protect your roof is very important. Especially when selecting a suitable solar system provider to install your panels.

What can cause damages to your roof, while installing solar panels?

  • One method of installing solar panels on the roof is the use of bolts to fix the panels to the roof. This method requires lots of holes in the roof. After fixing the solar panels on the roof workers should assess the roof properly to detect any possible leakages and cracks.

If these damages are undetected for a long time the roof can completely be ruined.

  • If your roof is not strong enough it tends to damage easily when people work on it. so you have to make sure that your roof is strong enough to withstand the weight of the solar panels and the workers as well.

Knowing your roof age and the current capacity is important when installing solar panels on your roof. Solar panels have around 20 – 25 years of a lifetime but roofs do not have that much of a lifetime.

So if your roof near to end of its life you have to consider replacing your roof before installing solar panels. Otherwise, you have to remove and reinstall the panels to repair the roof. This cost you more.

How to properly install solar panels on a roof?

Installing solar panels on the roof requires lots of preplanning. The reason is, roofs are designed to withstand a certain load limit. Exceeding this limit can collapse the roof.

This load limit decreases with the aging of your roof. So roof assessment is necessary to find out the current weight capacity of your roof. For this, you must get help from a competent person because this is the most crucial step of this whole process.

Knowing the weight capacity of your roof is very important not just because your roof has to withstand the weight of your solar panels but the weight of the workers as well. If your roof cannot withstand these loads then definitely it will result in some serious injuries.

After deciding how many panels you need and making sure that they can be fixed on your roof you can start the installation process.

Solar panels can be placed on your roof in mainly three ways.

  • If your roof is flat then you can freely place your solar panels without fixing them on the roof.  This method is called a free-standing method. This is not the best method if the wind speed in your area is high.
  • You can use a ballast system. This is a weighting system that helps to fix the panels in one place without fixing them on the roof. This method is also suitable for a flat as it is hard to place these weighting systems on a sloped roof.
  • Drilling roof and fixing the panels using bolts. This method can ruin your roof if not done carefully.

After drilling holes into the roof, you have to make sure that there are no leakages. If there are any leakages then you have to cover them by using a proper flashing material and sealant.

What is roof flashing?

Installing thin metal material at a certain area to direct water away from that area is called roof flashing. This helps to prevent water leakages after any penetration through your roof.

These flashings must be installed properly. Otherwise, they will not be able to stop any leakages.

Commonly used materials are aluminum, copper, and steel.

Advantages of having solar panels over your roof:

  1. Protect your roof from adverse weather.

When installing solar panels on the roof, your roof will not directly expose to the sun, rain, or snow. This will help to keep the quality of the roof materials for a long time. So solar panels can protect your roof from harsh weather and reduce the aging speed of your roof.

  1. Insulating your roof and house.

When installed solar panels, they absorb all the sun rays. So the roof and the building underneath the solar panels are cooler than the roof and a building exposed to direct sunlight.

Conclusion

Solar panels do not damage your roof if installed properly. So always try to hire qualified professionals to install your panels.

if installed properly, solar panels even help to protect your roof from adverse weather.

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