A lot of homeowners have the impression that their roof types are not good for the installation of solar panels. This could be the result of having met with a solar company that is not specialized in their type of roof, therefore costing the homeowners lots of savings for not having had the opportunity to install their system. The installation of solar power systems helps homeowners reduce or eliminate electricity costs while promoting a greener environment.

Let’s take a look at different roof types and their suitability for solar installations.



Asphalt Shingles

Photo Credit -seashoreconstruction.net

The asphalt shingle is considered the most solar friendly roof type as long as it has not been used for over 12 years. If it is older than 15 years, the underlayment sheet might have become damaged due to wear and tear. In such a situation, you might need to add another layer of shingle on the existing layer if it is currently a single layer. Otherwise, you will need to do a complete re-roof. Most solar installers will check your roof stability during their site survey and make recommendations to you based on their fact finding.

You may have also heard about Solar Shingles. Here's some extra information for your curiosity.

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 Solar Home Roll Roofing

Photo - houseunderconstruction.com

The rolled tar roof type is good for solar installation and this type of material is usually used for flat roofs. A homeowner can install solar panel on this type of roof provided it is less ten 10 years in use. Your installer must check the age of the roof before installing the solar panel and if it is 10 years or above, you will need to do a re-roof.

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 Solar Roof Concrete TilePhoto - aabcoroofinginc.com

This kind of roof type is usually good for solar installation as long as the roof is below 15 years in use. Otherwise, it is important for your installer to check the condition of the underlayment sheet and make recommendations accordingly.

How can you find out if your roof is concrete tile or not?

It is very simple! Concrete tiles have nail holes which help secure tiles. You can also check it out if you have a sample of your roof material. Concrete tiles are usually strong materials and they do not break if someone walks on them.

There are two types of solar panel installations methods for the concrete roofs. These types of installation are flush mount and the surface mount.

  • Flush Mount: This type of installation requires a roofer to take the tiles off your roof and then put shingles underneath. Once your solar installer finishes the installation, the roofer then puts back the tiles around the solar system. This way your solar system is flush mounted.
  • Surface Mount: This form of installation requires the solar system to be installed on top of the existing tiles. In this method, your solar power system will be about 4 inches taller than the edge of your tiles.

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Photo - inspiredexpos.com

Not all installers have the expertise to perform installations on this type of roof. Solar panels can be installed on these types of roofs, but there are a few other things that need to be done for a proper installation. For this reason, the cost of installation will be slightly higher for these types of roofs compared to the flush mount concrete tile installation.

The following are the extra steps needed to perform an installation on a clay tile and slate roof type.

  1. Clay tiles must be removed
  2. A layer of Asphalt Shingle or rolled tar must be added
  3. Footings, flashings, railing and rackings are placed on the roof
  4. the Solar panels will then be installed
  5. after installing the solar panels, tiles are then installed around the solar power system to make the system look flush mount

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Photo - duro-last.com

Installing a solar system on this type of roof requires special type of mounting equipment which slightly increases the cost. Not all installers have the expertise perform this type of installation.

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Photo - duro-last.com

This type of roof is not recommended for solar installation and a major re-roof is required in this case.

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