Energy is expensive. It’s the reason we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of solar paneling in recent years. It’s no longer prominent for only commercial use, but also in residential homes as well.
Installing solar paneling on your roof can save you a lot of money in the long run, but common roofing issues can impede the process if not taken into consideration.
Here are five important things to consider regarding your roofing if you’re planning a solar install.
1. The Surface Area of Your Roof
The amount of energy that you can harvest from your solar panel system depends directly on how much surface area you can dedicate to the panels. The entirety of your roof may allow for enough space, but is there enough surface area pointed in the correct direction?
Whether they are in direct sunlight or not, the PV (photovoltaic) cells in solar panels can only harvest a certain amount of photons per square foot. You can only harvest enough solar energy as the surface area of your roof will allow for.
Before undertaking a solar project, you need to make sure that the space available on your roof, pointed in the proper direction, can accommodate the amount of solar panels that you need to make your home energy efficient.
2. The Direction of Your Roof
Why does the direction of the panels even matter? In order for solar panels to function at their full capacity, they have to be on a roof angled in the direction that receives the most sunlight. Not only throughout the day, but also through the changing seasons.
3. The Age of Your Roof
The most common mistake that people make when installing solar panels, is putting them on a roof that won’t last as long as the panel system itself.
One of the main reasons people go solar in the first place is to save money. So, paying to remove and reinstall a solar panel system in order to replace a roof, is counter-productive.
The lifespan of a typical solar panel system is 25 years or more. So, you want to do your best to make sure your roof will last that long as well.
4. Roofing Materials
Roofing materials have lifespans that vary greatly. You know that you need a roof that will last at least 25 years, which means that TP and Aluminum roofs will not work. You could go with EPDM rubber, asphalt, tar, or wood, that can last up to 30 years, but not if they are already more than 5 years old.
I your roof is covered with one of these materials and isn’t new, you may want to consider reroofing before you install a solar panel system.
The longest-lasting roofing materials are metal, clay, and slate. Unless your roof is very old, you probably don’t have to reroof before installing a solar panel system.
You also have the option of using solar shingling instead of a PV mounting system for panels.
Check the age and the quality of your roof and consider getting it replaced before starting to add solar panels. It can save you a lot of money and frustration later on.
5. Your Roof After a Solar Installation
The aftermath of a solar install is just as important for the integrity of your roof and new solar system as the preparation.
Installing a PV mounting system can affect the integrity of your roof. The bolt holes from a PV system can break the waterproof seal of your roof and create areas with potential for leakage.
In order to make sure your home stays protected from water leaks, a roofer needs to reapply a water seal to or install flashing around the affected areas.
Emily Childers, author for Next Level Web.
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