Solar Panels And Roof Damage
Will solar panels do damage to roofs? It’s a question that many people are asking themselves these days.
When installing solar panels, most companies do not do any roofing work on the house.
They rely solely on the existing roofing material of your home to protect their investment in solar power equipment.
This can be tricky for homeowners who have an aging or damaged roof and don’t want to replace it right away due to cost or other reasons.
In this blog post we will discuss:
- Do solar panels damage roofs?
- What you should do if solar panels ruined your roof
- Does installing solar panels void roof warranty
Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
The answer is it depends.
Solar panels are quite heavy, each module weighs around 20 pounds that’s without the racking system.
So solar panels don’t do direct damage to your roof, but they do put stress on it over time which could cause problems down the road if your roof is already damaged or weak.
That being said, most solar panels are installed by placing them onto brackets that can be attached to existing shingles without causing any extra pressure points.
If you do have weak or damaged roofing material, you do not want to go with the solar panel attachment method.
There are two alternatives for attaching your panels:
- Rack mounts (attached directly to plywood)
- Ballast mount (attached directly onto existing shingle)
Of course, this brings up another question “what do I do with my rack mounts when the roof needs to be replaced?”
In this situation, most companies will require you to remove all their racking equipment and re-install everything once your new roof is complete.
This can add a significant cost if you don’t already have a scaffold or enough people on hand who know how to do this kind of work.
If you do have a weak or damaged roof, we recommend that you do not go with rack mounts and get the ballast mount instead.
This way your racking system will be attached to plywood which can easily be removed when it’s time for your new roofing installation without any extra cost from the solar company.
If you do not have any weak roofing material, your solar panel installation process will be the same as everyone else.
In this case, there is no need to worry about solar panels damaging your roof when they are installed correctly from the beginning.
Can Solar Panels And The Accumulated Snow Weight Damage My Roof?
There is only so much snow that your roof can handle before it starts to do damage.
Snow accumulates on roofs because the portion of the roof facing away from the sun becomes colder than the air temperature, causing ice crystals to form and grow toward warmer areas along eaves or gables where they accumulate as thick layers of snow.
If this snow is not removed from your roof on a regular basis, its weight can do significant damage over time.
If you have solar panels on top of your house, they will do nothing to help with this process.
In fact, more snow might accumulate due to the extra dark surface under them so we recommend that you do not go with solar if you do not have a way to regularly remove the snow from your roof.
Related article: Solar Panels And Snow
How do I know how much weight my roof can hold before it will cause damage?
Every roof is different, so the best thing to do would be to ask an expert.
Most solar installation companies offer free consultation, so take advantage of that.
What is Solar Panel Installation?
Solar panel installation involves a lot of work, but most importantly; you need an experienced contractor that will do their best in order for everything to go smoothly without any issues so there are
How To Protect Your Roof From Solar Panel Damage?
Unfortunately, most solar panel damage is caused by improper installation that does not follow the instructions and guidelines given to them by their manufacturers.
If you want to install your own solar panels on a flat roof with asphalt shingles, we recommend getting additional information from an experienced contractor or using another method such as ballast mounts.
We do not recommend installing solar panels on a roof with less than 15 years of life left unless you are ready to do the repair work in case something goes wrong and it does need replacing before that time frame.
The best time to install solar panels on your roof is right after roof replacement or maintenance to ensure that you won’t have to deal with the solar panels removing and reinstalling hassle.
What If The Solar Panels Did Damage My Roof?
It’s important to do your research before you install solar panels on your home.
Make sure the company you hire is experienced in doing this type of work so they do not cause any damage or leave behind a mess when removing their systems at some point down the road.
If there are already cracks and other issues with your roof, it’s best to do a full inspection and do what needs to be done in order for you not to have any issues with your roofing material.
If you do find out that your solar panels do cause damage, it is possible to get the company who installed them to fix the issue under warranty or pay part of their cost if they do not cover this type of problem.
Does Solar Panel Warranty Cover Roof Damage?
Warranties do not cover damage to the roof and they do not provide the same level of protection, so it’s important that you do your research on what can cause solar panels to be removed from a structure.
This will help you understand how much time you have before installing them in order for everything to go smoothly without any issues.
Solar panel warranty coverage for damage caused by weight is limited, so make sure your contractor understands this limitation when they do their work.
Does Installing Solar Panels Void Roof Warranty
Many people believe that installing solar panels will void your roof warranty and will tell you to beware of putting in a new system because your house may become uninsurable or it could cost too much if something happens with the structure.
However, the fact is that installing solar panels won’t void your roof warranty unless the contractor didn’t install the racking system in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
In other words, as long as you are dealing with a reputable solar contractor, you should be fine.
It’s important to mention that some insurance companies may void your warranty if the solar installation is done by another company, so make sure to contact your insurance company and ask them directly.
Solar panels do not cause any additional wear and tear on the roof when installed right.
In fact, if your current roof has no problems, solar panels can increase its life expectancy by 10%!
However, do your research before you install solar panels on your roof and make sure the contractor is experienced in this area because it does require specific skills to do a proper installation.
Also, pay attention to what kind of warranty they provide if anything goes wrong with the structure or solar panels themselves so you can act accordingly.
Do you have any questions about solar panels and roof damage?
If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section below
In the end, we really hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did, and stay tuned for more awesome articles from Solar Energy Hackers