Do Solar Panels Damage Roofs?

By Kami Turky

Last Updated:

Going solar is a great way to reduce your energy bills and lower your carbon footprint.

However, many homeowners are worried that they’ll have to make costly repairs to their roofs in order to install solar panels. So, do solar panels actually damage roofs?

The short answer is, no. Solar panels don’t damage your roof as long as they are properly installed.

In fact, installing solar panels can actually help protect your roof by providing a layer of protection against the sun and other elements.

In this article, I’ll walk you step by step to understand how solar panels don’t damage roofs, how they actually help protect them, and how they increase your home’s value.

Key Takeaways

  • Solar panels don’t damage your roof if they are properly installed
  • Installing solar panels on your roof can protect it from future damage, such as UV radiation and weather-related erosion
  • Solar panels create a cooling effect on your roof as they absorb sunlight, which helps to reduce the amount of heat that reaches your roof
  • They can reduce your home temperature by 5 degrees Fahrenheit or up to 38% of the total solar radiation that can hit your roof
  • Solar panels can increase the value of your roof by up to 2.7-5.4% depending on the state you live in

Will Solar Panels Damage or Ruin Your Roof?

Solar panels will not damage your roof as long as they are installed correctly.

I know how it can be nerve-wracking to think about drilling holes into your roof and attaching bulky objects, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.

In fact, the holes that will be drilled into your roof are much smaller in size than those used for a skylight, plumbing vent, or antenna.

And as long as you’re hiring a reputable installer who knows what they’re doing, you won’t have to worry about any significant damage to your roof.

Solar panels can be also installed with either a ballasted racking system or a roof clamp system, both of which don’t require any holes.

A ballasted racking system is a good option if your roof is flat or has a low slope as it uses concrete blocks and weight to hold the system in place.

A roof clamp system is more suitable for steeper-sloped roofs as it uses clamps that attach directly to your rafters, eliminating the need for holes.

So, you can choose the solution that works best for your roof without having to worry about any significant damage.

Do Solar Panels Protect Your Roof?

1. They Provide Protection from Weather

Solar panels act as a shield from the elements, protecting your roof from extreme weather conditions such as hail, strong winds, and rain.

They’ll also block ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, reducing your roof’s exposure to deterioration caused by constant UV exposure.

This can help to extend the life of your roof by providing an extra layer of defense against Mother Nature’s wrath.

2. Solar Panels Create a Cooling Effect

Typically, solar panels absorb the sun’s harsh rays and convert them into electricity.

This keeps your roof cool in the hot summer months. It’s like having a built-in shade to protect your home from the heat.

Also, the space between the roof and panels allows air to flow freely, reducing heat build-up and helping to regulate the temperature in your home.

According to a 2011 study, solar panels can reduce the temperature inside your home by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit or up to 38% of the heat absorbed by your roof.

Do Solar Panels Affect Roof Warranty?

Solar panels don’t affect roof warranty if they are installed correctly.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, we should first understand that there are different types of roof warranties.

There’s the standard manufacturer’s warranty, which covers the materials and workmanship of the shingles or tiles used in your roof.

This warranty won’t be affected by solar panels as long as they are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and can last up to 50 years.

There’s also a separate warranty for the installation of your roof, which covers any issues that may arise due to improper installation.

This warranty can last up to 10 years but also varies depending on the company or contractor who installed it.

So, the warranty we’re talking about here is the installer’s warranty, which covers any issues that may arise from the improper installation of your solar panels.

That’s why every reputable solar installer will first inspect your roof to ensure that it can handle the solar system weight, fix all the issues, and then start the installation process.

That way, your roof’s warranty won’t be affected no matter how many solar panels you fit on your roof.

If your roof is severely damaged, most of the time, you’ll need a new roof to install solar panels.

Can Solar Panels Increase Your Roof’s Value?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home, as they are seen as a modern amenity and can help to reduce energy costs significantly.

Typically, the cost of a home roof in the U.S. is about $1.70 to $3.10 per square foot on average. Solar panels can add an additional 2.7-5.4% to this cost, depending on your state and region.

To make this more clear, let’s work with an example.

I have a home with a roof of 2,000 square feet.

Assuming that the cost for a roof in my area is $2 per square foot, then the total cost of a roof installation would be $4,000.

And I live in Los Angeles where solar panels can add an average of 3.6% to the cost of a roof installation.

To calculate the increase in my roof’s value due to solar panels, we can use this formula:

Total Increase in Value = Price of Roof + (Price of Roof * Percentage Increase)

Total Increase in Value = $4,000 + ($4,000 * 0.036) = $4,144

So, with solar panels installed on my roof, the value of my home would increase by about 3.6% or an additional $144 due to the installation of solar panels.

This is just an example, but you get the point. Solar panels can definitely add value to your home and help you save money on energy costs in the long run.


Why Shouldn’t I Put Solar Panels on the Roof?

You shouldn’t put solar panels on the roof if your roof isn’t stable enough to support it or if the roof is too old for solar panel installation.
Also, you should avoid installing solar panels on a roof that has any kind of damage, as this could void your warranty.

What Is the Disadvantage of Solar Roof?

The disadvantage of solar roofs is that they can be more expensive than regular solar panels.
However, they are very aesthetically pleasing and can significantly increase the value of your home.

Should Solar Panels Be on the Roof?

Solar panels should be on the roof to maximize their sun exposure and avoid shading, however, you can install photovoltaic panels on garages, pergolas, or even opt for a ground-mounted solar system.


As promised, we’ve gone through the solar panel installation process and discussed how it can affect your roof warranty and its value.

We also answered some of the frequently asked questions about this topic to make sure that you have all the knowledge necessary before making any decisions.

If you ask me, I’d always recommend professional installation, as this will ensure that your solar panels are installed correctly and safely.

Do you still have any questions? If so, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Kami Turky

Kami is a solar engineer with nearly a decade of experience in researching, testing, and reviewing various solar products. He has also provided technical consultation to several organizations on the best ways to incorporate solar energy into their operations. When he’s not busy helping others find the best solar solutions, Kami enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and exploring the natural wonders of his home state.

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