Would you like to join the growing trend toward environmentally-friendly and lower-cost energy by installing solar panels on your home? Then you may have many questions about how these affect the house and its roof. Perhaps you'd like to know how to prepare for solar panels? Here are some answers to these important questions.
Do Solar Panels Damage the Roof?
In short, no, installing solar panels won't harm the existing roof. Methods for installation vary depending on the roof's structure and materials. But for the most common roofing type — asphalt shingles — the panels are attached using bolts drilled into the frame below the shingles. After securing the panels, the installer completely seals these entry points to prevent moisture from getting inside.
Can Solar Panels Help the Roof?
As opposed to doing it harm, solar panels can actually give the roof a helping hand. How? One of the most important ways is by taking the brunt of solar radiation and heat that beats down on the roof all day, every day. The panels themselves catch the sun's rays before they can cause damage to shingles, bleach asphalt, or dry out caulking.
The solar panels also provide a layer of physical protection from the roof's environment. Where they are installed, they are the first line of defense against falling limbs and debris. They also affect how water falls on the roof and how it runs down the roof. When properly integrated into a roofing plan, these all work together to keep everyone safer.
How Can You Protect Your Roof?
Just because the solar panels won't cause damage doesn't mean you shouldn't do anything to prepare the roof. The most important step any home or business owner should take is to have the roof professionally inspected.
The roof will need to support some additional weight, so a professional roofer may need to determine if yours is up to the task. If it is, the next step is to inspect the roof for damage and weaknesses.
The roofer will repair any damaged flashing, replace cracking or dried caulking, fix broken or warping shingles, and ensure there are no signs of moisture damage. You may also add more ice and water protection or underlayment to keep the roof temperature even and prevent ice buildup around the panels.
If the roof is aging or repairs are extensive, this is a good time to get the solar panel installation off to the best start by having the roof replaced beforehand. You may save a lot of time, money, and effort by tackling this job now.
Contact a company like Tri-County Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc to learn more.