What Homeowners Should Know About Solar Panels and Metal RoofingJul 11, 2019
Homeowners are always looking for ways to improve their homes, increase resale value, or simply increase their home’s efficiency. Two of the best home improvement upgrades that can address these concerns are solar panels and metal roofing. Modern homeowners are more environmentally conscious than previous generations, and traditional roofing materials and power options generate a tremendous amount of waste and fossil fuel consumption.
Some locations have a variable coastal climate with warm, mild summers and harsh winters. Many area homeowners want to keep their homes comfortable without resorting to wasteful or environmentally irresponsible solutions. They also need solutions that can withstand the often-harsh winter weather in the area. If you are considering upgrades for your home, installing solar panels and a new metal roof in one go may sound like a massive undertaking, but it’s easier than you expect and can lead to tremendous savings over time.
It’s Easy to Install a Metal Roof and Solar Panels at the Same Time
Metal roofs offer several distinct advantages over traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles. An asphalt shingle roof may start losing shingles after a rough weather and require full replacement in as little as 20 years. Some of the most common symptoms of an asphalt shingle roof in need of repair include:
● Shingles dislodging and falling off the roof.
● Shingles shedding granules, which accumulate in the gutters below the roof.
● Sagging, drooping, and discoloration of patches of the roof.
Noticing any of these signs should encourage a homeowner to start considering their options for roof replacement in the near future. Many homeowners are switching to metal roofs because they avoid the most common maintenance issues encountered with shingle roofs. They also offer far longer lifespan, many customization options, and can help make a home more energy efficient.
Some homeowners mistakenly believe installing solar panels on a traditional shingled roof is easier than working with metal roofing panels, simply because it’s easy to cut and adjust asphalt shingles as needed without sacrificing performance. However, installing on a shingle roof typically requires drilling into the roofing material below the shingles, which can lead to various other problems down the road like leaking, tearing, and solar panels dislodging from the roof. Installation may be faster and cheaper on a shingled roof, but it won’t be as reliable or as durable as it would with a new metal roof.
Solar panel installation for a metal roof is generally easier, safer, and more reliable, but only if you choose a roofer who knows how to install solar panels on a metal roof correctly. Cutting into a metal roof plate’s seams or bending them to accommodate a solar panel installation is not a good idea. Doing so will not only void the manufacturer’s warranty but also negate the main selling points of a metal roof: its durability and lack of routine maintenance requirements.
Arranging for an upgrade to a metal roof with a solar panel installation helps homeowners avoid the common frustrations encountered with solar panel installations on traditional roofs. After removing the old roof, the roofer can more easily assess the mounting system requirements for the solar panels and ensure a secure installation.
The other main advantage to upgrading to a metal roof with solar panels during the same project is you can avoid the expense of repairing a roof after installing solar panels over it. If you invest in solar panel installation without assessing the roof’s integrity and encounter a roof leak or other issue later, you will need to remove the solar panels, fix or replace the roof, and then reinstall the solar panels over the new roof. A well-built metal roof installed by experienced roofing professionals can last up to 100 years with minimal maintenance. As long as you choose a trustworthy and experienced roofing contractor to install your new metal roof, you won’t need to worry about removing and reinstalling your solar panels to accommodate roof repairs for a very, very long time.
You Have the Option to Choose Between Photovoltaic and Thin Film Solar Panels
When you think of solar panels on a home’s roof, the image of a photovoltaic panel likely springs to mind. Photovoltaic panels are somewhat bulky raised panels. One of the chief concerns about these panels is the amount of energy they require to manufacture. They provide tremendous performance, but thin film solar panels may be a better choice for homes with metal roofs.
Thin film solar panels are incredibly lightweight with barely any profile. These are perfect for standing seam metal roofs and can adhere completely to the roof panels’ surfaces. If you are as concerned about environmental responsibility as many other homeowners, thin film solar panels offer fantastic performance, an aesthetically pleasing low profile, easy installation, and they require much less energy to manufacture.
Solar Panels Keep Things Cool
One of the main benefits of a metal roof is more efficient heating and cooling for the home, and solar panels can enhance this effect even more. The solar panels you install over your new metal roof will essentially shade the covered sections of the roof from direct sunlight, absorbing it into energy for your home instead. For homeowners, this means cooler, more comfortable summers and more efficient heating during colder winter weather.
Solar panels also generate power for your home. If you take the installation a step further, you can also install a solar battery to keep your home’s power going for some time if the local grid goes down from a blizzard or severe storm. A solar battery also ensures your panels continue absorbing energy while the power is out.
If your solar panels remain connected to your local grid, you can still enjoy some additional benefits thanks to the energy your solar panels produce. Some areas even grant credits to homeowners that produce more energy than they use if they configure their systems to export excess energy to the local grid. If you are responsible with your energy consumption, instead of sending a bill payment to the electric company every month, they may start sending you credit checks for excess energy your home produces.
Ultimately, solar panels are a cost-effective, environmentally responsible home improvement upgrade for any home, and coupling installation with an upgrade to a metal roof can provide fantastic savings over the years with very few maintenance requirements. Many homeowners can enjoy energy savings, more consistently comfortable interior temperatures, and peace of mind with a metal roof and solar panel system installation.