Installing solar panels provides property owners an opportunity to cut down their monthly energy bills drastically. It also reduces their carbon footprints because it alleviates the reliance on fossil fuels. However, installing residential solar panels, your installer will need to inspect the condition of your roof to ensure it can support the weight without damaging your home.
This article will explore some top considerations homeowners need to consider before installing solar panels on their roofs.
What Roof Material is Right for Solar Panel Installation?
Built-up roofing (BUR) is the most commonly used roofing material for flat and low-sloped roofs. It’s a type of asphalt-based material that has been in use for over a century. It comprises alternating layers of fabric and liquid asphalt, installed using self-adhesive, hot or cold liquid asphalt, or an open-flame torch. A good roofing company will seal a BUR roof at the top with a layer of aggregate stone, chips, or gravel. BUR roofing systems are layered with ply sheets, and the number of layers determines whether you’re installing a 10- or 20-year systems spec application.
Regardless of which type of roof you choose, the underlayment is one crucial thing to keep in mind. Underlayment is a protective barrier installed directly onto your roof’s deck, underneath your roofing materials. It protects the roof from rain, which can damage the roof and cause mold and leaks. Make sure always to include an underlayment with your new roof – regardless of which roofing type you choose
Get the Roof Orientation Right
A roof’s orientation affects the duration and amount of sunlight that solar panels soak up and, ultimately, their efficiency. The exposure depends on the Azimuth angle (the direction the roof faces) and the pitch (inclination angle). Solar systems are more efficient when installed on roofs facing the South, whether in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange City, Ventura, or San Bernardino. However, if the roofing system has a lower pitch, it’s flatter, and sunlight can easily reach every panel. In that case, the orientation doesn’t affect solar energy production. On the other hand, a high-pitched roof facing East or West will have limited sunlight exposure, making it challenging to maximize solar energy.
Roof Shape and Size
Homeowners must also ensure they have the right roof shape and size before solar panel installation. Ask yourself: Do I have enough space on my south-facing roof to install solar panels? Typically, a large, squared roof measuring between 400-600 square feet is an ideal size to work with. A single solar panel measures 18 square feet, which means you’ll need between 22-33 panels to produce the 10,649 kWh of solar energy that an average American household requires annually.
The Perfect Fit
Roofs come in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Partnering with an expert solar company guarantees your solar system fits properly despite out-of-the-norm roof shapes and surfaces. Selecting a roofing contractor that is GAF Master Elite Certified is highly encouraged.
Worth the Investment
Investing in solar energy reduces your monthly energy bills, but it also depends on the roof compatibility. Working with a professional solar company enables property owners to leverage quality and client-focused to make their roofs solar-ready. If you’re thinking of solar panel installation in your home, download your free ebook below or contact Solar Optimum today!