Solar power has grown rapidly over the last decade and doesn’t show any signs of slowing. If you’re considering getting solar panels for your home, you might want to have someone come out and inspect your roof first. Why does your roofing matter when it comes to solar? Keep reading to find out.
The Direction It Faces
The first thing you’ll want to consider is which way your roof faces. Of course, if you have a sloped roof like most houses, your roof will actually face two directions, but you still want to think about which directions they’re facing. The homes that will get the most from their roof-mounted solar panels have roofs that face south or west. These will catch more sunlight and be more efficient.
That’s not to say that a north- or east-facing roof can’t have solar panels; you’ll just need to expect it to produce a bit less energy, and that’s something you’ll need to keep in mind when determining if it’s worth the cost of installing them in the first place.
The Overall Condition
If your roof is a bit older or is in need of repairs, you should probably invest in getting those matters taken care of first. Residential solar panels are almost exclusively mounted on the roof, and you’ll need to ensure that it’s structurally sound enough to take the weight of those panels. Even if the structure is good enough for the installation, if you’re going to need to do repairs in a year or 2, the panels will need to be removed for the repairs and then reinstalled. That’s more labor, which is more cost to you. So, fix up the roof first and ensure your panels have a sturdy base to stand on.
The Roof Material
The material your roofing is made of is also a factor to consider. Metal roofing (such as standing seam metal, tin, and corrugated) is the easiest roofing material to work with. Asphalt shingles, which are the standard for most homes, are also relatively simple for solar panel installation.
Tile roofs can make things more complicated, depending on the exact type of material. Concrete tile is usually pretty manageable, but clay tile can be quite difficult because it tends to break much more easily. If you have a tile roof, speak to a contractor about what they’re able to work with.
The Roof Shape
Finally, the shape of your roof should also be given consideration. A standard gabled roof is usually the best shape for solar panels. However, the exact pitch of the slope can impact how well panels can be mounted to the roof, as well as how much sunlight they’ll get during the day. Other roof shapes can also work, but may impact efficiency.
In order to determine if your roof is ideal for solar panel installation, find an expert who can come out and examine your roof. And if you want to make the most of your solar setup, be sure to have backup storage for your solar power, such as a Victron Energy battery bank.