Are Solar Panels Safe for My Roof?

As conversations about climate change heat up, people are increasingly moving toward renewable energy. People are also trying to find ways to save a bit of money. Many have found a great way to do this with their personal property — by converting their roofs to solar paneling.

While it's an expensive project, there is a federal tax credit available to offset costs. You can also save on energy bills down the road and get the bonus of being a good steward of the environment.

That said, many people worry that solar paneling can cause a roof to leak — or worse.

Will Solar Panels Damage My Roof?

This is a common question to have. After all, contractors have to drill holes in a roof to install the solar panels, and common sense might argue that holes in the roof lead to leaks. If your roof remains in good shape and the solar panels are installed by a trained professional, though, you shouldn't worry about that.

Large holes are drilled to make sure that solar panels are secure and won't go anywhere, even in the worst of weather. Once they're installed, the bolts are covered with flashing to make sure that no water gets in when it rains. This thin protective layer repels water from your roof and keeps it out of your home.

How Does a Solar Panel Setup Affect the Lifespan of My Roof?

Some people might think that a solar panel setup would decrease the lifespan of a roof, but the opposite is true.

Why? Because a solar panel setup can actually increase the longevity of your roof by protecting it more effectively. Instead of your roof taking the brunt of the sun's rays, your solar panels will. This keeps your roof from heating up and drying out and increases cooling. Solar panels can protect against other inclement weather as well, acting as a barrier between rain, sleet, snow, or ice.

When you consider all of this, you can see how a solar panel setup can improve the lifespan of your roof.

What Are the Types of Solar Panel Design?

There are three main types of solar panel design:

  • Monocrystalline - These are the most efficient solar panel design by 15% to 20%. However, they are a bit more expensive and are typically used for larger installations though can be used for smaller installations. They can even last 25 years in certain environments, but don't do as well in chilly or snowy climates.

  • Polycrystalline - This is the most affordable solar panel design. These are easier to create than monocrystalline panels, and therefore more cost-effective. However, what you gain in affordability, you lose inefficiency. Because they are less efficient, you need more of these panels to get the same output you would get from a monocrystalline panel. These are more common for residential roof installation.

  • Thin-film - Mostly used for transportation busses or delivery trucks this solar panel design is hardly ever used in homes. The goal is to get the most energy out of the least number of solar panels, and with thin-film, you are getting the opposite. If you ever see a bus with solar panels on top, you know you are looking at a thin-film solar panel design.

What Kind of Home Power Systems Should I Be Looking Into?

Now that you have all that new knowledge, maybe you have decided it is time to move to renewable energy! But what home power systems are right for you? This will be determined by the energy efficiency and size of your house and what solar panel dimensions best suit your project.

Before switching your house over to solar power, you will want to make sure it is completely weatherized — especially if you use electric heat and air. You'll also have to assess how much electricity you need and how much solar power your house has the potential for; climates that are often overcast will also require a different amount of energy than a house in a sunny climate. Finally, your installer will help you complete the steps toward proper permitting.

For more information about solar panel home power systems, get in touch with the team at Findlay Roofing today.

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