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Can solar panels damage your roof?

Solar panel roof damage explained

Every year many people decide to go solar. But, most home and business owners are concerned that solar panels will damage their roof. Luckily, solar panel roof damage is extremely rare because solar installers take precautionary steps to prevent damage from occurring. Here’s some information you need to know on what to expect during a solar installation process.

What is the solar installation process like?

It's rare to have solar panel roof damage during the installation process.Installation projects involve mounting panels on specialized hardware called racking, which are attached to the roofing structure with lag bolts. Solar racking withstands high winds, heavy impacts, and the worst of mother nature. However, your solar installer needs to penetrate your roof with lag bolts securing your solar to the roof truss and joist members.

One of the biggest concerns for property owners are the penetrations in their roof. Penetrations in a roof never sound great but, a certified solar installer uses several safety & precautionary measures to make sure your roof is structurally sound while maintaining its water tight integrity. Metal or plastic flashings surround the racking feet to avoid water from getting through. Flashings are incorporated into the existing roofs water barrier system and sealed with sealants. Sealants seal all penetrations preserving the roofs water integrity which prevents leakage.

What about the weight of the solar system?

solar panel roof damage is extremely rareAnother common concern is the actual weight of the solar system. The weight of the solar panels should not compromise the integrity of the roof  depending of the structural capabilities of the roof.  All roofs are structurally designed to hold a certain amount of weight, referred to as dead and live loads. Considerations should be taken to determine the load capacity of a roof and the added weight of the solar. For example, your roof may be capable of holding 20-30 solar panels, but for those that live in winter climate areas where it snows the additional load of the snow need to be considered as well.

Solar panels protect your roof

One of the many other benefits of solar is that solar panels shade the roofs surface which in turn cools the surface. Solar panels absorb direct sunlight and protect your roof from harmful UV radiation while saving you money on your utility bill. Like most electronics, solar panels function more efficiently in cooler conditions. They allow air flow between the roof and the solar panels, adding a cooling effect that helps efficiency.

As you can see, solar panels are a great investment when properly installed and won’t lead to roof damage. HelioPower provides the highest-quality solutions to reduce our client’s energy costs. We take tremendous pride being the most knowledgeable provider of integrated energy solutions for homes and businesses. So, if you’re interested in a solar power installation project, HelioPower can help you find the best solution for your home. Please contact us today!