Do Solar Panels Ruin Your Roof?
Many homeowners want to switch to solar energy, but find themselves asking “Do Solar Panels Ruin Your Roof?” These installations will typically last around 30 to 35 years, so it’s important to make sure installing panels doesn’t cause harm to your roof. Chances are if you don’t have solar panels installed then you know someone who does. The rapid growth in the solar industry has completely reshaped the energy consumption conversation in recent years.
With the increase in popularity of solar panels comes the inevitable question from homeowners, “do solar panels ruin the roof?” These questions are usually in regards to nail hole damage. How that relates to water leaks, and ultimately, if it will void the warranty of a roof. Fortunately, roof damage as a result of a solar panel installation is extremely rare. Licensed Installers take precautionary steps while installing panels to prevent leaks and other damage from occurring.
Solar panel installation has been on the increase in recent years. Sales have been at an all-time high as more and more homeowners seek ways to cut their utility costs and also go green. About 2 million homes in the United States have solar panels installed in some capacity. With the industry set to reach 3 million installations by the end of 2021, it is a safe bet that solar panels will be coming to a roof near you…maybe even yours.
How Long Does a Roof Last?
Before we get into the nitty gritty about the facts of solar panels not ruining your roof, let’s look at the lifespan of a roof without them. Keep in mind, it depends a great deal on what kind of material the shingles are made from. So how long can a roof be expected to last?
- Asphalt shingles: 15-30 years
- Composite shingles: 20-50 years
- Modified shingles: 30 years
- Wood shingles: 30-40 years
- Clay tiles: 50 years
- Concrete tiles: 50 years
- Metal roofs: 50 years
- Copper roofs: 60-plus years
Solar panels don’t damage your roof when installed properly
Solar panels are not inherently bad for your roof. The potential for solar panels to damage your roof stems from the method of installation. Just like any home improvement project, using the right service provider is essential to a rooftop solar job. For most homeowners, installing solar panels will not result in roof damage as long as your solar installer is a licensed, qualified professional and your roof is in good condition. If you hear of roof damage occurring because of a solar installation, it’s likely because the roof was initially in poor condition.
Traditional solar panel installation involves the bolting of panels to your roof with nails, bolts, and straps. These nails and bolts are typically driven directly through the roofing and into the attic or ceiling. Unsurprisingly, holes in the roof can lead to leaks forming over time. With the presence of unexpected moisture, the possibility of water damage and mold growth becomes very real. On that note, damage to shingles and roof tiles from drilling or hammering during solar panel installation is almost guaranteed.
If you are concerned about damage to your roof, you can question your installer of choice about their installation process and measures they take to prevent roof damage using their online messaging center or invite installers out for site visits so they can inspect the roof and answer your questions in person. It’s also worth asking any company about their workmanship warranty, and whether or not it covers your roof on the off chance damage occurs.
Solar Panels & Roof Protection
Other than the obvious purpose of harnessing the sun’s energy to create renewable electricity, solar panels also serve to protect your roof. Solar panels form a protective barrier between your roof and the outside elements. Having solar panels on your roof can help protect it from mother nature’s wrath. Outdoor elements such as wind, rain, snow, and the occasional falling tree are prevented from directly hitting your roof and causing damage.
Solar panels also absorb direct sunlight that would otherwise fall directly on your roof. The gap between the panels and your roof forms an air pocket that also has a cooling effect on your roof. One study shows that installing solar panels can decrease a home’s internal temperature by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a team of researchers led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
Given this information, solar panels can actually protect your roof from a number of potential damages. Additionally, homes located in an area known for harsh weather conditions will weather any storm thrown their way.
No Worries About Voided Warranties
It’s best to have solar panels installed on a roof that is no more than five years old. Some installers will not even consider doing a solar panel installation on a roof that has been on for many years. Eventually, the roof is going to need replaced. Solar companies work hard to make sure your panels are set correctly. They take a considerable amount of time to ensure the work is handled professionally in a way that will not cause a roof warranty to be voided. With US Solar ensuring safe, damage free installation is a top priority for customers.
A new roof is one of the most expensive renovation jobs a person may ever have done to their home. With a price tag that often exceeds more than $9000 for an average 2500 square foot home. No one wants to have anything damaged and then find out that a shoddy install voided the warranty. Even a small misplaced hole or a tear in a shingle can cause water damage inside the attic of a home. Companies today work closely with their customers. As well, as professionals in the roofing industry to make sure nothing is compromised during an install.
Your Roof Value May Increase
If you plan to sell your home in the future, a solar installation can be a great help. With more people looking to ‘go green’, knowing a property owner has invested in solar power can be a huge advantage. A rooftop solar panel installation is a great investment that won’t lead to roof damage when you work with a professional, experienced installer. With modern installation practices, you no longer have to worry about holes, tears and other damage to your roof. Best of all, you end up saving a ton on electricity as well as help the environment.