In discussing the best roofs for solar panel installation, we’ve included information on the roof type(s) to avoid, roof types for solar panel installation, and the best roof(s) for solar panel installation.
How old is your roof? Can I install solar panels on my roof as a renter? What are the alternatives when my roof isn’t suitable for solar panel installation?
Solar Panels and Roofing Materials
Solar power has attracted significant interest due to a growing shift towards renewable energy sources. Would-be users must assess their options, including identifying the best roof for solar panel installation.
We’ll focus on this as we provide helpful tips and answers to common questions raised. By the end, you’ll better understand what roofing materials best fit solar panel installations.
Roof Type(s) to Avoid
This might sound slightly off because we’re looking at the best roofs for solar panel installation.
However, starting with a note of caution is not out of place as not all roofs are suitable for this installation. Slate and wooden roofs are unsuitable for installing solar panels due to their brittle nature.
You risk damaging your roof by going ahead with the installation.
Such roofs may need replacement as solar installation is likely to cause breakage. Here, you end up with a huge replacement bill, which isn’t necessary.
So, if your roof is one of these, you’re better off looking for other alternatives, as discussed below. This looks at alternative ways of installation outside the roof.
Here is how to choose the best roofing material for solar panels.
Choosing The Best Roof for Solar Panels
When researching the best roofs for solar panel installation, you will likely come across claims and counterclaims about roofs that best fit this description.
However, the reality is that no single roof can be deemed as being the best for solar panel installation. That is because installers have mounting solutions for a variety of roof types.
For some roofing materials (like slate and wooden roofs), you may be advised to consider other installation options, like ground installation.
Installation costs may also play a role in determining whether your roof is ideal for solar panel installation due to equipment demands.
Based on these and other reasons, there’s no best roof for solar panel installation.
Best Roof for Solar Panels – 5 Materials That Work Well
So far, We’ve seen that there are no best roofs for solar panel installation due to several factors, including multiple mounting solutions for different roof types.
However, several roofs are considered suitable for solar panel installation. These include composite shingles, tile, gravel & tar, concrete, EPDM rubber, metal, and TPO.
i. Installing Solar Panels on Composite Shingle Roofs
Composite shingle roofs are suitable for solar panel installation. It’s among those you can use and is widely familiar.
Because most solar installers have more experience with composite shingle roofs, your solar panel installation on such is likely to be a success.
You’ll do well to discuss with your installer for any more details.
ii. Installing Solar Panels on Clay Tile Roofs
Clay tile roofs are used in residential buildings and are suitable for solar panel installations. For these materials, standard penetrating mounts won’t do any harm.
If you have your doubts, speaking with your installer should help. However, only professional installers should be contacted if you wish to have the job done satisfactorily.
iii. Installing Solar Panels on EPDM Rubber Roofs
Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofs are another type suitable for solar installations. This can be installed using a ballast system without penetrating your roof.
Of course, you’ll need to inquire whether your solar panel installer is familiar with this roofing material, as not everyone will be knowledgeable.
Hiring experienced installers lowers any risks.
iv. Installing Solar Panels on TPO Roofs
Solar panels can also be mounted on thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofs with little to no issues. It’s a roof type that’s common with residential and commercial properties.
TPO roofs are mostly flat but, like EPDM roofs, can be installed with the help of a ballast with zero roof penetration. Discuss with your installer for specifics on this type of roof.
v. Installing Solar Panels on Asphalt Roofs
Solar panels can be installed without problems if you have an asphalt roof. For this installation to be successful, consider using standard penetrating mounts.
Like other roof types mentioned, the duration of use or its lifespan may play a part in determining whether or not solar panel installation will be possible.
Discuss your concerns with your installer.
How Old is Your Roof?
It’s important to note that having any of the roofs mentioned above offers no guarantee to proceed with solar panel installation, as you’ll need to consider how old the roof is.
It would be best if you compare the roof’s lifespan with that of the panel. These shouldn’t be far apart to avoid premature removal.
Also, it helps maximize your return on investments.
Can I Install Solar Panels on the Roof as a Renter?
As a renter wishing to take advantage of a renewal power source like solar, you may find yourself at a crossroads regarding solar panel installation on the roof.
In such a case, you’ll need to consider the options before you. First, there’s the rental agreement to go through and how cooperative your landlord is.
Local guidelines may also determine if this is possible.
What are the Alternatives When My Roof Isn’t Suitable for Solar Panel Installation?
If your roof is deemed unsuitable for solar panel installation, all hope isn’t lost, as there are alternatives to explore. You may find the ground-mounted solar panel installation helpful.
Since roofs made of wooden material have a high likelihood of getting damaged, you’re better off considering alternatives like ground installations.
However, this is best when your property is fenced to avoid vandalism. Also, ground-mounted solar panel installation should only be considered when there’s access to sunlight for a better part of the day.
Another alternative is to consider installing a solar panel carport. This serves dual purposes.
The best roofs for solar panel installation are simply a myth. Besides roof types unsuitable for solar panel installation, most other roofs can be used.
Ultimately, it would help if you considered discussing with the pros (solar installers and roofers).