Many homeowners want to go solar, but almost everyone has the same question: Do solar panels ruin the roof?
The installation of solar panels has been on the rise in recent years. Sales have reached an all-time high as more and more homeowners look for ways to cut utility costs and also go green.
Do solar panels ruin your roof?
About 2 million homes in the United States have solar panels installed in some way. Chances are if you don’t have solar panels installed, you know someone who does. And if you are thinking of changing the color of the roof of your house , you probably want to take the opportunity to install solar panels.
The rapid growth of the solar industry has completely changed the energy consumption debate in recent years. With the industry expected to reach 3 million installations by 2021, solar panels are sure to be coming to your neighborhood…and your roof can be one of them.
With the rise in popularity of solar panels comes the inevitable question from homeowners, can solar panels ruin your roof? These questions often concern nail hole damage, how it relates to water leaks, and ultimately whether it voids a roof’s warranty.
In this article, we will try to answer these questions while looking at the traditional method of installing solar panels versus non-invasive methods .
On the other hand, if you want to know more about neighborhood solar panels, be sure to check out our guide on home solar energy .
Are solar panels bad for the roof?
Solar panels are not inherently bad for the roof. The possibility of solar panels damaging the roof is due to the method of installation. Traditional solar panel installation involves bolting the panels to the roof with nails, bolts, and straps .
These nails and bolts are usually driven directly into the roof and into the attic or ceiling. Of course, holes in the roof can cause leaks over time.
With the presence of unexpected moisture, the possibility of water damage and mold growth becomes very real. In this sense, tile and roof damage caused by drilling or hammering during the installation of solar panels are very common .
To avoid damaging your roof and potentially voiding your warranty, it is recommended that you use non-destructive installation methods.
Some of these methods eliminate potentially disastrous roof penetrations and allow roof warranties to remain intact. These types of installations do not require anchor points, roof penetrations, or the location of structural connection points .
These types of designs also require less labor and installation time, avoiding costly and disruptive complications associated with accessing attic spaces and modifying structural connection points.
Solar panels and roof protection.
In addition to 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 you from Mother Nature’s wrath. Outside 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 space between the panels and the roof forms an air pocket which also has a cooling effect on the roof .
Studies show that installing solar panels can reduce a home’s interior temperature by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or nearly three degrees Celsius.
Alternative installations eliminate the need to go outside of the hot – or cold – spaces of the attic to install the solar panels.
And since there is no drilling involved, there will be no roof leaks as a result of installing the solar panels. When you consider installing these non-intrusive methods, check to see if they are certified by the state for use in hurricanes or tornadoes.
This way, if your home is located in an area known for its harsh weather conditions, you can be sure that your solar panels will withstand any storm that comes their way .
Does installing solar panels void the roof warranty?
Apart from the foundation, the roof is one of the most essential parts of the house and one of the most expensive to maintain, repair or replace .
For this reason, many homeowners invest in a Roofing warranty to make sure the roof is insured. For this reason, most homeowners worry about installing solar panels on their roofs and having dozens of holes drilled in their roofs.
The idea of making holes in the roof due to the installation of solar panels scares most homeowners. This is especially true when it comes to the question we’ve been asking all along: will installing solar panels void my roof warranty?
What are roof warranties? Your roof warranty is typically divided into two parts. The first is the one offered by the contractor who installed the roof, which covers installation labor . Installer warranty varies, but the industry average is 10 years .
The second part is the material warranty provided by the manufacturer of the roofing product. The guarantee of the materials can vary drastically depending on the type of material and can range from 25 to 50 years.
Cover failures due to improper installation are covered by the installer’s warranty. Coverage product defects are covered by the manufacturer, but only if the product has been installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most roofers will agree that solar panels should not be installed on a roof with 10 years or less of useful life remaining .
The best time to install solar panels is when a new roof is being installed . But will installing solar panels, which often requires bolting roofing material to the lower deck, void the warranty on your new roof? The answer largely depends on the mounting method used.
Traditional roofers mechanically attach panels to pitched roofs with bolts, nails and screws that penetrate the structure or with ballasted framing that uses weights to hold the panels in place on flat roofs.
Both methods can damage the roof over time, leading to costly repairs and possible warranty issues.
Alternative methods install the panels using spray adhesives , which adhere the rack to the roof without damaging it or voiding warranties. Requiring no drilling or screwing, they reduce the chance of leaks to zero.
How can solar panels ruin my roof?
If installed incorrectly, solar panels can cause some damage to your roof . However, if installed correctly, solar panels can protect your roof and increase your home’s value.
Today, more and more people want to go green, and according to a recent CNBC report, adding a solar system to your home can add $9,274 in value to your home.
The conclusion of this article is that installing a rooftop solar system, if done correctly, will not only help keep energy costs down, but will also provide p