Installation Of Solar Panels On Shingle Roof

There are two types of solar cells are currently available for installation on roofs. Generation, or photovoltaic, solar cells generate electricity for home electrical needs. Conservation solar panels are used to heat water without the need for electricity or gas. The water heated by conservation solar panels is often used inside the house or for swimming pools.

Solar Panels Installation Considerations

Solar panels are usually mounted on racks attached to the roof deck with non-penetration system like, SnapNRack, but most mounting systems require roof penetration.

Here is the lists of important considerations that contractors need to be aware of when installing solar panels on roofs, especially when with penetration systems:

  • Always check the roofing manufacturer’s flashing and sealant requirements.
  • Use high-quality flashing to prevent moisture intrusion at penetration points. Look for flashing that is resistant to corrosion and will last for the entire lifespan of the solar panels.
  • Consider the thickness of the roofing shingles. The wideness of the flashing used in installation must be appropriate to the thickness of the shingle. Flashing with elevated attachment points must be used for thicker, high-quality shingles.
  • Don’t allow flashing to extend past the drip edge of the shingles. Always align the bottom edge of flashing with the drip edge of each course of shingles.
  • Trim shingles to sit flush with the base of the flashing to avoid disrupting water diversion.
  • Do not remove nails from shingles. Some flashing manufacturers recommend removing nails and fasteners that present an obstruction. However, regulations require a minimum number of fasteners.
  • Contractors also should consult local building codes before any solar panels are installed. For example, some codes prohibit solar panel installation on any street-facing roof plane to avoid negative effects on the home’s curb appeal. Other codes are very specific on roof deck reinforcements beneath the solar panel site.

    Finally, some experts express concern about roof damage from heat buildup underneath the solar panels. Also, homeowners should contact a roofer to periodically check for debris so airflow is maintained.

    As long as there is a gap between the panels and the shingles, the roof should be fine. The shade produced by the panels, coupled with the free-flowing air, can keep the covered shingles cooler than the ones exposed to direct sunlight. Wire mesh can be installed to protect the gap, but it can also restrict airflow and cause heat buildup.