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Tips for a Solar-Ready Rooftop

Two Engineers Discussing About the Solar Panel — Saint Paul, MN — Berwald Roofing Inc.

You cannot just install a solar system on any roof. You must make sure that your roof can handle the weight of the solar panels. You should also ensure that your solar panels would generate the electricity you need. Below are some tips for a solar-ready roof.

The Roof’s Remaining Lifespan

A typical solar panel should serve you for at least 25 years, and solar warranties reflect that. You should ensure that your roof should last at least that long before installing a solar panel. Otherwise, you might have to remove the solar panel, replace the roof, and reinstall the panel when the time comes to replace the roof.

Note that roof lifespan depends on multiple factors. Some critical factors include:

  • Roofing material
  • Roofing design and installation quality
  • Local weather and climate
  • Roof maintenance

Get a roofing contractor to analyze your roof and determine its expected remaining lifespan. If you expect to replace the roof soon, you can save money by replacing it before installing the solar panel.

The Roof’s Structural Integrity

The additional weight of the solar panels should not be a problem if the roof is structurally sound. However, you must confirm that the roof can handle the additional weight before installation.

The total additional weight due to the installation will depend on the number of solar panels and the support structure’s weight. Whether your roof can handle the additional weight depends on:

  • The roof structure material
  • The age of the roof
  • The local climate
  • The weight of other structures on the roof

Maybe your roof already has other installations, and your area receives heavy snowfall every winter. A roofing contractor should do the load calculations to determine whether the roof will handle the additional load.

The Roof’s Sun Exposure

Solar panels convert energy from the sun to electricity. Sunlight should hit the solar panel’s surface for maximum efficiency. Thus, the roof section that will host the panels should have maximum exposure to the sun. Some of the things that can shade your roof include:

  • Nearby buildings
  • Nearby trees
  • Other roof structures

You might struggle to change an existing roof’s sun exposure. However, you can design your roof and its installations to accommodate solar installation when installing a new roof. Inform your roofing contractor of your plans.

The Roofing Materials

You can install solar panels on many different roofs. However, some roofing materials are more suitable for solar installations than others. For example, some solar installers are reluctant to work on tiled roofs that might suffer damage during installation. Making the necessary penetrations on shingle roofs is also difficult.

Again, the choice of materials is already out of your hand if you have an existing roof. However, you can choose a solar-friendly material if you are planning a new roof. An example of solar-suitable roofing material is a standing seam metal roof.

The Roof Slope

While both steep- and low-sloped roofs can have solar panels, low-sloped roof membranes can’t support direct solar installation. Therefore, if you have a low-sloped roof, ensure that your roofing professionals and solar installers work together to provide protective materials for the solar panels. Protective materials differ based on the roof type.

Berwald Roofing Inc. has extensive roofing experience; we have been in the industry for decades. We can help you install a solar-ready roof, inspect your existing roof for solar readiness, or help you renovate your roof to accommodate solar panels. Contact us for quotes on all roofing services you need. We look forward to answering any questions or concerns you may have. Please let us know how we can help you with your roof.

BERWALD ROOFING COMPANY, INC.

Trust Berwald Roofing, Minnesota's experts in roofing, sheet metal, and wall panels with your project, no matter the size.

2440 Charles, St N
Saint Paul, MN 55109

Phone: 651-777-7411

Fax: 651-777-1371

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