Have you been considering upgrading your home’s energy efficiency by adding solar panels? But you are not sure the best place to install them? While some people decide to place solar panels in the yard, doing this does take up a good deal of space. So, if you love spending time outdoors and doing activities in your yard, installing large space-consuming solar panels there might be less than ideal. This information is provided by our team for roofing in Cranston RI. Be sure to reach out for more resources.

Another option many homeowners go with is to have solar panels installed on their roofs. This is a fantastic option since let’s face it, you are not really utilizing the space on your roof right now. Placing solar panels on your roof means they will not take up space in your yard and they look nicer up there and off the ground anyway. However, the sad part is that not every rooftop can support the added weight of solar panels. This can be especially true for older homes built before the idea of residential solar panels was a thing. So, the question you must answer is, can your roofing support solar panels being installed on it?

How do I know if my rooftop is good for solar panels?

To determine if your roof is a good candidate for installing solar panels, answer these simple questions. Firstly, what direction is your home facing? Solar panels work best when they are facing the south. So, the portion of your roof that you are wanting to install the solar panels on needs to be facing south.

Does your roof experience a lot of shade throughout the day? If the answer is yes, then placing solar panels there will not work out well for you. How big is your roof? We will get to questions surrounding the weight and strength of your roof in a moment but for now, consider, how large is the surface area of your roof? You likely need a rooftop of at least 100 square feet to install solar panels on it.

How much weight will solar panels add to my roof?

It does vary based on the type of solar panels but to give you a decent idea, on average solar panels weigh about 40 pounds. Or just shy of three pounds per square foot.

Can my roof support the added weight of solar panels?

You will want to have a contractor inspect your roof’s condition to be sure but the good news is that most roofs can support most types of solar panels. Solar panels are not as heavy as you might think. So, assuming your roof is in good condition, you should not have any problems.

Note, one extra thing to consider. How old is your roof? Because solar panels can last between 25 to 40 years, you might want to ask your roofer what the expected lifespan remaining of your current roof is. If you do install solar panels and then need to replace your roof for any reason, the panels can be removed and reinstalled but this will be an added cost for you.

Will solar panels increase the chances of my roof collapsing?

In some cases, if your roof is in poor condition and cannot support the added weight, then yes, it is possible that adding solar panels could put your roof at greater risk of collapsing. That is why it is so important to have a professional roofing contractor inspect the condition of your roof before you move forward with the solar panel installation process.

Do solar panels make my roof stronger?

In some cases, yes, installing solar panels can actually make your roof stronger. This is reliant, of course, on your rooftop already being in good condition and able to support the solar panel’s weight before installing them.

Is my roof too steep to install solar panels on it?

The slope of your roof can be a real issue when it comes to installing solar panels. If your rooftop is flat you should not have any issues but if it has a slope, you might run into some trouble.

If your roof slopes are between 30 to 40 degrees, you should be fine to proceed with the installation process. Anything steeper than 40 degrees might not work.

What are the best types of roofing materials to install solar panels on?

Not all roofing materials will work to install solar panels on top of. But the good news is that you more than likely have one of these five types of roofing materials already on your home. Metal standing seam roofs are the best options to place solar panels on top of. In many cases, the panels can be installed on the seams without needing to drill holes in your roof.

Standard clay tiles, traditional asphalt tiles (the most commonly used roofing materials), ethylene-propylene diene terpolymer rubber (EPDM), and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are great options to install solar panels on.

*Note: rooftops with slate or wood shingles will not work as solar panels cannot be installed on them.

How many solar panels will it take to power my house?

Again, this can vary. Depending on the size of your home and the amount of power needed, you can expect to install at least 20 to 24 solar panels to cover your home’s energy needs.

*It is of course possible that larger homes could need more panels.

Final suggestion before you install solar panels on your roofing

Deciding to go green and make your home more energy efficient is fantastic. You may find the idea of installing solar panels on your roof the ideal solution but you must make sure your roof can support them. Is your roof facing the right direction to ensure the panels are effective? Is your rooftop large enough and does it get enough sun? If these answers are yes then your next step should be to call a local roofing contractor to inspect the condition of your roof, to ensure it can support the added weight of these panels.