Electricity prices are getting out of hand; for that reason, a lot of homeowners in Tampa Bay are looking into solar panels as an alternative option, and as a way to lower their electricity bills. In fact, so far more than 60,000 homes in Tampa have solar panels and that number grows every day!
At Expert Solar, we believe educating our clients on the benefits of solar and answering common questions is an important part of the switching-to-solar process. A question homeowners ask us often is whether or not the solar panels will damage the roof. I’ve written this article to help answer that question.
For a home or a small business, the roof is the best place to install solar panels. Placing solar panels on your roof is the best way to capture the sun’s energy, free from shade or obstruction. The roof of your home or business is often uncovered by trees, shrubbery, and other obstacles that may block the sun’s light from hitting it. This makes it ideal for capturing light.
Your roof is also strong enough to support the weight of multiple solar panels and remain undamaged. Nevertheless, let me answer a few common questions we get asked regarding solar panels and your roof:
6 Common Questions About Solar Panels and Your Roof
Will Solar Panels Damage My Roof?
When solar panels and their rigs are properly installed, by a licensed and experienced Tampa Bay solar installer, they do not damage your roof in any way.
Most solar panels are attached to your roof through a racking system. Racking systems are designed to minimize damage and well-installed racks along with solar panels actually protect your roof from mother nature’s debris.
At Expert Solar, prior to any solar installation, we do a full roof inspection prior to installing any panels to make sure the roof will not be damaged and can support the panels. Additionally, we use an advanced mounting system that proofs your roof against any future damage.
How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?
When I write about “making sure your roof can bear the weight of solar panels” you may get the idea that your roof needs to be extremely strong or brand new in order to install solar panels.
The average solar panel weighs between 30-40 pounds. The average solar panel installation weighs about 3.5 pounds per square foot. A modern roof can support 27 pounds per square foot. That means pretty much any home’s roof will be able to support solar panels. Nevertheless, we do an inspection to certify that it can.
How Are Solar Panels Installed?
The kind of mountings used to attach solar panels to your roof will vary depending on the kind of roof your home has.
In Florida, most homes have shingle-style roofs. To install solar panels on shingle roofs, the most solar installer uses a bolt and flashing method that covers and protects the hole from any rain or water damage. The system used by Expert Solar is more advanced and makes it virtually impossible for there to be leaks.
Metal roofs are excellent for solar panels and can often have the panels bolted right into the roof without the worry of damage.
While more likely in a business, flat roofs are also a great option for solar panels because no damage will occur at all! Solar panels installed on a flat roof are freestanding and are held in place by weights.
Some solar installers will ask you to have a professional roofer come and inspect your roof to make sure it’s prepared for a solar installation; at Expert Solar, we have in-house professionals who will come and do a free onsite roof inspection prior to any installation.
What If I Need a New Roof?
Many of our customers have asked us about the possibility of installing a new roof along with their solar project. And if your roof is 10-15 years old, this may be something you want to consider because special financing can be obtained where it covers both the roof and solar installation.
At Expert Solar, we have combed through most Tampa roofing companies and selected top roofing professionals as our partners. If you choose to install a new roof prior to your solar panels, we will be able to manage the entire project from start to finish “under one roof”, making it easier for you.
Will Solar Panels Void my Roof’s Warranty?
Most roof warranties are split into two parts, the manufacturer warranty, and the roofing contractor warranty.
The manufacturer warranty covers the parts used to make your roof and the contractor warranty covers labor and installation.
In most cases, your roof warranty – for the portion of the roof that you install solar panels on – will be void. However, you are still going to be covered by your solar installer’s workmanship warranty. A solar installer’s workmanship warranty is generally 10 years and it covers the area of the roof where they worked on.
Will Solar Panels Increase my Home’s Value?
Good news! Yes! In most cases, installing solar panels on your home can increase the value significantly. According to Zillow, Tampa homes have seen an over 4% increase in their property valuation after installing solar panels as compared to similar homes.
Potential home buyers find a huge value in homes that have properly installed solar panels and are willing to pay more for them.
So, in the end, with an increase in home value and savings on energy, many times solar panels can pay for themselves over the years.
Are You Ready for Solar Panels?
If you are considering going solar in Tampa, the best thing to do is to contact us and ask us to come and do an in-home consultation where we will be able to determine the best way to help you benefit from solar as well as provide you an estimate.
Ricardo Del Sol
Editor, Expert Solar