September 28, 2022


Design meets need

Is My Roof Compatible for Solar Panels

3 min read

Whether you require a new roof for your solar panel system depends on many factors. But the most important thing is the condition of your existing roof. Hence, your roof should be in good condition for the solar panel installation. Because solar panels can last for two decades or more, they should be installed on roofs that can last as long. To make sure that your decision to go solar works well, here are some things that you need to consider.

The Roofing Material

Most roofing materials work well in accommodating solar panels without harming the roofing itself. Asphalt shingle is the most common roofing material, which involves a simple process of installation for solar panels. Tile roofs are also very compatible with solar installation. But the most compatible roofing material today when it comes to solar panels is a standing metal roof. The easy installation process for this roofing is also cheaper because the standing seam will not require drilling into the roof itself.

On the other hand, slate and wood roofs may not work well because they are quite brittle. So, if you are searching for solar installers near me online now, make sure to ask about the compatibility of your roofing material. 

The Angle of the Roof

Your roofing material’s pitch or angle also matters. This is the vertical rise of the roof divided by its horizontal run. Ideally, the angle for a solar panel roof is 30 degrees. For those who have a steeper roof, say around 40 degrees, it will not be a problem because this only entails a one percent decrease in energy production. Note, however, that if it is steeper, then the energy production will be affected more significantly. Also, the safety of installing solar panels may be an issue with steeper roofs.

For flat roofs, installing solar panels will not be a problem. The solar installers will only use brackets to give the solar panels the angle they need to get the maximum energy production. 

The Roof’s Orientation

Solar companies agree that in the northern hemisphere, solar panels work best when they are facing the true south. This is not what your compass necessarily points to as the magnetic south direction. To find out, you can check your property’s location on Google Maps. There, you can see whether your house faces true south. Do not worry if the orientation of your house is not strictly true south because there is still good energy generation when your panels face southwest or southeast. 

The Shade Around the Roof

Ideally, your home or building should receive the right amount of shade. This won’t be a problem if you are in an open area, where there are no obstructions like tall trees or other buildings. Otherwise, if your roof does not receive or receives minimal sunlight, then a rooftop panel may not be a good option for you. Contact your potential solar panel contractor to find ways to address the shade issues. They can advise trimming the trees or if you have the space, a land solar farm can be pursued. 

In all these, your solar installers can help you assess what you need to successfully go solar.

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