Can solar panels damage your roof?

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Slate roofs, concrete roofs, conventional roofs with metal sheeting or terra cotta tiles, and roofs with asbestos sheeting or tiles can all have solar panel system installed.

As long as it is done correctly by a qualified solar installation business with experience in the field, the installation process shouldn't harm the roof. However, there is a chance that the tiles or sheeting could be harmed if the installation is not done correctly or if the installer is not cautious when walking on the roof.

To reduce the potential of damage to your roof and guarantee the panels are correctly installed, selecting a reputable and professional solar installation firm is crucial.

Can a solar system mounting system cause damage to my roof?

If this is your first time getting panels on your roof, you might wonder about the installation process. In addition, you may fear that someone drilling, cutting, and screwing things onto your roof can lead to damaging your roof.

Yet, when installing your panels correctly, the fastening of the racking should not present any risk of damage to your roof.

So what are the risks?

To ensure this is the case, pick a professional solar installation company that has been in the industry for at least five years and maybe even better – a decade or more.

There should be no holes or damage to tiles on your roof, as a proper installation will assess the situation and provide the solution with no chance of injury. During the pre-installation inspection, verified and professional installers will look at and review your roofing condition and assess the structural integrity of your roof.

If there are cracks in tiles or holes in metal sheeting or valleys, they will advise you of the details so you can fix them before the solar installation or ask you to hold off until a more detailed assessment can occur. But roof issues are rare, and in 95% of inspection cases, the existing roof is in good enough condition to install panels.

Having some spare tiles is a good idea

Sometimes if you have terracotta or cement tiles, it is a good idea to have a few spare tiles available and pass them to the solar installer.

Installers opt for this approach due to the potential risk of their weight causing an existing tile to crack. If they identify or spot a cracked tile, they can quickly replace it as part of the solar installation process.

A fun fact to know is that solar panels can protect roofs. When solar panels are installed snugly across the entire roof or on a specific side of the roof, they efficiently absorb sunlight that would typically hit the roof and heat up the house during sunny days. Studies have demonstrated that solar panels on a roof can effectively lower a home’s internal temperature by up to 35%. This not only harnesses solar energy for power generation but also contributes to a cooler and more comfortable living environment inside your home.

solar roof railing

Does the solar installation involve putting holes in my roof?

Ease your concerns about potential roof damage during installation by requesting the accredited and experienced installer to capture photos of your roof throughout the process. This way, you can witness first-hand the meticulous installation of metal L feet or tile brackets. As you observe and comprehend the racking technology, you’ll gain reassurance that your roof remains undamaged, and the engineering solutions prove solid and reliable.

When is the highest likelihood that my roof will get damaged? 

Roof damage does not often occur, especially if you are liaising with trusted local solar installers, who ensure your solar installation is done to the best quality. However, issues start arising when you hire “Roof Monkeys”.

Industry insiders use the term “Roof Monkeys” to describe unskilled installers who quickly install solar PV systems by trampling over your roof.

So if you go for a bargain basement-type solar panel system, the risk of damage to your roof increases. With such a slim margin, operators need to install it quickly, often cutting corners, such as neglecting to act carefully and consider the condition of your roof.

Cheap solar increases the risk to your roof

Should such an operator break a tile, a silicon tube usually creates a temporary fix under a solar panel. So you will never know of the damage of your roof until a few years later, as part of a severe storm, the old silicon fails, and you are getting mould on your ceiling.

Tracing the original installation company and proving their poor workmanship is now responsible for an expensive ceiling repair and repaint will be tough.

If access to your roof is easy and safe, you should take images of your roof before the installation. If a dispute arises, having evidence against them will be crucial in case any matters need addressing in court. On the other hand, if your roof is dangerous, consider a professional roof access person to take such photos – should you be concerned.

As your roof is the waterproof membrane of your home and your home is most likely your most valuable asset, it is important to ensure that you pick an ethical and experienced solar company. So please do not buy cheap solar, as you will not realise the long-term savings when roof issues arise.

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