Roof Types for Solar: Can Solar Be Installed on Any Roof Type?

Yes, solar panels can be installed on any type of roof!

One of the biggest misconceptions about going solar is that solar only works on certain types of roofs, or that solar works best on certain roofs. This is not the case at all. In reality, there is no “best roof for solar”. With different types of roofs comes different installation processes and equipment. With modern day technology and equipment, there is no roof surface solar panels cannot be installed on.

Let’s take a look at different types of roofs with solar and how they are installed.

ASPHALT SHINGLES

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof as most homes in the United States have roofs with asphalt shingles. These shingles are made from a fiberglass or cellulose type of mat that is very flexible and durable, making it a great material for solar panels. 

For asphalt shingle roofs, solar panels are attached with a standard penetrating mount, which is a quick and easy install when using IronRidge equipment. Thanks to their flashing and railing, this beautiful system is up and running, safely and efficiently!

 

TILE ROOF

Clay, slate, or concrete tiles can have a nice spanish style look, are known to last for many years and are great for solar too. 

To install the solar panels on this type of roof, the best practice is to remove certain tiles where specific hooks need to be installed. Then, base plates called flashing will be installed in place of the removed tiles. Rails are then attached to each hook and your solar panels are mounted to them. It sounds a lot more complicated than it really is! But rest assured an experienced installer like Core Energy can do this in their sleep!

METAL ROOF

Metal roofs are also a great candidate for solar panel installations. The standing seams eliminate the need for drilling to attach them, reducing labor time. Plus, metal roofs provide additional reflection where the sun doesn’t hit the panels, keeping your house cooler. Metal roofs are also great to have on your home or business in areas that are sunnier or warmer than others like Florida.

FLAT ROOF

Flat roofs are an ideal location for solar panels. Flat or low-sloped roofs are those that generally incline fewer than five degrees. The materials used to cover these roofs vary widely from metal and modified asphalt to sheet materials that cover them, such as thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and synthetic rubber material, ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, among others.


HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ROOF IS SUITABLE FOR SOLAR PANELS?

Whether your roof is suitable for solar does not depend on the type of roof you have but rather on a set of other conditions such as orientation, shading, and roof age, among others.

Orientation

Orientation simply refers to the direction your roof is facing, north, south, east or west. For sloped roofs, southerly-facing roofs with little to no shade and enough space are ideal for installing solar panels. South-east and south-west facing roofs are also good options to generate solar though they can generate a bit less. For flat roofs, it does not matter as your solar panels can always be put-up in the most optimum direction. Typically, roofs facing north have shown to produce the least amount of energy compared to the others.

Shading

Before installing solar panels on your roof, it is important to assess if there are any objects creating shade over your roof. Shading over your roof will block the sunlight from hitting your solar panels, thus, will impact your energy production to some extent. Shading objects can be trees, water tanks, antennas, or even a house next door.

Roof Age

The age of the roof can also determine whether it is suitable for solar. If there is no major structural damage or leaks occurring, your roof is most likely in good condition to support your solar panels. If you are not sure, we can provide you with a free roof inspection as well. Before solar panels are installed on your roof, we conduct a thorough site survey, where we assess all these factors mentioned above and more to determine if anything needs to be done before we can install your panels. This is just an extra step we take so you don’t have to worry about any issues in the future. 

Bottom Line

Regardless of your roof type, if you live in Florida and pay more than $100 on your electric bill, chances are solar is for you. Schedule your FREE solar quote and see just how much solar can save you today.