We get this question a lot and if we aren’t being asked, we are the ones doing the asking about the specifics of your roof. Aside from having a preferred south facing roof plane with maximum sun exposure, the roof itself must be in good shape to support the system. Finding a reputable solar company using industry best practices is crucial for a high quality, leak free, reliable installation.
Here a few questions to determine if your roof is ready for solar power.
What type of material is your roof? If your roof is composed of slate or terracotta tile, you will not be able to construct a roof mounted system without potentially damaging the roofing materials. Approved roofing materials include, Asphalt Shingles, Tin, concrete tiles, (not clay) and synthetic slate.
Will solar work with your roof pitch, available space and orientation? 60% of homes do not qualify for solar due to shading and orientation alone. In some cases, your home may be perfectly south facing with no trees but the way the roof planes are laid out, they barely offer any room for panels. The pitch of the roof doesn’t make too much of a difference unless it’s too steep, panels can even be mounted on flat surfaces on a custom tilt mount as in our commercial applications. Simply put, if your home does not have enough sun exposure, you will not produce enough power to offset your usage and save money. If you are more interested in reducing your carbon footprint vs saving money, solar could still be an option. There are currently people who pay an extra fee to the power companies to ensure they are getting more clean energy as opposed to coal produced.
Does your roof need repairs? The last thing you want to do is install solar panels on a dilapidated roof. When picking your solar installer, always make sure they are performing a roof inspection before suggesting any system be placed on it. It is true, the solar panels will slow down the weathering of shingles directly below them as they are slightly shielded from the elements but make no mistake, putting up solar panels is not an option in lieu of new shingles. If you would like our team to come out to provide a free roofing inspection along with your custom solar proposal just reach out to the office 804-452-7699 to get on the schedule or send over your power bill to Service@SunlightSolarVirginia.com