More and more homeowners are making the choice to harness solar energy to help power their homes. Solar panels can be installed on your roof by an experienced contractor. These panels are designed to capture the energy in the sun's rays and convert this energy into electricity.
It is common for homeowners to express some concern about how solar panel installation will affect the integrity of their roofs.
There are several different installation techniques available for solar panels. These options allow you to choose the installation method that will minimize the amount of damage your roof may sustain during the solar panel installation process.
1. Racking System
The most common method used for installing residential solar panels is known as racking. This method requires that a contractor mount a series of racks that will hold solar panels in place to the surface of your roof.
Holes must be made on your roof to accommodate the lag bolts that hold each rack in place. The size and depth of the lag bolts will depend on the pitch of your roof and the weight of the panels you are having installed.
When done correctly, the racking installation approach will not cause any roof leaks. The holes for each lag bolt are sealed, surrounded with flashing, and covered with tar or asphalt to keep moisture out.
2. Photovoltaic Roofing Materials
If you are really concerned about having holes made in your roof while your solar panels are being installed, you can choose a hole-free installation technique instead.
Specialized roofing tiles and shingles that act as miniature solar panels are available. These products can be installed in the same way as traditional roofing tiles and shingles.
It's important to note that there are some trade-offs that you will need to make if you choose a hole-free installation technique. Photovoltaic shingles and tiles are not as efficient as their larger panel counterparts, so you won't be able to access as much solar energy when installing these shingles or tiles.
3. Ballast Mounting
Ballast mounting is another solar panel installation technique that doesn't require the drilling of holes in your roof. The racks that support each solar panel are weighed down with specialized ballasts instead of being bolted to the roof in a ballast mounting system.
Your contractor will take many factors into consideration before beginning a ballast mounting installation to ensure your solar panels are held firmly in place. Ballast mounting usually works best on flat roofs.
Consult with a solar panel installation business before the project begins.