One of the biggest concerns Southern California homeowners have when they start thinking about getting solar panels is the potential damage to their roofs.
The simple idea of drilling holes into your roof can be alarming, but the construction process is quite normal and has been done millions of times.
To help you decide if rooftop solar power is the right option for you, your home, or your business, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 things you need to consider before choosing rooftop solar panels.
What is your roof type?
Roofs come in many shapes and sizes; some can be more complicated than others. Before you proceed with any installation, ensure your roof has enough space for solar panels.
Our solar experts use cutting-edge solar panel design tools combined with geographic and Google Sunroof technology to help homeowners to create the best custom rooftop solar plans.
We use the drone to create real-time shading from trees, buildings, and other potential shadings. This way, our designs are 100% accurate during the site survey for your house.
The rooftop solar plans take several factors into account:
- Direction and angle to absorb the most sunlight
- Number of solar panels needed on your roof
- Historical weather and sunlight data
- Estimated annual solar power generation for your location
How much weight can your roof handle?
Yes, installing solar panels will increase the weight of the structure of your roof. However, keep in mind that roofs are made to bear much more weight than the usual solar panel system.
During the first site survey, Option One will inspect the condition of the home’s roof structure and provide options based on our findings.
Once the site survey is complete, we will know whether the roof is strong enough for solar installation or if the roof needs repairs due to damage or aging. We can provide roof repairs as part of a solar installation if needed.
Option One Solar uses the latest solar racking technology by SnapNrack that will safely secure the solar panel up to 180 mph wind loads and evenly distribute the solar panel’s weight.
Furthermore, solar panels & racking act like an exo-skeleton for your roof, reinforcing and protecting it.
How are rooftop solar panels installed?
Solar panel installation can be worrisome for any homeowner. After all, installing rooftop solar panels means altering the most protective parts of your home! However, with proper installation, there is no reason to worry about the safety of your roof.
- The first step to mounting rooftop solar panels is drilling holes for the lag bolts that tie the racking to your roof. The size and length of these bolts depend on your roof type (concrete, metal, etc.).
- To protect your roof, solar installers use flashing (a.k.a. weatherproofing) or a thin piece of metal applied to both sides of the lag bolt to ensure that the bolts are watertight.
- For further protection, flashing is sealed with tar or other water-sealing material to protect your roof from harsh weather.
- Option One Solar installations are done with the latest hardware that adds rubber seal washers for even more protection.
- Regarding sealing the roof, we use Chem Link M-1 for all penetrations, a high-end roofing sealant for professional constructions.
- These time-tested construction techniques have been used for hundreds of years to strengthen your roof while adding new features, like chimneys or vents.
Where will the water go?
Rain is a welcome sight for most solar owners. The clouds may bring down overall production for that day, but the rain naturally cleans your solar PV modules, making them more effective for a while after.
Water runs down the roof, gutters, and away from your home when it rains. The weatherproofing we mentioned before will remove any risks of water damage.
However, equipment like racking and wire harnesses can prevent water from flowing and draining correctly when installing solar panels.
Our experienced crew will ensure that the installation is conducted correctly. In our installation performance reviews, our customers have never had an issue with water damage from our installations.
What happens if my roof is damaged during the rooftop solar panel installation?
Damage can occur during rooftop solar installation, and it is an issue most homeowners have concerns about during their solar shopping.
However, damage during a solar installation by professional and well-trained solar installers is a very rare occurrence.
Option One Solar crews will always take care of any damage during our rooftop solar panel installation. If our crew damages any tiles or parts of your roof on accident, we will repair the damage at no cost to the customer.
The installation crew will prepare additional roofing materials during the roof mounting phase. Our backup roofing hardware will match the current rooftop color and design.
What about the solar installation rooftop warranty?
Option One Solar is a local solar contractor that has served local businesses and communities for over 50 years! We did not get this far without standing behind our work.
Most solar companies will provide a standard roof penetration warranty for ten years.
Option One Solar’s 6-point Warranty will cover Labor, Racking, and Roof Penetration for 25 years for our customers to ensure their systems will stay up and running without any issues.
What about nature’s other surprises?
Maintaining your solar power system will deal with severe weather like storms, high winds, hail, and more.
Rooftop Solar panels for home act as a second layer that protects your original roof. Standard solar regulations require these practices.
Solar panels must meet standards to be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. These standards include areas prone to hurricanes, where the panels and equipment must withstand wind speeds of at least 135mph.
Besides protecting your roof, solar panels shade it, decreasing the heat that can get into your attic.
Solar panels absorb the sun’s heat and reduce the load on your A/C unit.
These solar panels & racks are also easy to remove for any roof repair you may need due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a branch falling or other damages.
No matter what you’re looking to add to your home, Option One Solar is your partner in making the best decisions for yourself and your family.
We are here to help you make the best choice for cheap & clean energy! Give us a call if you’re still worried about the solar panels that might affect your roof.