• Joe Collins

Solar for every type of roof

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

You can attach solar panels to all types of roofs.

The most common are shingle asphalt roofs, flat roofs, and metal roofs.

Most homes have shingle asphalt roofs and even though there is roof penetration, it is extremely rare to have a leak caused by a solar installation.

In order to protect a shingle roof from leaks, solar installers put flashing underneath the shingles and attach the solar rails to the roof trusses or purlins with lag bolts.

It looks like this...

Then there is a flat roof. These roofs are generally made out of rubber or some type of membrane.

The best solar application for flat roofs is a ballast system which adds weight to keep the solar secure.

With flat roofs, panels are tilted to prevent shading each other and arranged to fit around HVAC units or other equipment.

A ballasted solar system looks like this...

Finally you have metal roofs, and there are two types of metal roofs.

First is the metal ribbed roof.

This type of roof also has roof penetration where the solar racking is lagged into the truss or purlin and on the bottom is a rubber bushing that seals it and keeps water out.

It looks like this...

The second type of metal roof is a standing seam roof, which is ideal for solar because there is no roof penetration.

The solar railing, which the panels sit on, clamps directly onto the seam.

It looks like this...

So regardless of what type of roof you have, there is a solar system that will work with your home or business.

Oh yeah!

If you would really prefer to put your solar array somewhere else, there are always ground mount systems as well.

They tend to be a little more expensive because of the extra equipment and labor involved, but they're also an option.

Joe Collins is a solar consultant, and the owner of CIE Solar Energy, LLC.

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