7 Tips to Consider Before Putting Solar Panels on a Metal Roof
If you have a metal roof and you want solar panels, there are a few things to consider before installing your panels. To guide you through the process, here are some tips to help:
1. Schedule Any Needed Repairs
Your solar panels will take up a lot of the space on your roof. It can be difficult to get around the panels to do roof repairs. Because of that, if your roof needs any repairs, you should address them before starting to install your solar panels. Possible repairs may include patching holes, replacing loose flashing, or repairing loose gutters.
2. Consider Applying a Solar Reflective Coating
The goal of your solar panels is to soak up as much sun as possible, so that you can generate your own energy. However, you don't necessarily want your metal roof soaking up lots of sunlight. When your roof absorbs sunlight, that heats up your home and potentially drives up your cooling bills.
To avoid that risk, consider applying a reflective coating or a light colored metal roof paint. Once you put in the solar panels, it won't be possible to coat or paint the roof around them.
3. Contact Your Roof Manufacturer About Your Warranty
Before you put in solar panels on any type of roof, you should contact your roofing manufacturer to talk about your warranty. You may also want to talk with your home insurance agent.
In some cases, the mounting hardware for solar panels may negate the warranty or insurance policy on your home. This tends to be particularly true in cases where the solar panel installer has to drill holes through your roof during installation.
4. Use Clamps for Standing Seam Metal Roofs
If you have a standing seam metal roof, you can also avoid putting holes into it during installation. In this case, you should look into solar panels that can be mounted onto your roof with mechanical clamps. These clamps hook right onto the seams of the roof.
6. Consider Investing in a New Roof
If you are thinking installing a new roof before you get solar panels, you also may want to consider a standing seam metal roof. As explained above, with this design, you don't have to worry about panel installation putting holes in your roof. However, the mounts explained above aren't the only option.
If you like, you can also have solar panels installed at the same time as your new roof. These solar panels basically feature a peel-and-stick design, and they are stuck to the panels of your standing seam roof in the factory or at the job site. Then, the connection terminals are placed under the ridge cap of your roof. This set up protects the connection terminals from UV light, while allowing the panels to get as much light as possible.
This type of solar panel also creates a lower profile than traditional solar panels. If you live in an area where height is a concern or if you just prefer a more subtle look, this may be the best option.
7. Insist on an Easy-to-Access Kill Switch
Regardless of which type of solar panels you ultimately select, talk with your installer about installing a kill switch. Ideally, in the case of an emergency such as a fire, you want to be able to shut off your solar panels, and an easy-to-locate kill switch on the outside of your home is ideal.
This switch can also be useful if you need to make a repair to the solar panels. To avoid electrocution, you don't want to be working on possibly live wires while standing on a conductor like a metal roof.
For more information or assistance, contact companies like Acoma Roofing, Inc.