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Can solar panels be installed on Any Roof?

Can Solar Panels Be Installed on Any Roof?

If you are looking to make your home more energy-efficient and drive down your electricity bills, then you may be considering solar panels. But, can solar panels be installed on any roof? Here’s what you need to know.

Can solar panels be installed on any roof?

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels, the good news is that they can be installed on most roofs. However, there are some considerations to be made, and certain roofing materials and types are better equipped to deal with the added stress of solar panels. There are also a few roof types that cannot support solar panels, so make sure you know about the construction of your roof before you get too invested in shopping for panels.

Which roof types can have solar panels safely installed on them?

South-facing metal or asphalt roofs with a pitch of 30-40° are ideal for solar panels because they will receive the most sun throughout the day (thus generating the most energy). Metal and asphalt are also both durable materials that can handle the extra stress of the array, and it is easy to fit the array onto these materials.

Even though these types of roofs could be considered the best, or at least the easiest to install solar panels upon, other roofs can work just fine too. The factors you need to consider are:

Roof orientation

East and west-facing roofs can be used, as they will still get enough sunlight throughout the course of the day to be effective, with east-facing roofs getting plenty of sunlight in the morning and west-facing roofs getting the sunlight in the evening.

Roof pitch

While a 30-40° pitched roof is ideal, roofs with other pitches can still generate electricity effectively. Even flat roofs can support solar panels, but they will work better on a tilt, which can be achieved with a bracket that tilts the panels at a more advantageous angle. If the panels are too flat, they won’t be able to self-clean and dirt will build up, reducing their effectiveness.

Roofing material

Other roofing materials can also be suitable. Roofs with wood shingles for example are very strong and the array installation can be quite easy, but the roof may need to be inspected first to check that it is not a fire risk.

Roof strength and condition

The final factors you need to consider before proceeding with solar panel installation are the strength and condition of the roof. The roofing material and structure need to be strong enough to support the extra weight and stress of an array and the panels. The roofing material also needs to be in good enough condition that it is not going to deteriorate and compromise the stability of the array over time.

Which types of roofs are not suitable for solar panel installation?

With all the above factors considered, it is worth noting that there are a few roofing types where solar panels cannot be installed, or at least it is not advised:

  • Thatched roofs because they have an increased fire risk

  • Glass roofs because they are not strong enough to support the weight of the array and panels.

  • Roofs that contain asbestos because they are a safety hazard. Any asbestos should be removed by a specialist before any kind of solar panel installation proceeds.

  • North facing roofs or roofs that are constantly in the shade will probably not generate enough electricity to be worth the investment. Homeowners with such properties may be better off with ground panels instead.

The bottom line is that solar panels cannot be installed on every roof, but in most cases, it is perfectly possible to have them installed and start seeing the benefits of generating your own electricity!

If you are looking for roofing services, please contact us - we’ll be happy to help.


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