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Can You Put Solar Panels On A Metal Roof?

Posted on February 17, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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Can you put solar panels on a metal roof

The concern that installing solar panels on a metal roof will cause water infiltration, and therefore roof damage, is widespread. Not only do homeowners themselves face this question, but so do roofing contractors. Do solar panels on metal roofs really reduce energy efficiency and cause water leaks? 

If you want to mount solar panels on your metal roof but are concerned about the widespread misconceptions among homeowners, this blog is for you. 

This blog asks the question of whether you can put solar panels on a metal roof, and will also help you with the right information based on extensive research on solar roofing and metal roofs. Additionally, we have explained the benefits solar power will bring to your home. So keep reading to find out more regarding these questions. 

Solar Panels On Metal Roofs, Really? 

Yes! You heard that right, it is possible. With the help of a solar mounting system, roofers can seamlessly install solar panels on your metal roof. A solar mounting system, in simple terms, works as a support structure for the solar panels to rest on without making holes and being directly nailed to the metal seams of a roof. 

Most often, residential and commercial building owners worry about the leaks that drilling and nailing during a solar panel installation can lead to. However, the fact is that metal roofs are the most compatible roofing system for mounting solar panels due to their strength and durability.

solar panels on a metal roof
solar panels on a metal roof

How Solar Mounts Are Compatible With Metal Roofs

With the help of the following sections, you will understand how solar panels and their mounts are compatible with metal roofs.

Solar Panel Mounting System

Installing solar panels on metal roofs is possible due to a solar panel mounting system. It is a structure that supports solar panels on a metal roof. Although the basic principle of solar mounting systems remains the same, they differ according to the roof type and specific needs of the homeowner. 

A solar mounting system is comprised of brackets, rails, clamps, and other components which ensure solar panels are securely placed. In addition, the layout is made to suit any weather condition, including rain, snow, storms, and high winds. 

Since the structure supports the weight of the solar panels and occasionally snow, it is attached to the metal roof to ensure a secure fix. 

Solar Panels And Their Lifespan 

A solar panel, as the name suggests, is a device that converts solar light into electrical energy. Solar panels have what are called photovoltaic cells which are made to absorb the light directly hitting the surface and convert it into electrical energy. 

The electrical energy converted can either be used for electrical appliances in the home or stored in solar batteries for later use. 

Regarding the lifespan of solar panels, it depends on various factors, such as the environment, weather conditions, manufacturer, and installation process. The expected and warranted life expectancy of solar panels ranges between 25-30 years. Additionally, with proper maintenance and upkeep, you can help extend their lifespan. 

Metal Roofs, Longevity, And Durability 

Metal roofs have been in use for decades. However, the misconception that metal roofs attract lightning and that they are incompatible with solar panels stops homeowners from deciding to choose this roofing material for their homes. 

However, expert roofers in the industry recommend metal roofs for solar panel installation. Since metal roofs are durable and long-lasting for up to 50 years or more, they make a better choice for solar panel installation than other roofing materials that don’t last as long and will have to be replaced before the lifespan of the solar panels is up.  

For example, asphalt shingles, the most popular roofing material, have a shorter lifespan than metal roofs, and solar panel systems have a lifespan of 25 years or more if maintained properly, making asphalt shingles less compatible for them due to a lifespan of around 15-20 years. 

To have an in-depth understanding of the longevity of metal roofs, you can read our blog on how long a metal roof lasts

Energy Efficient

In terms of saving on your energy bills, metal roofs with solar panel systems are an excellent way to do this. There’s no doubt that a solar panel system itself is energy-efficient, as it can convert natural light into electrical pulses for up to 30 years. 

Installing solar panels on a light-colored metal roof additionally reduces your energy bills while increasing energy consumption. Metal roofs are known for their high reflectivity, and they reflect part of the heat and light striking them. Thus, they make the home interior cool in summer and warm in the winter. 

Things To Consider Before Solar Panel Installation

Although metal roofs are a compatible roofing material for solar panel installation, you must check your roof for any damage and whether it will be able to hold the weight of the mounting system and solar panels. 

Roof Structure

Before installation, it is best to call professionals and have them come out and inspect your roof to look for any forms of damage. If your roof has any cracks or damage, repairing them immediately should be your first step. As your metal roof has to bear the weight of both the solar panels and the mounting system, ensuring that the roof is strong and durable during an inspection is key.

Electrical Requirements 

Installing solar panels requires access to the home’s electrical appliances, and it needs to be connected to an electrical network throughout the home. You may need to also upgrade the electrical system and wiring in your home to have it connect to the solar panels. Therefore, you will want an experienced electrician to help with the installation process on metal roofs. 

Mounting Options

There are several options to mount solar panels on your roof, including a roof-mounted system, a ground-mounted system, and roof-penetrating options. The best options depend on the roof structure, electrical requirements, personal preference, and budget. Also, ensure the materials are of good quality and make sure you’ve hired a qualified and skilled team to install the solar panels on your metal roof. 

Roof Reflectivity

Your metal roof’s reflectivity is the greatest advantage you have with this roofing material. Installing solar panels may cover the greater portion of your metal roof, reducing its reflectivity. It may cause metal roofs to absorb more heat and moisture than normal and transfer that heat to your attic. Ensure the solar panels are mounted to directly face the sun while maintaining the roof’s reflectivity. 

Want To Check If Your Metal Roof Is Compatible For Solar Panels? 

Now that you know the solution to your concern of whether you can put solar panels on a metal roof, you should now understand the misconceptions and myths spread about metal roofs. 

If you want to install a durable and long-lasting metal roof in Wisconsin, you must contact BRH Enterprises LLC, today at (920)-249-4228 for a free consultation. We will be happy to help you! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Do solar panels on metal roofs cause the roof to leak?

We are frequently asked this question by homeowners, is this true? Yes, it may cause water to leak if the installation is completed poorly by someone without experience. However, solar panel mounting systems ensure no such roof damage will occur in the future or present. In addition, you only need nails and drills when required, otherwise, mounting brackets and clamps do an adequate job.

Q) How long does it take to install a metal roof? 

A metal roof replacement, or a new roof installation, like many other roof installations, depends on the size of the roof, the complexity of the installation, the local weather, the roofing material, and the experience of the contractor. Depending on these factors, the installation may take a few days to a couple of weeks to complete.

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