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Roofing – Will Solar Panels Hurt My Tile Roof?

A roof with solar panels

So you have a tile roof and are unsure whether it may get damaged by solar panels. The good news is that if professionals install them, this delicate roofing material won’t sustain as much damage as you think it will. Amateur attempts, on the other hand, can result in major damage.

What You Need To Know About Solar Panel Installation

Installing solar panels on a tile roof requires a different approach than if it is installed on a traditional asphalt roof. On the latter, a roofer will use a drill to make holes and attach the mounting bracket to the studs of the roof, which are then sealed. Flashing is put in place to prevent water damage.

Roofers take a different approach when installing solar panels on a tile roof. After inspecting it, they remove a few tiles first because they cannot drill through them without breaking the fragile material. Have a roofing specialist remove expensive antique tiles. You may end up doing irreparable damage.

Some damage is reversible, though.

Once specific tiles are removed, roofers place mounting brackets and flashing in place before sealing. Don’t worry about them damaging your roof tiles. Experienced roofers know how to distribute their weight as they walk and wear special soft-soled shoes with a good grip so they won’t slip off.

Why Installing Solar Panels Yourself Is Not a Great Idea

While you can install solar panels on your tile roof yourself, it’s not a great idea unless you are a qualified, experienced, licensed, and insured roofing contractor or installer. If you step out onto those tiles incorrectly, they may crack, and you may slip off the roof. Trying to save a few dollars with a DIY installation will cost you way more than you realize.

Inexperienced installers don’t have the training to do a good job. They may not even realize if your tile roof is not a good candidate for solar panel installation. Some roofs are too weak to withstand the weight of these panels. A professional roofer from KY-KO Roofing can tell if one is healthy enough to withstand that pressure for years or not.

Besides the obvious damage to your roof tiles, an improperly installed solar array can harbor holes, cracks, and breaches that can allow water to seep through. Even small leaks can wreak havoc in your home. If left undetected, the water can cause mold growth, wall warping, drywall damage, and weaken the roof. Add heavy solar panels to the mix, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

A professional roofer can ensure that the solar panels are installed correctly the first time around and without compromising roof integrity. Before calling them, ask them to conduct a thorough roof inspection. Roofs with at least five good years left are good candidates for solar panels. If yours needs to be replaced in two years, you may need to pay more to strengthen it first.

Preparing a Roof for Solar Panels

Before the installation process starts, first determine if your roof can accommodate them or not. An experienced roofer can determine this with a single inspection. They will look for loose tiles, flashing, cracks, breaks, pooling water, and other damage that compromises the roof’s integrity.

They may also remove loose debris and clean the gutters during the inspection. This will ensure that they are prepared for any weather conditions during installation. Some may also take care of minor repairs.

You can ensure the roof is ready to accommodate heavy solar panels by getting minor damages fixed beforehand. Doing so after the fact can lead to more damage which may be inaccessible because of the panels. A professional roofer will let you know whether installing solar panels is a good idea after they are through with the inspection.

Brackets can only damage tile roofs if they are installed incorrectly. A professional knows that brackets have to be spaced in a certain way to ensure they can withstand the weight of a solar array. Shoddy bracket installation can lead to tile damage, poor quality mounting systems, and water damage.

Repairing a Roof That Has Damage underneath Solar Panels

The bottom line is that solar panels are not bad for your roof if it is strong enough to withstand the weight. The damage stems from the installation method. Traditional panels are bolted into place with bolts, nails, and straps.

Nails and bolts are drilled directly into the roof and the attic or ceiling. If it is done incorrectly, you may have leaks down the line. Some roofing warranties cover these damages, but if yours doesn’t, you can end up with a hefty repair bill you’ll have to pay out of pocket. We can repair damage to roofs from botched solar panel installations.

Contact KY-KO Roofing For All of Your Roofing Needs

As one of the most trusted roofers in the Valley, we have helped several home, and business owners maintain the integrity of their roofs and install solar panels on a large scale. Our team has more than 25 years of experience, and all members are licensed, bonded, and insured.

If you think your roof needs repairs or want to invest in solar panels, get in touch with us today. We will send a team to inspect your roof before the installation starts. The inspection is completely free of cost, so you don’t have to worry about extra charges. Our dedicated roofing technicians can also answer any queries regarding the process.