So you have gone ahead and decided to install solar panels on your roof – great choice! Now what? Whether you are the contractor or the owner of the building, keep reading for a guide on how to check whether your roof is ready for solar panels.
Solar Panels for Roofs
Solar panels are a sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach to making any building more green. With climate change and the energy crisis, installing solar panels has never been such an ideal solution to combat both of these. Of the UK’s renewable energy share of electricity generation, solar accounts for 6.8% – a relatively low figure, but with more people onboarding solar panels (like yourself), then we can expect this number to rise.
Despite what people may think, some buildings may actually not be that suitable for solar panels. Pitched roofs are ideal for solar panels, particularly so that sunlight is able to reach the solar panels at the optimal angle. If you lack this, do not worry – solar panel engineers are able to tilt the arrays of the solar panel when mounting. A side of the roof facing the south is also the most fitting for solar panels, but west can work too if south is not an option.
First and foremost, it is probably wise to conduct a roof health check before installing solar panels. This should be done by a roofing professional to ensure that your roof is inspected with expertise to prevent any missed problems. Checking the condition of the roof is crucial before you begin to implement solar panels as the roof needs to be sturdy and durable to accommodate them.
If any issues do arise, particularly if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced completely, then it is best to fix this before installing solar panels as your roof needs to be able to last as long as them. This is estimated to be around 20 to 25 years, so ensure that the longevity of your roof is the same or more than this.
It is worth noting that if your roof is covered in lightweight tiles, these are not recommended for solar panel installation as they can break during the process when stepped on. You should contact your local roofing professionals or solar panel engineers for more information on what happens in this case.
Branches from trees may need to be trimmed if they cast shadows over the sides of the roof that you are planning on using, so this is something to consider. In addition, any roof fittings such as roof vents may also need to be moved or removed should they be blocking areas that the solar panels can be mounted on.
Is Your Roof Ready?
Once you know that the condition of your roof and its surroundings is adequate and efficient enough for solar panel installation, then you should call the solar panel engineers who can then make their own necessary assessment of your roof. They can provide you with a solar array design that is suited for your solar panel needs.