Can You Put Solar Panels on a Metal Roof?

can you put solar panels on a metal roof

Can you put solar panels on a metal roof? You might be surprised how well they pair with metal roofs. Metal’s inherent strength, fire resistance, and heat reflectivity make it a prime candidate for photovoltaic installations. However, not all metal roofs are created equal. Consulting a qualified roofing and solar professional ensures seamless integration, unlocking the full potential of this clean energy synergy.

Solar and Metal Roofing FAQs

We’ve compiled three of the most commonly asked questions regarding solar and metal roofs to help roofing contractors and homeowners looking to upgrade their properties. 

1. Are solar panels and metal roofs compatible?

Yes! Metal roofs are considered the best roofing material for compatibility. They are also a popular choice among solar installers and roofing contractors because of their strength.

However, some solar installers, especially in areas where asphalt shingles are more common, may lack experience in installing solar panels on metal roofs.

Elevate Roofing and Solar cautions homeowners that not all solar installers are familiar with metal roofs. If you have a metal roof, there’s a good chance that a local installer with experience in metal roof solar installation is available in your area. You can confidently install solar panels on your metal roof.

2. Why is a metal roof better than asphalt shingles?

The performance of solar panels is typically rated and warranted for 25 years. Asphalt roofs are influenced by the lifespan of solar panels.

A solar system is likely to outlast an asphalt roofing system, which needs replacement every 12 years. Solar panels must be replaced when a roof is being replaced. It’s frustrating, costly, and time-consuming for homeowners to have solar panels removed and then reinstalled after the roof replacement is completed.

Asphalt roofs are also heavy. Solar panel systems can add weight, requiring additional construction to support the combined load.

On the contrary, metal roofs can easily last for 70 years or more. This gives homeowners peace of mind, knowing that their roof will far outlast even the best solar panels.

Metal roofs are not only the strongest and longest-lasting roofs available but also one of the lightest. Metal roofs can support the weight of a solar panel system with just 1.4-1.6 pounds per square foot.

3. How do solar mounts usually get installed on a roof made of metal?

Solar mounting products have been introduced by the solar industry in various innovative designs. These mounts are easy to install on batten profiles or directly onto the deck, requiring no special tools, materials, or hardware.

For sloped roofs, different mounting systems are available, including rail, railless, and shared rail. All these systems necessitate penetration or anchoring in the roof, achieved by attaching directly to decking or rafters.

Rails are affixed to the roof to support solar panels arranged in rows. Each panel, usually positioned vertically or portrait-style, connects to two rails using clamps. These rails are secured to the roof with bolts or screws. To ensure a waterproof seal, flashing is then installed around or over each hole.

Solar Panels on a Standing Seam Metal Roof

Metal roofing panels are highly compatible with solar panels, especially when using standing seam panels. Unlike other roofing panels, standing seam panels eliminate the need to create holes in the roof to secure the solar panels.

A standing seam panel is characterized by vertical ribs at the edges, providing attachment points for a solar mounting system without requiring penetrations. Making holes in a roof can compromise its weatherproofing, making it susceptible to leaks. Among metal roofing panels, standing seam is not only the most compatible but is also one of the most solar panel-friendly roofing options overall.

For corrugated metal roofs, attaching solar panels is still possible using mounting brackets. However, these brackets need to be directly attached to the panels using fasteners, which will penetrate the corrugated metal panels. It’s worth noting that this method may involve creating holes in the roof surface, unlike the standing seam option.

Solar Panels and Standing Seam Panels Life Expectancy

An additional advantage of opting for a metal roof is that it tends to outlast your solar panels. Standard solar panels typically have a lifespan of around 25-30 years, while standing seam metal roofs can endure for 40-60 years or even longer.

This longevity is beneficial because it means you won’t have to concern yourself with removing and reinstalling your roof when the time comes to replace the solar panels. The durable nature of the metal roof ensures it remains in good condition well beyond the lifespan of the solar panels.

Can You Put Solar Panels on Corrugated Metal Roofs?

Solar panels can be installed on corrugated metal roofs, but it involves penetrating the roof with screws and using sealant to cover the holes. It’s crucial to use the right sealant to prevent leaks, as water could seep through the penetrations.

Making penetrations in the roof may potentially void the warranty for the corrugated metal roof, depending on the manufacturer. Before proceeding with a solar panel installation, make sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty for the panels to avoid any issues.

Solar Mounting Systems for Metal Roofs

A solar mounting system is a device designed to connect solar panels to your roof without making any changes to it. With this system, you don’t have to concern yourself with jeopardizing the roof manufacturer’s warranty or causing any permanent damage to the roofing.

Each solar mounting system can be easily added to your existing or new metal roof. Below are examples of solar mounting systems.

Choose a Lighter Color Metal Roof for More Energy Efficiency

If you’re getting a new metal roof before installing your solar system, the color you pick for the roof can enhance energy efficiency along with solar panels.

For the best energy savings, opt for a lighter color like beige, tan, white, or light gray. Dark colors such as black absorb more heat, while lighter colors are better at reflecting the sun’s heat. In fact, light colors can reflect anywhere from 55 to 90% of sunlight, whereas dark colors reflect only 5 to 20%.

The solar reflectance of light roof colors helps keep the roof from getting too hot, reducing the strain on your AC system and keeping your energy bills lower.

So, Can You Put Solar Panels on a Metal Roof?

Absolutely! Solar panels and metal roofing work well together, contributing to the overall energy efficiency of your home or building.

Imagine the sun’s radiant energy seamlessly turning into a sustainable power source, brightening your home, running your appliances, and possibly fueling your electric vehicle – that’s the positive impact of adding solar to your metal roof.

But a successful solar setup requires professional know-how. That’s where Elevate Roofing and Solar in St. Petersburg, FL, comes in. Their team of experienced professionals, much like solar experts, is ready to guide you through every step of the process. They’ll assess your roof’s readiness for solar, create a detailed design, and flawlessly handle the installation – providing full support for your rooftop solar system.

Contact us now for a free estimate!

Call Us At 727-457-4238

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