We hope you’ve been enjoying our blogs so far. When it comes to the largest, most expensive wear item on your home, it’s important to us that you have resources and tools available to you when storms hit. So, over the next few months we will be dedicating one monthly blog to a series we’re calling, “What to Know…”. This first blog in this series is:
What to Know… Before Installing Solar Panels in Colorado Springs
Roof-mounted solar panels are a great way to harness the power of the sun and save on your energy bills and in the Colorado Springs area, more and more homeowners are taking advantage of the 300+ days of sunshine we experience. Your roof offers an ideal location for solar panels as it typically gets the most sun exposure, maximizing your solar energy production. Even on the rare cloudy day, high-efficiency solar panels can still generate power in low light as they capture direct and indirect sunlight. Solar panels can be installed on your home, as well as on various outbuildings, such as a barn, shed, garage or carport. Read on to learn what you need to know before having solar panels installed.
Best Roof Style for Solar Panels
Solar panels can be installed on almost any roof style with a few exceptions. The roof on your home, garage, shed, or barn could all be potential candidates for roof-mounted solar panels. Whether it’s a gable, hip, or some combination, solar panel arrays can be split up into multiple sections to follow the rooflines and work around roof components, such as skylights, vents, or pipe boots. Flat roofs, while not very common in residential roofing, can be a candidate for solar panels but it does depend on the roofing material used.
Best Roof Material for Solar Panels
Roofing materials that are strong and durable, such as tile and asphalt shingles, make excellent surfaces for supporting solar panels. Not all roof types qualify for solar panels. For example, flat roofs made of tar and gravel are generally not suitable for solar panel installation.
Age and Condition of your Roof
As a general guideline, asphalt shingle roofs should be no more than 10 years old and in good condition before beginning solar panel installation. If your roof is over 10 years old, you will want to schedule a roof inspection with a trusted local roofer like Petrali Roofing to see if it’s in good enough condition for a solar panel installation. During the inspection, we will check your roof for potential signs of damage, such as leaks, as well as for proper ventilation. In addition to damaged shingles, other roofing components (such as underlayment, decking, vents, or flashing) may also need to be replaced. To prevent delaying your solar install it’s always best to repair or replace these items before installation begins.
Best Roof Slope and Orientation for Solar Panels
To maximize sun exposure, a roof-mounted solar system should be at an angle equal to the latitude of their install location, but this isn’t always possible so many solar panels can also be adjusted to an angle that maximizes their sun exposure. A roof slope with between 15° to 40° (3/12 to 10/12 pitch) should suffice for most solar power systems. Another factor that has an impact on solar panel power production is the direction or orientation of the roof slope where the solar panels are installed. In the Colorado Springs area, the general guidance is for solar panels to face south in order to ensure the panels get the most sunlight during the day.
Your Roof Warranty
It is likely that any solar panels you install will void not only the manufacturer warranty for your roofing materials but also any workmanship warranty as well. However, many solar panel manufacturers and installers have their own warranty to cover the area in which the panels are installed. Make sure to check with your solar provider prior to install to ensure your roof will still be covered.
If you’re thinking of going solar give us a call. Our free inspection will give you the information you need to ensure your roof is ready for solar. If it isn’t, our experts can repair or replace your roof quickly so you can get to saving energy and money as soon as possible.