The Best Roof for Solar Panels (Materials Compared)

December 1, 2022

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Property owners often ask about the best roof for solar panels. This is a vital question, as more sunlight means more solar power from those panels. However, some roofs might not offer the best location or slope for sun exposure. In turn, you don’t want to invest in panels if your property might keep them from working at maximum efficiency.

A solar panel installation contractor is your best source of information about your property! They can inspect its roof, obstructions, and other vital factors. In the meantime, note some information about roof designs and materials and how they affect solar panels. You can then better understand your property’s challenges and how to address them, if possible.


best roof for solar panels is asphalt

How Solar Panels Work

First, note a few more details about installing solar panels and how they work overall. Second, talk to a licensed installer before deciding your property won’t support solar panels! Installers can often offer lots of solutions for properties of all designs.

When sunlight hits solar panels, this starts a chain reaction that results in usable electricity flowing from those panels. In turn, more sunlight exposure means more usable energy! This is why solar installers check a roof’s direction, slope, and other details before designing a solar array.

In turn, the best roof for solar panels is one with lots of sun exposure and without many obstructions. A flat roof usually means more hours of sunlight throughout the day. However, flat roofs might hold more debris, including leaves, twigs, and even dirt and dust. That debris blocks sunlight from reaching the panel’s cells and wiring!

Also, note that obstructions can block flat roofs easily, making them less effective at capturing sunlight. These obstructions might include overhanging tree branches or a rooftop AC compressor. If these obstructions severely block those solar panels, they won’t effectively work regardless of the roof’s design.

What is the Best Roof for Solar Panels?

Most homeowners have asphalt shingles which is the best roof for solar panels because it is easy to mount solar panels on. A dark-colored roof will also absorb the most sunlight and generate the most electricity. Furthermore, mounting solar panel racking to asphalt shingle roofs is not as involved as attaching to a metal, slate, or tile roof, which may ruin the integrity of the roofing.

Factors to Consider for Roofing Materials

Is a metal roof good for solar panels?

A metal roof is an excellent choice for solar panels. Metal’s durability and strength ensure it can support solar panels and their racking system. Also, note that a contractor typically needs to remove a solar racking system to make roof repairs. In turn, a roof in good condition is the best choice for solar panels.

Metal roofs typically offer excellent durability and last for decades before needing repairs. Consequently, you might save on roof repair costs and solar racking removal charges. Lighter metal colors also reflect light, keeping panels cool and ensuring maximum sunlight exposure.

Make sure to high a qualified roofer for the job as not to encounter any leaks down the road if they need to drill into the metal roof.

What type of roof is not good for solar panels?

While installers can typically design a solar racking system for any roof, wood and slate often present unique challenges. One is that walking on wood risks cracking, splitting, and other damage. Both wood and slate are especially brittle, creating a greater risk of injury during installation.

Additionally, remember that roof repairs often mean removing the solar racking system, as said. In turn, a roof in poor condition is not a good choice for solar installation! Many contractors will recommend that you address needed repairs before installing a solar system. This ensures those panels stay intact and avoids the need to remove that rack for shingle and tile repairs and replacement.

Best Roof Color for Installing Solar Panels

Lighter roof colors are best for solar panels. Dark colors absorb and trap heat, interfering with solar panel effectiveness. Too much heat can also mean added wear and tear on solar panel parts, including wiring and cells.

On the other hand, lighter colors reflect light. This helps “bounce around” light around solar panels, letting them capture more sunlight. Also, those lighter colors help keep those panels cool on warmer days. In turn, they experience less wear and tear and should last as long as possible!

If you’re unsure about your roof’s color and how it might affect your solar panel system, ask your installer. You can also check with a roofer! They might recommend lighter coatings for the roof to keep it cool and reflect light. Whatever the case, don’t assume that dark shingles or tiles mean that you cannot invest in solar for your property.

dark colored roof for installing solar panels

How Do You Prepare for Solar Panel Installation?

First, ensure your property’s roof is in good condition and doesn’t need repairs or replacement. Second, consider sweeping away debris on the top. This allows the installer access to the top quickly. Also, a property owner should trim overhanging tree branches and clear other obstructions where possible.

Ask your solar installer if they need any preparation work for your property. That might include removing roof decorations and ensuring they can access your yard quickly.

Otherwise, your solar panel installer should handle other needed prep work for your installation. That can include pulling permits, connecting to your local utility company, etc. They should also test the solar panels to see if they work correctly.

Is it Worth it to Install Solar Panels?

Most solar owners would say installing solar panels is well worth the investment! You can usually expect to save several thousand dollars on your energy costs over the life of solar ownership. Also, solar panels produce clean energy without pollutants. In turn, you can reduce your carbon footprint and encourage others to do the same.

Surprisingly, a solar panel system also might increase your property’s value by 4% or more. That’s $4000 for every $100,000 an appraiser might value your home. You can build equity faster or sell for top dollar if you move. Your solar installer can explain all these benefits in more detail!

Go Solar New Jersey is happy to help explain the best roof for solar panels. Hopefully, you’ve found this helpful information! Call our New Jersey solar installation contractors if you’re ready to explore clean solar energy. We offer FREE installation quotes and are happy to answer all your solar-related questions. For more information, fill out a contact form, and we’ll get back to you quickly!


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