If you live in the American Southwest, sunlight and tile roofs are regular features of everyday life. However, with solar energy growing in popularity and becoming highly affordable for even the average homeowner, these standard features of Southwest life are merging in unforeseen ways and causing many to have questions that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.
Average U.S. customers save roughly $1,500 a year with solar panels. That comes out to $30,000 over 20 years!
Spanish tile roofs (and tile roofs of many similar styles) are ubiquitous in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. Homeowners have long favored them for their durability, affordability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic style. However, these roofing tiles are also known to be relatively brittle and are not able to support much weight without cracking and causing possible damage to the integrity of the underlying roof. Even simple home improvement projects can cause these tiles to crack.
A good tile roof can last over half a decade in Arizona weather. This has made tile roofs incredibly popular throughout the region.
For those planning on installing solar panels with a Phoenix, Arizona roofer, This leads to some common concerns. Namely, the question, “Will the installation process for solar panels damage my roof?” To help answer this question for good and alleviate the concerns of many, we have put together this short guide explaining solar panels and tile roofs.
We’ll examine the worries around tile roofs, and solar and whether or not installing solar panels will lead to severe damage to these typical Arizona roofs.
Can Solar Panels Damage a Roof?
Before we talk specifically about tile roofs, we should first talk about the chances that solar panels damage a roof. No matter what type of roof you have, there is a chance that a poorly conducted installation process will cause solar panels to damage a roof.
It is important to note that it is not the solar panels doing the damage but the installation process itself.
You want your roofers to be sure that they are correctly drilling and filling in all holes so that there is no water damage down the road and that the roof’s structural integrity is good enough to support the added weight of the panels. This needed expertise is one reason you should only use skilled Phoenix, Arizona roofers like Four Peaks Roofing.
Will Solar Panels Damage My Tile Roof?
Simply put, adequately sized solar panels will not damage your tile roof when installed correctly by trained professionals. However, the need for professionals here is paramount, as a tile roof may require extra steps that most may not be familiar with.
The reason for these extra steps is that the popular Spanish tile and terracotta tile roofs found throughout the Southwestern parts of the country are relatively lightweight and can be very brittle when heavy pressure is applied.
While tile roofs do well against all types of weather in the region, they are not very resilient regarding added weight and pressure.
Tiles may crack or break while roofers are moving around during the installation process, and drilling through them can also cause cracks, as well as damage to the underlayment of your roof. This damage can progress into more severe issues with roof integrity and can even lead to more significant home damage. For these reasons, there are better ideas than directly installing solar panels onto a lightweight tile roof. Highly skilled Phoenix, Arizona roofers like Four Peaks Roofing, who understand the intricate details of installing solar panels onto Spanish tile and terracotta roofs, can avoid these common pitfalls.
How Do You Install Solar Panels on a Tile Roof?
There are multiple ways to work around a tile roof and install effective solar panel systems. In some cases, it may be possible to replace individual tiles with specialized mounting tiles capable of holding up the solar panels. It may also be possible to put in an inset solar installation or “comp-out,” where new composite materials replace a larger area of tiles that can maintain the solar energy array without issue.
Highly skilled Phoenix, Arizona roofers like Four Peaks Roofing, know precisely how to install solar panels onto a delicate tile roof.
Regardless of the method, once the composite replacement pieces are in place, the area around your solar energy array will be filled back in where possible with the previous tile shingles. Doing this merges merging the solar panels into your existing roof design in an aesthetically pleasing way.
When these methods are performed correctly, you can add solar panels even to roofing areas covered by very lightweight tiles that would typically be unable to hold up even the lightest objects -and you will be able to do so with minimal damage to your existing tiles.
Thanks to their environmental benefits and ability to save thousands of dollars in the long run, installing solar panels should be high on everyone’s list of home improvement projects.
Are Your Ready for Solar Panels of Your Own?
So will the installation process for solar panels damage a roof? No, not if you work with skilled pros like Four Peaks Roofing. We have proven ourselves to be the best working in Arizona today. In fact, you will not only be able to install solar panels on your tile roof, but you will also benefit from all of the same significant savings that solar power provides that other owners also benefit from.