Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

Installing Solar Panels Over Metal Roofing

We recently received a phone call from a solar contractor who was inquiring about techniques for installing solar panels on one of our metal roof systems. As usual, our answer was that as long they used a compatible metal, there was nothing peculiar about installing solar panels on one of our roofs.  Since the roof in question was formed of aluminum, we made it clear that they should use aluminum mounting hardware, flashings, and hardware to make sure that they didn’t create any electrolysis. Other than that, taking normal precautions foot traffic should yield a very successful application.

1996-MRN-aluminum-shingleLongevity & Performance

One of the most interesting aspects of the conversation we had concerned the age of the roof. The solar contractor was quite surprised to learn that the roof was about 25 years old. He thought it was much newer. This reminded me of something that we talk about all the time, but it becomes so repetitious that sometimes the meaning is lost - metal roofs last a very long time. We discussed the fact that it’s usually folly to install a solar panel array on a 25 year old asphalt shingle roof, as it won’t be that far in the future that the solar array will still be functioning, but the roof would need replacement. And the cost would be much higher than usual because removing and re-installing a solar array can cost as much as 25 to 30% of the original cost of the system - and there are no tax credits for such maintenance work.
However, installing solar panels on a 25-year-old aluminum shingles poses no such dilemma. This roof will easily last as long as the new solar array - 25+ years. No doubt the owner originally paid a big premium over an asphalt roof 25 years ago, but the extra cost is about to be saved many times over right now as this new solar array won’t involve any other expensive roof work.  
Once again, the practical value of a metal roof is proven in a real-world example. If you're considering a new roof, we hope you'll take the time to learn more about the many benefits of upgrading to metal. Contact us today with questions.

Topics: metal roofing, metal roofs and solar panels