What to know about solar panels on metal roofs
Here are the top 5 things to consider if you want to install solar on a metal roof:
- Installing solar panels on a metal roof is not that different from a standard roof
- Metal roofs are super durable and most likely outlive your solar panels (average 30 year lifespan)
- Metal solar roofs can host both thin-film panels AND standard PV panels
- Solar panels can increase the cooling benefits of a metal roof
- Metal roofs and solar panels are a great way to modify an existing custom home plan to be net-zero
How to start:
- Email [email protected] to make a Solar Site Assessment plan, now including a drone flyover by one of our FFA licensed drone pilots (COVID-19 friendly)
- Attach your most recent energy bill so our renewable energy experts can ensure they’re offsetting your entire energy load if possible
1. Installing solar panels on a metal roof is not that different from a standard roof
When installing a rooftop solar system, your expert solar installer will drill holes in your roof so that they can attach the mounting for your solar panels. This is our #1 area of concern for many homeowners considering solar, and if done improperly, solar panel system can cause leaks or other roof issues. Most qualified solar installers offer workmanship warranties and roof warranties to reassure their customers that there will be no issues with the installation. Ask us about our workmanship warranty that far exceeds the average. This isn’t because we’re not confident with our craftsmanship or choice of quality materials, it’s because we want to ensure you feel supported and confident with your system going forward.
Most metal roofs in Pennsylvania are Standing Seam Roofs. If you have a standing seam metal roof, your installer can attach panels using a mounting system that clamps onto the seams of the roof without having to make any holes. This could reduce install time as well as reduce labor costs, and create peace of mind that you can avoid penetrating the roof itself (no drills).
If you want to identify your current roof type and examples of different racking systems, try comparing photos on one of our favorite sites: Energysage.com
2. Metal roofs are super durable and most likely outlive your solar panels (average 30 year lifespan)
Solar Panels can last from 25-30 years which is part of what makes them a smart investment for homeowners. One of the first things that Envinity’s Solar Site Assessment Specialist will do on site is examine the structural integrity and life remaining of your existing roof and estimate how the timelines of your solar system and roof will intersect. You may be able to finance a roof replacement at the time of your installation to ensure minimal disruption and optimal savings to your family in the long run. If you already have a metal roof, you will most likely be in the clear but our team will be sure to triple check so you can feel confident your roof and solar panels will work for you in harmony for decades to come.
FUN FACT: Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years. (Statefarm insurance)
3. Metal solar roofs can host both thin-film panels AND standard PV panels
Having a metal roof opens you up to a sea of alternative solar options. While you may have heard of the Tesla Solar Roof (did you know Envinity is first in line as an installer), have you heard of thin-film solar panels? While traditional PV panels offer higher efficiency per square foot, thin film solar panels have a lower profile and are easier to install. They also require much less energy to manufacture than silicon solar cells, which can make them a lower-emissions renewable energy option from the start. While Envinity focuses our mission on standard PV Panels, we can help you select the most cost effective, efficient product for you.
4. Solar panels can increase the cooling benefits of a metal roof
A cooler roof means lower energy bills, right? RIGHT! Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%, not to mention they allow airflow under the solar panels post-install.
5. Metal roofs and solar panels are a great way to modify an existing custom home plan to be net-zero
Did you know a metal roof can help you score ENERGY STAR certification for your home? Envinity always makes it a priority in our custom home design and construction process to ensure you know what it would take to be net-zero or ENERGY STAR certified. As an added eco-friendly bonus, both solar panels and metal roofing materials are recyclable at the end of their lifespan. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.
CHECK OUT OUR LATEST METAL ROOF SOLAR INSTALL HERE