What’s So Great About Going Solar?
You’ve probably been aware of solar power for years, and you may have even seen some solar panels on the roofs of homes and other buildings in your area. But is solar something you should consider yourself? Well, that depends. Are you interested in protecting yourself against rising energy costs? Would you like to be able to drastically reduce your electric bills, if not eliminate them entirely? Does earning a return on your investment and increasing your property value sound attractive? Are you someone who’d like to help boost U.S. energy independence? Are you also committed to helping to protect the environment?
If your answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” then going solar may certainly be something that’s worth your time to explore. Solar panel technology continues to grow and advance, and the panels that are being produced today are much more effective and efficient than those from just a generation ago. But is solar a practical solution for you?
Things to Consider When Considering Solar Panels for Your Roof
If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of placing solar panels on your roof, then good for you! As you wade into the exploratory process, it will be helpful for you to consider a few specific items in particular:
Location, Location, Location
This isn’t just about knowing where you’re located; you probably already have a pretty good idea of where you are! This is more about understanding where your location is in relation to the sun, how much sunlight your location typically receives, and how your roof is oriented in terms of its ability to receive direct sunlight. Google actually has a tool called Project Sunroof which can help you get started with finding answers to questions related to the solar potential of your particular location.
Roof Type & Condition
What kind of roof do you have? The answer to this question can make a big difference when it comes to planning for solar. Some roofing materials like Spanish tiles or wood shakes can make solar panel installation a little more challenging. It’s also important to assess the condition of your current roof system. Solar panels can be expensive to remove, so if your current roof isn’t poised to last for 20 years or more, it would be wise to make plans for a roof replacement before you have any solar panels installed.
If you’re looking at replacing your roof first, one material that’s particularly well-suited for hosting solar panels is metal roofing. Metal roofs are pretty much ideal bases for attaching solar panels, and are also great for mounting rainwater harvesting systems. Plus, thanks to metal’s light-reflecting capabilities, a metal roof can help to further reduce your energy needs for air conditioning, as well.
The pitch of your roof matters, too. If you live in the South and have a pitched roof that faces in a generally southern direction, then your home or business roof could be a good candidate for hosting solar panels. If you have a flat roof, just know that some extra solar panel supports will probably need to be added in order to get your roof panels up to a feasible angle for solar harvesting.
Roof Weight Considerations
Speaking of support, how much extra weight can your present roof sustain? Adding solar panels will increase the amount of weight that you’re asking your roof to support. If your roof & building structure can’t handle the additional mass, then you face the possibility of a roof collapse. To avoid this unwanted result, it’s best to have a licensed roofing professional evaluate your roof and advise you on anything it might need before you move forward with any solar plans.
Depending upon where you’re located and how your building is zoned, a building permit may be required in order to put solar panels on your roof. It’s best to start by reaching out to your local municipality or county to learn which regulations may apply, if any. Failure to do so could lead to fines down the road, or possibly even forcible removal of your solar panels. Better to take all the proper measures beforehand, rather than be sorry later!
Choosing the Right Solar Panels and the Right Installer
Which solar panels to choose? Are you interested in going with a photovoltaic system that allows you to produce your own electricity, or are you more drawn to a solar thermal system which provides heat? And which brand of solar panel is best for you? It’s best to do your homework to make sure you’re getting the best system for your particular situation.
And when it comes to rooftop solar installation, that’s probably not something you want to take on as a DIY project. Make sure to do some due diligence in researching the reputation of any contractor you’re considering to put on your panels. Be sure to check customer reviews, verify the company’s BBB status, and ask around to see if you know anyone who’s worked with the company in question.
Got More Questions About Whether Rooftop Solar is Right for You? Skywalker Roofing Can Help!
Installing solar panels on your roof is certainly a major investment, but it’s also an investment that can pay great dividends over time, if handled correctly. For the best results, it’s a good idea to start by partnering with a reputable, local roofing contractor who can lend their professional advice and counsel. If you’re located in the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro, Lake Norman, or Roanoke, VA areas, then the pros at Skywalker Roofing would be glad to help answer your questions!
Skywalker Roofing is the premier roofing provider across our service area. We work with all popular roofing materials, and have consulted on many solar panel projects for both residential and commercial customers. You can reach out to us today by giving us a call at (336) 338-8620, and we’ll be glad to get the conversation started. We’ll also be happy to schedule your roof inspection and personal consultation. Let us show you the Skywalker Roofing difference!