Tile roofing is a popular choice across the country, especially throughout the American southwest. Clay tiles can last a long time, they’re stylish and can help lower your energy costs. The downside is that traditional ways of installation aren’t compatible, and many installers won’t install solar panels on tile roofing.
Why Solar Panels Shouldn’t be Installed on Tile Roofing
Tile roofing is a beautiful addition to many homes, especially in Spanish-inspired architecture. While tile is sturdy enough to withstand wind and storm, it is not meant to handle the added stress and weight of a set of solar panels. Unfortunately, this type of roofing is delicate and easily broken.
The main reason installing solar panels is risky is that roofing tiles are quite fragile, and there are several opportunities for damage to occur. Not only could the actual installation of solar panels on the tiles pose a risk, but getting on the roof and walking across the tiles could be problematic as well.
One of the ways some installers try to get around attaching the panels directly to the tiles is by moving the clay ties out of the way, installing shingles under the solar array, and then putting the tiles back to keep the same aesthetic. This does keep the same look you were going for, but it is not likely to be as watertight as it was previously. The gaps in the tile can lead to water getting underneath, leading to water damage and leaks.
Tile is a premium roofing material and comes with a premium price tag. If you were to have solar panels installed directly onto the tile roof, chances are there would be a few tiles that break, either from walking on the roof or from the installation itself. Sometimes there are leftover tiles from the roofing installation, but if you don’t have any spares buying replacements can add up.
How To Install Solar Panels Without Causing Damage to Tiles
The best way to install solar panels on a tile roof without damaging the tiles is to have racking created that can span the roof while accommodating the weight of the solar panels, and without putting excess pressure on the tiles, which can cause damage.
Alternatives to Rooftop Panels
One of the most popular alternatives to rooftop mounting is using a ground mount system. Not only is this one of the most popular options for homeowners with tile roofing systems, but also for those who have complex roofing that is not well-suited to a solar installation.
A solar ground mount is a pole or similar structure that is mounted into the ground securely and acts as an anchor or mounting point for the rest of the solar panel mounting system. Often they will consist of a racking system that mimics the flat surface of a roof and allows the solar panel array to be pointed in the exact direction needed for optimal solar exposure.
Another benefit to ground mounts is that they can often be equipped with automatic solar trackers. These will rotate and tilt the solar panel array to the optimal heading and angle for power production.
Why You Should Trust a Professional With Your Solar Installation
No matter what type of roofing system you have and what your potential solar power needs may be, making sure that an experienced and trustworthy company installs it is crucial. Not only will DIY installations void any warranty coverage, but they can put your safety in danger. Reach out to Barrett and let the professionals help you get solar power in your home.