The hype behind solar roofing: What homeowners need to know

Talk of solar roofing is hot right now, as expected when Tesla joins the conversation. But the typical homeowner looking to replace a leaky roof now or upgrade before the leaks begin, can’t wait for — or likely afford — the Tesla option. The nonprofit Metal Roofing Alliance explains that homeowners have options for energy efficient solar panel roofing systems that are available now.

However, the metal roofing industry has had the ability to incorporate solar panel products for years. The technology behind metal roofs as a base for generating energy savings is tried and true, and there’s no need to be on a waiting list to install it.

Here’s what homeowners should know about solar energy systems and roofing before they make a roofing change:

  • Invest in a roof first, not solar. If a roof needs to be repaired or replaced within 10 years, the solar system will have to be disconnected, removed, the roof replaced, then solar rebuilt and reconnected, adding to the product cost.
  • Metal makes a great base. Solar energy systems can be installed on metal roofs with simple attachment and clip solutions that do not put holes in the roof or add ballast, reducing potential leaks.  Metal roofs will easily outlast the solar panels, making replacement easy.
  • Solar panels can be heavy. Installing solar on an asphalt roof involves either penetration or adding weight for a self-ballasted system. Both increase the possibility of roofing failures. Thin-film solar panels are now available to literally peel and stick to many metal roofing systems.
  • Metal is environmentally friendly. The metal roof, as well as the solar panels themselves, use various types of solar-to-electricity conversion and have been on the market for a number of years. All metal roofs are made of at least 25 percent recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable.

“Nothing has greater potential to increase a home’s energy efficiency than the roof,” explains Renee Ramey, executive director of the nonprofit Metal Roofing Alliance.  “The roof can both reduce energy costs AND produce energy through the use of solar panels.”

Today’s residential metal roofing are made to look like common roofing material – such as asphalt shingles, cedar shake, clay tile or slate roofing – only stronger and more durable. No matter the style, solar panel systems can be incorporated either at the time of the metal roof installation or later.  Given their inherent strength, most homeowners who choose a metal roof will never have to worry about re-roofing again.

For more information, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance.

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