Homeowners and building owners alike ask us: “Can you install solar panels on a flat roof?” Our answer is a resounding YES. Solar panels and flat roofing systems complement one another. In fact, if you never considered the idea of getting solar panels, we encourage you to do so.
In this guide, you will learn the following:
- The benefits of going solar
- Facts on the installation and usage of solar panels
- Ways to maintain solar panels on your flat roofing
Let’s get started.
Can You Install Solar Panels on a Flat Roof? Reasons to Go Solar
Many people nowadays toy with the idea of using solar energy. If you have a flat roof, speak with your contractor about solar panel installation. Otherwise, take the first step of getting a flat roof first.
Below are the advantages of solar energy:
1. Enjoy more future savings.
Imagine that an opportunity to enjoy long-term savings knocked on your door. Would you be willing to take it? What if it requires you to pay a large sum of money upfront? One of the biggest advantages of solar panels on flat roofs is long-term value. Solar panels are an investment you won’t regret.
2. Help the environment.
Even simple acts of protecting the planet make you a responsible human. What most of us don’t realize is that our roofing system is one way to prevent further environmental damage.
In case you didn’t know, traditional energy sources pollute the environment. Homes that use typical electricity release greenhouse gases. Solar energy is beneficial in that it prevents these pollutants that cause global warming.
3. Use them no matter where you live or operate in.
While the Greater Toronto Area receives a continuous supply of electricity from fossil fuels, solar panel installation makes you independent. The idea is satisfying because you know that you are self-reliant. As long as the sun shines, you’re worry-free!
4. Maximize your flat roofing.
Again, can you install solar panels on a flat roof? Absolutely – and this is one of the less-obvious reasons. You see, we install flat roofs but not give much thought about using them to their fullest potential. This is because we assume that roofs are just roofs, right?
Flat roofing systems are versatile if we just open our eyes to their potential. In fact, some flat roofs like EPDM and TPO are being turned into green roofing systems. But for this topic, let’s focus on solar panels instead.
Things to Know When Installing and Using Solar Panels on Flat Roofing
1. There should be an optimal tilt angle.
Properly tilted solar panels ensure that you enjoy the maximum benefits of clean energy all year round. The tilt angle changes depending on the time of the year. When it’s summertime, you need to decrease the tilt angle. When it’s winter, you should increase the tilt. Solar panels are able to capture light from the sun at angles between 28-30 degrees.
Another advantage that tilted solar panels ensure is that they stay cleaner. Rainwater drains immediately on angled surfaces, unlike horizontal ones.
2. Today’s solar panels are more durable but proper installation is a must.
Did you know that strong winds used to be an enemy of solar panels? Don’t worry, that’s a thing on the past. Nowadays, manufacturers test solar panels so that they resist wind speeds beyond 145 mph. But despite that, you should always hire a roofing contractor that knows and is actually experienced in installation. Casings are also available to protect the solar panel cells beneath them.
3. Contractors use frames or angled mounts for installation.
Let’s go back to the topic on maximizing energy production. Contractors, when working on a flat roof, should use angled mounts in order to get sun exposure. This is opposite of placing solar panels on sloped roofing systems.
4. Your flat roof should be inspected to determine its health.
After knowing the answer to the question, “Can you install solar panels on a flat roof?” most likely you want to know if your roof is ready for them. Before installation takes place, get a professional roofing inspection.
Put these important points in mind:
- Your flat roof should be able to support the weight of the solar panels. These things can be very heavy. Imagine the additional weight of the angled mounts!
- A roofing contractor will have to look for roofing problems that hinder a solar panel installation. These issues include low spots, pooling of water, plant growth, and alligatoring.
- When necessary, your roofer performs a flat roofing repair to address existing problems. In some cases, a new roofing installation takes place.
The bottom line? Make sure that your flat roof is structurally sound to accommodate solar panels.
Tips to Maintain Solar Panels
Before you learn some maintenance tips, know that in the process you will need help from licensed contractors. There are things you can do yourself and things you’d rather delegate for reasons of safety and convenience.
- Cleaning – This is an essential part of maintenance. Homeowners and building owners can hire solar panel cleaners to wash the panels with soap and water. These professionals also know how to access difficult areas that are stained by bird droppings.
- Inspections – Get regular inspections to make sure that your solar panels are free from damage and debris. Also, schedule an immediate inspection following a hailstorm.
- Monitoring of energy usage – It’s important to know the daily performance of your solar panels. Technology is now available to help you take readings from the inverter on a daily basis.
Are You Interested in Solar Panels? We’ll Secure a Flat Roof for You.
If you are thinking of a solar panel installation, Skyluxe Roofing & Sheet Metal helps inspect your current flat roof. We’ll see to it that your roofing system is capable of accommodating your solar panels. Don’t have a flat roof yet? Contact us to perform an installation.
We offer free quotes and back our services with warranties. If you need more information and ideas for a roofing project, speak with our professionals.