Going solar typically entails a lot of focus on the panel you are going to get installed on the roof, how much money you are going to save, and how quickly your panels will be installed. And we agree! These are all important facets of getting a new residential solar installation. Plus, install dates and money in your pocket are exciting aspects of going solar. Yet, what is also an important conversation to have with your selected residential solar installer is “How can I protect the integrity of my roof?” This short article outlines key points to ask your solar installer regarding maintaining the integrity of your roof.
Do I Really Need to Worry About My Roof?
Absolutely, yes! As we have stated time and time again, most solar installers make going solar look quick and easy, but it is a major construction project. Panels are mounted on to your roof. This means that a group of highly trained construction professionals will be harnessed into your rooftop, drilling holes into the roof, the ensure your panels are safely, securely, and permanently mounted on to the face of your home. Panels often look like they are floating on the ridgelines of houses, but they are truly mounted in with powerfully strong mounting and racking systems. Without the secure attachment of the panels, they would be slipping from the ridgeline and crashing into the property below. A strong mounting and racking system keeps your panels exactly where the solar designers intended them to be.
What is a Racking and Mounting System?
A photovoltaic mounting system, also called solar module racking, are used to fix solar panels on surfaces of installation, like roofs, building facades, or on a ground mount. These mounting and racking systems typically enable retrofitting of solar panels on rooftops or as part of the structure of the building. Racking and mounting systems come in a variety of brands, however, their ultimate purpose is to secure your solar panels to the roof, or where ever you are installing the panels. Mounting and racking systems are incredibly sturdy pieces of a residential or commercial solar installation and are designed differently, depending on the style and composition of your roof. Many solar professionals agree that a solar panel is only as good as the mounting system used to install it.
Can My Roof Be Damaged?
Unfortunately, a solar installation company that cuts corners with the mounting and racking system are gambling with the integrity of your roof. A poorly manufactured, installed or designed racking system can damage your roof. And a damaged roof means that the panels must be reinstalled on a repaired, or new roof, radically increasing the cost of the solar system. (Here is an in-depth article about mounting and racking system)
One major issue that our California consumers must be mindful of is waterproofing. An incorrectly installed panel could mean that during rainy seasons, water seeps into the penetrations where the mounting system was installed. Many higher-end mounting systems demand triple water-proofing steps, meaning the opportunity of water damage, due to solar installation, is radically reduced to practically nothing.
Another area to be concerned about is how the mount is permanently attached to the house. The incorrect attachment could mean high winds lift panels, move the mount, and create loosely attached panels. The consequences for this are major as leaking and panels becoming unattached become a major concern.
How Do I Protect My Roof?
First and foremost, work with a fully licensed and insured solar construction company. Many smaller companies are one-man shows who contract the work and the financing out…meaning, they are not knowledgeable about roofs, and the overall construction process.
Second, ask what sort of mounting system they use. There are many brands, however, the one brand that we can confidently stand behind is QuickMount. QuickMount has superior manufacturing, warranties, and training for the installation team. The high quality of QuickMount products ensures that the penetrations drilled into your roof will be triple-water proofed. QuickMount also has incredibly think design, meaning even the strongest winds or heaviest snow loads will not disrupt the security of the panels. Quality installation and a quality solar system means that the tools used to mount the system are at least of equitable quality, or superior, of the panels.
Once you make the commitment to install a solar array on your home or business, the next step is to explore panels and the mounting systems used to install the panels. Many solar bids have a notable price difference. This is frequently associated with companies using lesser quality, cheaper, solar mounting and racking system. However, always remember, your solar array is only as good as the racking and mounting system they are attached to your roof with. If you are unsure about what mounting system your solar quote has, or perhaps you would like to learn more about solar options, take the time to reach out to one of our Energy Advisers, or take time to stop by our Educational Showroom, located in downtown Brentwood, today. You can also give us a call at (925) 378-4800