Will solar damage my roof? The short answer is no. In fact, the reverse is true—by shading the roof from the sun’s rays and from the damaging effects of wind, hail and debris, the solar array will actually increase the life of the roof beneath it. And the panels themselves are quite durable—about as hard to break as a car windshield.
As experienced, certified installer, we take great care to ensure no damage is done to the roof during the installation or anytime thereafter. With the exception of large businesses, we generally sell one solar system to each customer, and therefore live and die by our reputation and word-of-mouth marketing. We work very hard to ensure that each and every one of our customers is satisfied with their solar system results.
Prior to the solar installation, a structural engineer evaluates your roof to make sure it can support the solar array. This evaluation considers both the weight of the array and the potential uplift due to wind. We make sure there is no way that solar will damage your roof.
Solar modules are mounted parallel to the roof with a 1-to-3 inch gap between the roof and the modules. In this configuration, the wind forces are not extreme and are easily handled by any roof that was built to code. Nonetheless, on every job we rely on a professional structural engineer to evaluate the specific site and ensure that the roof and the array comply with all the local wind requirements in the building code and will be able to withstand all expected winds.
In addition to the structural evaluation, we take great care to ensure every roof penetration is watertight. Our crews are experienced with all types of roofing; we fully flash every roof penetration using standard roof flashings. We have built over 350 solar systems in our 14 years of operation and we have never caused a roof leak. Not one!