December 1, 2020
By Matt Lee
Solar panels are more commonplace than ever before. It’s hard to take a drive through a residential neighborhood in America nowadays without seeing at least a few homes equipped with those sleek, metallic panels gracing the rooftop.
But, some roofing materials are better suited for solar panels than others. There’s a lot to be gained from choosing the right material, so in case you’re interested, here are some of the best roofing materials, in no particular order, to match with solar panels.
Traditional asphalt shingles are actually very compatible with most solar panels. The installation is simple, and there usually aren’t any special requirements or equipment needed to fix the panels to your roof.
The composite asphalt shingles can easily handle the wear and tear that might occur during installation, and they also make a great place to sink in the required lag bolts.
There’s almost no fire hazard associated with asphalt roofing shingles, which makes them an ideal material for pairing with solar panels.
Tiles are another common roofing material that works perfectly well with solar panels. Especially if you have a flame-retardant material like concrete roof tiles, your solar panels can be easily attached to brackets and suspended above the surface of the roof.
Concrete tiles are a favorite when it comes to installing solar panels because the brackets they require cost less than the brackets required for clay tiles, for instance.
Standing Seam Metal
One of the easiest materials to attach solar panels to is standing seam metal. This type of metal roof features large, protruding seams that jut out from the surface of the roof and provide the perfect place to attach the panels to.
The cost of installing solar panels on standing seam metal is generally lower because of how quickly the installation can be completed. There is also no need to drill holes into the surface of your roof when installing panels on standing seam metal.
Solar Panels Can Be Installed On Any Type of Roof, But These Materials Work Best
With the right equipment and experienced professionals handling the installation, you can put solar panels on just about any type of roof. The materials we’ve listed here, however, are some of the easiest and least-expensive installs when pairing them with solar panels.
Other materials like slate and wood are easily damaged and can pose a fire hazard as well. Tar and gravel roofs are similar to ones with asphalt shingles, but the fact that they are usually flat does make installation harder and more expensive.
The brackets needed to install them have to be bigger to accommodate the 30-degree tilt required for your panels to be effective. All in all, the three materials in this article should make your life a whole lot easier if you want to have solar panels installed on your roof.
By opting for a traditional composite asphalt shingle roof, a concrete tile roof, or a standing seam metal roof, you’re guaranteed to save money while ensuring that your roof won’t break down during the installation process.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.