Top Reasons Your Solar Panels May Be Causing Roof Leaks

5 Reasons Roof Leaks May Be Caused By Solar Panels

There has been an increasing interest in sustainable energy sources and solar panels are among the most popular. The fact that solar panels also help a household reduce their dependence on a central grid – and save money adds to the attraction.

The most popular place for the installation of solar paneling is on the roof. The solar industry has adopted a set of best practices to ensure that roof leaks caused by the installation are reduced to an absolute minimum – while ensuring that the solar paneling captures the energy of the sun.

Some of the fittings used have been engineered to withstand bad weather. Fittings such as stainless steel or aluminum flashing and a variety of fasteners are among these highly weather-resistant parts. However nature should not be underestimated and cold, rainy months can see leaks developing.

Let’s take a look at five reasons that your solar installation might be the cause of leaks.

1. Bad Planning.

A thorough inspection needs to be undertaken prior to solar installation. Factors that need to be taken into account include the age of the roof and the material from which it is constructed. Failure to understand these factors is the major reason behind roof leaks caused by solar panels. It is necessary to drill into the roof when installing solar panels. In commercial buildings, this is very rarely a problem, but residential buildings use a huge number of different materials in roof construction. Many of these materials require special treatment if leaks are to be avoided.

2. Load Capacity.

The latest rack systems are tremendously lightweight, however, often multiple panels are required. Add to that ballast and the type of array and the combined weight can be too much for some roofs to bear. Some forward-thinking states have made it obligatory to have an engineer examine the roof to ensure that it can cope with the load.

3. Inadequate Installation Methods.

It is absolutely essential to deal with experienced and reputable installers. If the technicians or any of the staff are new to the business, do not possess the correct qualifications and accreditations – or are simply not qualified as roofers. they may very well damage the structure of the roof – and leave it prone to leaks when the bad weather sets in.

4. Wrong roofing Materials.

Your roof must be an exact match for solar panels. If the installer engages in inappropriate installation techniques then the result can be roof leaks. Materials such as terracotta tiles, slate, timber/clay shingles are especially prone to damage during inclement weather and develop leaks. One solution is to replace the inadequate roofing material with composite shingles – this might prevent leaks.

5. Worn or Old Roofing Material.

It is always tempting for the homeowner to save on replacing the parts of the roof affected by the solar panel installation. It is expensive to remove the array and conduits to replace roofing material. There is also the danger of damage to the solar panels, this in itself can cause leaks.

Rooftop components, including rooftop, supports that are designed to allow access to the panels can develop leaks. This is dependent on age and the materials used. Inadequate drainage is also a major source of leaks.

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