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What is the best roof types to install solar on?

If you have ever wanted to install solar on your home you might be wondering if your roof type is appropriate for solar. Solar can be installed on just about any roof type, however the installation process and mounting hardware may differ depending on the roof type. 

Different roof types

The most common roof types in New Mexico and Albuquerque include the following:

  • Clay Tiles
  • Slate Tiles
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Concrete
  • Stucco
  • Wood
  • Metal
Installing Solar Panels on Flat Roofs

Flat roofs made from concrete, or stucco are very common in Albuquerque, NM. The traditional Native American and Spanish influence resonates structurally with the aesthetics of the traditional architecture. Installing solar on flat roofs can make use of a ballast system, where by the solar system is held down by a weighted racking setup. With flat roof solar installations the solar installers will need to prop up the solar system so that the panels will be tilted towards the sun for optimal production. As opposed to standard penetrative mounting, ballast mounting does not have to be attached to your roof. 

Installing Solar Panels on Tiled Roofs.

Depending on whether you have clay, slate tiles, asphalt, or wood shingles or tiles installing solar on theses roof types is generally the same. Typically the solar installer will remove the tiles and install a mounting system by drilling into the roof studs below then replace the tiles after. It is not typical for solar installers to drill through the tiles to install the racking system, due to the brittle nature of the clay, slate, or concrete tiles.

Installing Solar Panels on Metal Roofs.

The general rule of thumb is that metal roofs work great for solar panels. If you have a standing seam metal roof, your solar installer won’t even need to drill holes in your roof, as panel mounts can simply be clamped to the raised seams. If you have a corrugated metal roof the installer will need to drill holes in your roof to secure your solar system.

Resources Used:
  • https://www.seia.org
  • solarreviews.com
  • https://news.energysage.com
  • https://www.bea.gov

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