Is my roof right for solar?
What are the best roof types for solar install?
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
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 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.
Installing Solar Panels on Tiled Roofs
Depending on whether you have clay, wood shingles or slate tiles installing solar on these 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.
Your roof type plays a big part in the planning of your solar installation. A common misconception is that the flat roofs on New Mexican style architecture are not compatible but as you can see you simply need a solar installer with the know how and experience.