As solar power becomes more popular, we are seeing an increase in the number of homeowners installing solar panels on their roofs. While this is a great way to reduce energy costs and offset your carbon footprint, there is a potential problem that many homeowners do not think about: an improperly installed solar panel can cause roof leaks.
In California, the state encourages more homes to go solar by offering tax credits and other incentives. However, due to the complexity of installation – with different angles, winds, temperatures, and so on – problems can arise, especially during wet months. When this happens, it can be a hassle for homeowners to get the solar company to take responsibility and resolve the issue quickly.
If you are considering installing solar panels on your roof, it is crucial to make sure you know the potential risks and how to protect yourself from unexpected roof leaks.
Why California Homeowners Are Turning to Solar Power?f
Solar power is a type of renewable energy that comes from the sun. It is an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional forms of energy like coal and oil, and it doesn’t produce the harmful emissions that come with those sources.
Solar power works by using solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. The solar panels are installed on your roof to capture the maximum sunlight possible. This electricity can then power your home and reduce energy costs. And with the potential to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s no wonder why California homeowners are turning to solar power.
Solar power is gaining popularity in California due to its sunny climate and the state’s generous tax credits for homeowners who install solar panels. In many cases, the money saved by switching to solar power is greater than the installation cost.
Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
Solar panel installation requires several steps, many of which involve drilling holes into your roof and installing heavy mounting hardware. This process can be tricky, and if it isn’t done correctly, it can lead to roof damage – and in some cases, even a leak in the roof itself.
There are a couple of reasons that solar panels can cause roof leaks:
1. Improper Installation
One of the primary reasons for a roof leak caused by solar panels is improper installation. If the holes for mounting hardware are not sealed properly or the sealant used is of poor quality, this can lead to water intrusion and leaks in the roof.
Many solar companies contract their installation work out to third-party contractors, who may not be as knowledgeable about roof installation. This can lead to mistakes being made that can cause long-term damage to the roof.
2. Solar Panel Components Breaking Down
Another potential cause of roof leaks from solar panels is the components breaking down over time. Solar panel systems are made up of several components, including wiring, mounts, insulation, and sealants. Over time these components can fail due to wear and tear or a lack of maintenance, leading to water intrusion through the roof.
3. Weight and Movement of Solar Panels
Another potential cause of roof leaks from solar panels is the weight and movement of the panels. If the mounting hardware isn’t securely fastened to your roof, or if it’s not installed on a properly sloped surface, this can lead to shifting and movement that can compromise the integrity of the roof membrane. This shifting can create gaps in the roof membrane, allowing water to seep into your home.
4. Voided Warranties
Another issue is that if your roof has solar panels installed on it, it will often void any existing warranties you have for the roof. This means that if there is a problem with the roof, you will be on your own to pay for the repair costs – and those expenses can add up quickly! Always check your warranty before having solar panels installed on your roof.
Protecting Your Roof from Solar Panel Damage (And the Headache That Comes With It!)
If you are considering having solar panels installed on your roof, it is essential to make sure you are well informed about the potential risks and how to protect yourself from unexpected roof leaks.
Tip 1: Always Do Your Research
It’s essential to do your research when selecting a solar panel installation company. Review reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to ensure you are hiring a reputable company. Look at their reviews and long-term track record to ensure they are reliable and knowledgeable about solar power installation.
Tip 2: Use a Professional Installer
It is always best to have a professional installer come out rather than relying on DIY installation. They can accurately assess your roof and ensure the solar panels are correctly installed and securely, reducing the risk of long-term damage. Consider involving your roofing company or a professional roofing contractor to ensure everything is done correctly.
Tip 3: Investigate Roof Warranties Beforehand
It is essential to investigate any warranties you have for your roof before having solar panels installed. If the warranty will be voided, discuss this with the installer and find out their policy for repairing any potential damage caused by their installation process.
Similarly, make sure you know the risks of dealing with companies after installation. Many will not work with homeowners to fix potential damage caused by their installation process, or they may not honor their own warranties if a roofing company comes in to fix the damage.
Don’t risk being left with a roof that isn’t covered – make sure you understand the risks beforehand.
Tip 4: Regularly Inspect Your Roof
Finally, make sure you regularly inspect your roof for any signs of water intrusion or potential problems with the solar panel system. This can help you catch any problems early and reduce the damage done to your roof – and keep you from having to replace it in the future due to solar panel installation.
Enjoy Solar Without the Risk to Your Roof
By taking these steps before, during, and after installation, you can minimize the risk of having to deal with costly roofing repairs – and protect your investment in solar energy. With a bit of research and due diligence, you can safely enjoy the benefits of clean energy without worrying about potential damage to your roof.
At Magellan Roofing, we have over 24 years of experience in repairing roof leaks in the Fresno, Tulare, Visalia, and Madera areas. We’ve seen all types of roof leaks and damage due to improper solar panel installations, and we understand how to keep your roof – and your wallet – safe from these issues.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your roof from solar panel damage and more. Our team is standing by and ready to serve you!