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Modern Residence With PERC Solar Panels

The Best Type of Roofs for Homes With Solar Panels

Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the popularity of solar energy. And though solar panels were once used only for commercial buildings, nowadays, any homeowner can switch to solar energy. In fact, according to research, 46% of US homeowners are looking to give solar energy a try.

However, the biggest question that homeowners ask before going solar is whether their roof is fit for solar panels. Luckily, we are here to take an in-depth look at the most popular roofing materials and see if they are suitable for solar installations.

How Do Solar Panels Affect My Roof?

diagram explaining Photovoltaic effect with regards to solar panels on a house
diagram explaining Photovoltaic effect

First, it’s important to understand how solar panels affect your roof as a whole. While many people believe that solar installations can only harm one’s roof, solar panels also bring a variety of benefits to your roof.

Roof Damage

For starters, most homeowners are afraid of the damage that solar panels might do to their roofs. However, when properly installed, solar panels shouldn’t cause any damage to the exterior or structure of your roof.

While it’s true that solar installations require drilling into your roof, the contractor usually uses lag bolts to fill the holes. These are usually strong enough to hold the solar panels and also withstand weather conditions such as snow, rain, and sun exposure.

Increased Protection

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can also provide some additional protection for your roof and home. In fact, you can think of a solar installation as a layer of armor that protects your roof.

As a result, your roof won’t be exposed to rain, ultraviolet light, hail, and other forces that usually wear and tear it. In other words, solar panels can increase the lifespan of your roof considerably.

Lower Temperatures

Another nice benefit of solar panels is that your attic will be cooler as it gets shaded by the panels. As a matter of fact, according to a study, the ceiling of buildings that have solar installations is usually five degrees cooler than those without solar panels on the roof.

Additionally, your air conditioning will have to work less hard to cool your home, meaning that you will save even more money on energy bills.

Best Roof Materials for Solar Panels

Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter what type of roof you have, as contractors can install solar panels on almost every roof. However, some materials provide a more stable foundation, making them more suitable for solar installations.


Metal roofs with standing seams are perfect for solar panels, as they provide much-needed stability and support. Not only that but the standing seams completely eliminate the need for drilling, which reduces the cost of labor. And lastly, metal roofs are reflective, which helps to keep your home cooler.


More often than not, installing solar panels on a tile roof is more expensive. Why? Because contractors will have to remove tiles to prevent breakage, increasing the labor costs. Additionally, they have to fasten the feet of the solar panels directly to your roof for more stability.

However, thanks to their durability and water resistance, clay concrete or slate tiles are still some of the best materials for solar installations.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials in the United States. Luckily, due to their flexibility and durability, they are also a perfect material for solar panels. In fact, installing panels on asphalt shingles is pretty straightforward and affordable.

To put it simply, contractors have to drill studs into the roof and then attach the mounting onto them. And, in order to prevent water infiltration, the area between the panel and the studs is sealed with flashing.

Tar and Gravel

Last but not least, we have tar and gravel roofs, which provide great support for solar panels. However, to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your solar installation, the panels need to be inclined at a 30-degree angle. And while that requires some additional hardware, installing solar panels on tar and gravel roofs is still pretty affordable.

Final Thoughts

Overall, most types of roofs can handle solar panels, meaning that you don’t have to change your entire roof to go solar. However, some materials provide better support and can reduce the overall cost of solar installation. Not only that but the condition of the roof is also essential when deciding if it can sustain solar panels.

Looking for roof repairs or a new roof around Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding areas? Prime Roofing is a Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor and a local roofing company. Give us a call at (904) 530-1446 and we’ll be there to help you out.

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