As a Minnesota roofing company specializing in green remodeling, we get requests to install roofing for Minneapolis or St. Paul homeowners who plan on having rooftop solar panels installed.  We appreciate it when they get us involved ahead of time, because the type of roof that's installed is as important as the solar panel selection.

Why does the type of roofing matter when you have solar panels put in?

Hopefully those solar panels are going to be up there a long time.  Because of that, you want a roof that will last at least as long as your solar equipment.

solar panels on metal roof

What Is the Best Roof to Support Solar Panels?

We'll start the evaluation with simple mathematics.
  • The average expected lifetime of a solar panel is 25 years
  • The average expected lifetime of an asphalt roof here in Minnesota is 15 to 18 years; a metal roof should last 60 years or more
What does that mean for you?  It means that your roof will most likely need replacement before your solar panels do.  So your finances are in for a double hit when it comes time to replace your roof. You have to hire the solar company to remove the panels and then reinstall them when the roofing company is finished.  So ultimately you're paying more than double for your solar panel installation.

And then there is the issue of roof repairs.  By far, asphalt roofing needs repair much more frequently than metal roofing.  Asphalt roofing can be damaged by hail and wind-driven rain (which is almost unheard of with the metal roofing we install).  Any roof repairs in the area of the solar panel would require the solar company to first come out and remove the panel so the roofer would have access to the roof.  Then once the repairs are done, the solar company comes back out and reinstalls the panels.  And for the most part, this extra cost is unnecessary and can be avoided by installing the right roofing before the solar panels ever go up.

Thinking About Installing Solar Panels on Your Roof?  Call Us First

If you're contemplating installing solar panels on your roof, the first step should be a roof inspection to make sure your roof structure is sound enough to support the panels.  Then the condition of the roofing should be evaluated.  If the roof is going to need a replacement in less than 10 years or so, you may want to do it now and have a roof put in that will be the best base for your solar panels - a metal roof.  Metal roofing and solar panels are a great combination.  And because metal roofing is considered a green roof, it's a natural fit for clean energy.

When it comes to installing both the roof and solar collectors, we have partnered with several local solar companies so that we can coordinate our efforts.  Once we tear the old roof off, we bring them in to mark where the panel supports will go after we've installed the roof.  And then once they're done installing the panels after the new roof goes on, we come back to finish the project by flashing around the panel installation.  We'll coordinate it so you don't have to.

Quarve Contracting, Inc. has been providing quality roofing for homes in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area for over 30 years.  We specialize in eco-friendly metal roofing.