Have you noticed all the solar panels going up on homes around the Minneapolis and St. Paul area? Environmentally-conscious homeowners around the Twin Cities metro are making the move to solar energy, and those rooftop installations can be found in just about every neighborhood.  If you're in the market for rooftop solar, we urge you to think about your roof before you have it installed.

Selecting the roofing material below the solar panels something that is just as important as choosing the panels themselves. The roofing has to withstand the panel installation and be able to hold up for a long time. Metal roofing tends to be one of the best and most used roofing materials to put down under the panels.

Wondering why metal is the roof for the job if you're adding solar panels to your home?

First consider the expected life of both the panels and the roof.  The typical warranty for a for residential rooftop solar panel is 25 years.  If your existing roof won't last that long, it just makes sense to have a new roof put in at the same time.  Attaching the solar panels to a roofing material that is not going to last as long as the panels is really a waste of money. You would have to remove the panels to replace the roof and then put them back on.

A steel or other metal roof will last longer than that solar panel array, maybe even as long as two or three installations. (For example, the steel roofing we install from Kassel & Irons carries a 40-year warranty, but many homeowners experience a roof life of much more than that. Metal roofing that's over 100 years old is common in Europe.)

Metal roofing can be done at the same time that you choose to put your solar panels on the roof. In fact, we even work in conjunction with solar installers to coordinate the work.  You can benefit from a material that can be screwed into and hold the heavy panels without putting too much strain on the roof and the home.

Are Roof Leaks an Issue with Solar Panels?

Many homeowners worry about leaks because the panels are being screwed into the roof. However, when rooftop solar panels are installed properly - on a good roof - there should be no areas where these screws are penetrating the roof itself, so leaks should not be an issue.

That being said, asphalt shingles are something that may not take these screws as well, and holes may happen inadvertently when the panels are installed on the roof. However, metal being a stronger material can withstand this. Plus, when we install our metal roofing along with the solar contractor, we configure our roofing installation to work with the solar mounts.

It is important to keep in mind that you don’t want to install panels on an old roof. You should always consider replacing the roof at the same time. You want to also choose roofing materials that can be screwed and mounted on. You want a roofing material that is going to outlast the solar panels.

With so many things to choose from and think about, getting some advice from a professional roofing contractor before you make arrangements with your solar panel installer is wise. We work with a number of local solar installers, so you can have your great roof and your solar panels, too!

Quarve Contracting,Inc. is a licensed Minnesota home remodeling contractor. We specialize in the installation of steel and other metal roofing.