Photovoltaic Energy Systems: Can You Install One on a Metal Roof?

Photovoltaic energy systems are versatile, working in just about any rooftop location you can imagine. But can you install a power-generating system on a metal roof?

PV system installation on most roofing materials involves bolting the solar panels through the shingles to the roof joists. Metal roofs, however, require specific solar panel attachments and installation techniques to make sure that the rooftop remains structurally sound and watertight. To properly place a photovoltaic system, experience is a must.

Photovoltaic Energy Systems on a Metal Roof

How easy or difficult it will be to complete a photovoltaic energy installation depends on the type of roof you have.

Installing a Photovoltaic Energy System on a Standing Seam Metal Roof

If you have a standing seam roof, you’re in luck, because installing a photovoltaic system on your rooftop should be a relatively simple procedure. And since no drilling will be involved, the integrity of your roof won’t be compromised.

With this type of roofing material, special clamps are used. The solar panels are attached to the roof seams, but the clamps don’t actually penetrate the seams. Instead, the hardware provides an incredibly tight squeeze, which holds the PV modules securely in place.

Installing a Photovoltaic Energy System on Metal Roof Shingles

Mounting solar panels on metal roof shingles is slightly more challenging. Metal shingles may look just like asphalt, slate or clay, but they require extra care during PV system installation to keep the roof watertight.

For conventional roof shingles, professional photovoltaic contractors add flashing and apply a sealant for protection against water infiltration. With metal roofing shingles, the solar installer must take additional precautions.

Water runoff points may need to be created under the flashing, and double or even triple the amount of flashing may be required for a watertight seal.

Choosing a Contractor for a Metal Rooftop Photovoltaic Energy Installation

Regardless of whether you have a standing seam roof or metal roof shingles, look for a 07professional photovoltaic contractor with experience in metal rooftop photovoltaic installations.

Since these roofing materials aren’t all that common in the Intermountain West states, many contractors do not have the necessary skills and experience to safely and securely complete your PV installation — and you don’t want to be anyone’s guinea pig.

The professional team at Intermountain Wind & Solar, the region’s leading photovoltaic installer for nearly a decade, has extensive experience working on metal roofs. We understand the challenges of mounting solar panels on metal roofing, and we can complete a PV installation without compromising your rooftop’s structural integrity.

Intermountain Wind & Solar offers free consultations to homeowners and businesses throughout Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming. Contact us today to discuss a photovoltaic energy system installation on your metal roof.