Do Solar Panels Cause Roof Leaks?
Although you may have heard talk that roof leaks can develop after installing solar panels, this definitely isn’t the case. Leaking almost never happens – at least when a highly-experienced licensed solar contractor handles the installation.
When a photovoltaic array is mounted properly, the integrity of the rooftop is not compromised. And, although the mounting hardware might require penetration of the roofing materials, an expert contractor – like the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar – always takes precautionary steps to prevent roof leaks.
How Solar Contractors Guard Against Roof Leaks
No reputable solar contractor will agree to install a photovoltaic array on a roof that appears to be in poor condition. If the rooftop is already compromised and likely to leak, adding solar panels could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak.
To further prevent the possibility of roof leaks, contractors surround the mounting bolts with flashing and then completely seal the rooftop penetrations. Sealant is applied to both the flashing and the areas around the drilled holes, and this works to block water from getting through.
How Solar Panels Help Prevent Roof Leaks
It may sound counterintuitive, but mounting rooftop solar panels can actually protect the roofing surface and decrease the chance of roof leaks.
Normally, your rooftop is constantly exposed to the elements, and years of harsh weather can cause the surface to deteriorate. When that happens, leaking becomes more likely. But a rooftop with a photovoltaic array is less exposed to the elements and the often harsh Utah weather. This lessens the amount of damage the roofing material experiences over time. And, with less damage, roof leaks become less probable.
Is Your Roof Ready for Solar Panels?
As we mentioned above, installing a rooftop photovoltaic array almost never causes leaking. But occasionally, leaks occur and, when they do, it’s because the roof wasn’t structurally sound at the time of installation.
Qualified solar contractors can spot clear signs of damage, but problems in the roof deck, frame and sheathing aren’t always obvious. For that reason, if you’re at all concerned about leaking, you should consult with a professional roofer before scheduling the installation of your photovoltaic array.
If your rooftop needs extensive repairs to handle solar panels – or, worse, the roofer says you need a new roof – you can explore other options. Mounting the photovoltaic array on a different property structure, such as a carport or garden shed, could be the perfect solution. Or, you may want to install a ground-mounted solar system. Either way, producing enough energy to power your home won’t be a problem.
At Intermountain Wind & Solar, the leading renewable energy provider serving Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming, we take great care with every photovoltaic installation. Choose us, and our in-house staff will design and install a cost-effective rooftop or ground-mounted solar array that maximizes your energy savings.
Intermountain Wind & Solar makes it easy for Intermountain West homeowners to make the switch to photovoltaic power. To schedule a free, no-pressure consultation to chat with our expert team about installing solar panels, contact us today.