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Do Solar Panels Cause Roof Leaks?

Many homeowners wonder if their roofs might leak once they install solar panels. Most of the time, the answer is no. Solar panel roof leaks are rare after installing solar panels. However, if a roof leak does happen, it’s usually noticed soon after the panels are installed, typically within the first year, especially when it rains or snows.

Luckily, these leaks are rare. But if you experience one, it’s important to promptly identify and fix the problem to prevent any lasting damage to your home.

Here’s what you should keep in mind.

Do Solar Panels Damage Roofs?

Do Solar Panels Cause Roof Leaks

Solar panels usually don’t damage your roof, but there’s a rare chance they might if installed incorrectly.

For most people, issues with solar panels are often as straightforward as faulty wiring, dirty materials, or reduced panel efficiency. However, the issue can be more complex when panels lead to leaks.

Properly installed solar panels should usually avoid roof leaks. When they do, it’s typically due to incorrect installation or poor quality. Fixing such leaks might be more involved than resolving wiring problems.

That’s why choosing a solar installer offering a robust warranty on their quality is crucial. For instance, Solar Earth provides a 10-year warranty on all our installations, which is standard in the industry. This warranty shields you from potential problems and ensures prompt resolution if any issues arise.

Reasons Your Roof Leaking After Solar Installation

Once again, solar panel roof leaks are incredibly uncommon. But if they do occur, here are the likely reasons:

Incompatibility with Your Roof:

Solar panel installation usually involves drilling into rafters and sealing them properly. While solar panels can go on almost any residential roof, certain shingle materials may need extra attention during installation.

Roofs made of wood shingles, clay, slate, or terracotta tiles are prone to damage during installation. It’s advisable to replace these areas with composite shingles hidden beneath the solar array beforehand. If you encounter leaks with such roofs, contact your solar installer their warranty should cover the damage.

Poor Installation:

Incorrect installation is a significant cause of post-solar fitting leaks. Experienced installers ensure a tight fit without leaks. However, inexperienced installers or subcontractors might inadvertently damage the roof, making it leak during rain or snow. If you notice new leaks after panel installation, promptly contact your local solar installer or roofer for assessment and repairs.

Aging Roof:

Installing solar panels on an older roof can lead to problems. Roofs over thirty years old may have deteriorated shingles and dry rot in the plywood or rafters. Adding solar panels can increase stress and make leaks more likely.

Moreover, when you need to replace the roof, the expense of removing the solar array and electrical conduit can add up. Before installing solar panels, consider your roof’s age, condition, and shingle type. Reputable solar installers can address any concerns during consultations.

How Can You Prevent Roof Leaks After Solar Panel Installation?

When installing new panels, your first step should be hiring a qualified solar installer to assess your roof and create an installation plan. This is key to preventing roof leaks and damage. While issues like old or incompatible roofing materials can cause leaks, a skilled solar installer can identify these risks before installing.

Beware of roofing companies offering solar installation services and emphasizing the risk of a leaky roof. It’s often unnecessary to involve a roofing contractor when going solar. Many roofers need more expertise to properly measure, drill, and install solar panels, as their license typically doesn’t cover this work.

They often subcontract the solar work to licensed electricians or solar installers. If you’re working with a roofing contractor, inquire if they subcontract any solar or electrical work.

If you need help finding a reliable solar installer, ask friends and family for recommendations or search online for reviews and testimonials. Researching and choosing a reputable and skilled solar installer like Solar Earth Inc can save you time, effort, energy, and potential roof leaks in the future.

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Solar Earth Inc., with expertise and certifications, empowers your home for enhanced energy generation. Contact us today to transform your home into a sustainable, long-term renewable energy source.