Solar panel installations are becoming more and more popular, especially in the South where sunlight is abundant.
Solar panels are a significant investment, so to get the best return on investment, not only do we need to choose the most appropriate type of panel and the right size.
The installation environment and the materials used to install it are also very important considerations to ensure that it will last for a long time.
In this article we will talk about the most popular roofing materials and the types of materials that are most suitable for solar panels.
Most Common Roof Material
The most common residential roofing material used in the United States is asphalt shingles. Other roofing materials include ceramic roofing tiles, tar and gravel, slate roof shingles, wood shakes and cedar shingles, and metal roofing.
Shingles are the most common roofing material used in the US.
They are popular because they are inexpensive and easy to lay.
They can be reinforced with fiberglass or organic materials (cellulose). This does not change the appearance of the shingle.
Ceramic Roofing Tiles
Ceramic Roofing Tiles aka clay and concrete tiles.
Ceramic tiles are known for their durability, low maintenance and ability to withstand moisture.
They do not retain or attract dust, dirt or pollen and have a hard, solid surface.
Ceramic tiles are also great to decorate and look good.
However, they can be heavy and brittle. This makes them unsuitable for all roof slopes.
Tar and gravel roofs
Tar and gravel roofs are also one of the most common types of roofing materials used, especially in less expensive homes.
They are very durable and are safe for people to walk on.
Tar and gravel roofing protects structures from UV exposure, hail damage and clogged drains.
However, this type of roof is prone to leaks and water accumulation, especially if the roof is not installed properly.
The lifespan of a tar and gravel roof is typically 20-25 years, depending on location and structure.
Slate roofs have the longest history of use and are no longer common, but can still be found on the roofs of some historic buildings.
Slate roofs have a natural ability to withstand high winds and extreme temperatures, making them durable.
In addition, they are fire resistant and energy efficient, helping you to regulate the temperature in your home without running up high energy bills.
Slate roofs are also resistant to mold, mildew, fungus, and insects.
However, they are not suitable for all roof slopes because they are heavy and brittle.
Wood shakes and cedar roofs
Wood shakes and cedar roofs are one of the oldest and most classic roofing materials and are still widely used today.
Cedar roofs are energy efficient. They provide up to twice the natural insulation of asphalt shingles.
Cedar shingles and shakes are resistant to high winds and can withstand hurricanes, heavy rains, hail storms, blizzards and other types of severe weather.
However, cedar shake roofs tend to be more expensive than many other types of roofing materials.
They are also prone to rot and insect damage.
The use of metal roofs is not the oldest, it was later than the explosion of the metallurgical industry and in some years it was widely in use.
The main advantage of metal roofs is their relatively low installation time and cost, since most of them are prefabricated, and their installation saves a lot of labor and material costs in comparison with the installation of material roofs.
Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting. They are fire resistant and have a Class A rating, which is the best and safest fire rating for roofs.
However, metal roofs are expensive. They can also be noisy during heavy rain or hail.
Best Roof Material for Solar Panels
Due to the weight of solar panels and the need to ensure a certain tilt angle to better receive the sun’s rays, it is usually not possible to lay them completely flat on the roof, and some kind of fixed bracket is needed underneath.
Due to the weight of solar panels and the need to maintain a certain tilt angle to better receive the sun’s rays, it is usually not possible to lay them completely flat on the roof and some sort of fixed bracket is needed underneath.
These brackets must be attached to the roofing material, so the material used must be strong enough to allow holes to be drilled for the mounting screws.
Although all of the roofing materials mentioned above can meet this requirement, asphalt, metal, tile, and tar and gravel roofs are the most recommended due to the loss of material after installation, which is difficult to repair and can cause water leakage problems.
We most recommend asphalt, metal, tile, and tar and gravel roofs.