Do solar panels ruin your roof?

solar panel roofing

Solar paneling on your roof

With a focus on saving money on energy bills and using less of Mother Nature’s gifts, many people have turned to solar roofing. What do we know about solar roofing though? Do we know enough to make intelligent decisions that it is the right thing for our home and our family’s lifestyle? 

Before you sign on that dotted line for solar roof installation, review the answers we have provided here in the article for commonly asked questions. Then do your own research on solar roofing. Yes, it is good for the environment, but make sure it is good for you before making that commitment. 

Let’s start with a question asked by skeptics: What’s the catch with solar roofing? You were browsing through a local flea market or home improvement store and somebody stopped and asked if you were interested in free solar roofing. Okay, maybe, but what’s the catch? Are they really “free” or is it some mail-in rebate that you’ll never see? 

Okay, any logically minded person, especially a skeptic, knows that a free lunch, or anything touted as “free” really isn’t going to be free, and that includes free solar roofing installation. That free solar roofing is going to cost you in the way of the electricity that solar roofing produces. 

How’s that again? You see, you will actually be leasing that solar roofing for the next twenty to twenty-five years under a PPA (power purchase agreement) and paying for the energy they produce too!  Basically, the solar roofing company will have a small power plant on your rooftop, and you’re paying them to have that power plant. 

However, you don’t have to do the PPA route for solar roofing. You can purchase solar roofing and actually own it.  The PPA way will get you the benefits of being a solar-powered house without paying anything upfront. What you aren’t going to get is some of the other benefits like EnergyStar tax credits. Why? Because whoever owns the solar part of the roof gets those credits. 

The other option you have is to buy your solar roofing outright or finance the solar roof cost of installation.  When you buy them outright, you will get that 26% tax credit, and with some banks, they’ll apply that credit to the loan balance instead of waiting to claim it on your taxes. 

What are the 2 main advantages to solar energy?

After reading the PPA or purchase solar roofing outright, you may be asking yourself, “Is solar viable?”, and we’re going to tell you yes!  So, what are two of the biggest advantages of solar energy? Well, there is way more than two advantages, and they’re all significant, but two of the biggest ones that solar roofing offers in our opinion are: 

  1. Pollution free way of generating power that doesn’t cause greenhouse gas.
  2. The dependence of fossil fuel and foreign oil is reduced. 

What are some other advantages that you can expect to get from solar roofing? 

  • Every day, even a cloudy day, you’ll have renewable clean power 
  • Lower utility bills will give you a ROI
  • Solar roofing is virtually maintenance-free 
  • You can sell your excess power back to the power company
  • Solar roofing gets you closer to living off the grid
  • You can store power for nights and dark days by using batteries
  • You can heat your home and water
  • Safer than traditional electricity 
  • Tax credits, rebates, grants, and more are available for solar roofing
  • Solar roofing is creating jobs 
sun shining on panels

What’s the difference between solar roof or solar panels? 

Any homeowner that is looking for more ways to go green to save the environment and save on energy cost too, solar power has their attention. When it comes to their home, which is the best way to do that: Solar Panels or Solar Shingles? 

Solar panels are those huge, black flat things you see installed on rooftops and in open fields. Solar shingles on the other hand is the same technology but in a more aesthetic, sleek style that are almost identical to traditional asphalt roofing shingles. In fact, solar roofing shingles can be installed to blend in with your current roofing. 

So, we know right away that solar panels will require a lot of room. Perhaps an engineering inspection if the plan is to install them on the roof to make sure the roof and structure can withstand any additional weight solar panels may add.  Solar roofing shingles need a solar inverter to perform at their maximum ability by utilizes the sun’s energy for immediate energy production. 

Then, with solar roofing shingles, there is the factor of solar roof flashing. Like any other type of roofing material, without flashing, you’ll have leaking around the vent pipes and additionally, the solar roof brackets and mounts. When you start getting quotes for solar roofing, make sure the flashing is included and ask about what material is used for the flashing.

The solar roofing contractor you choose to work with can explain the following options in solar roofing flashing: 

  • Aluminum flashing
  • Galvanized flashing
  • Rubber/EPDM flashing
  • Elevated flashing 
  • Microflashing

If you choose to go with solar panels, the first thing you may notice is your electric bill increased. What the heck is that all about!  Call your solar panel contractor and ask the to explain to you, “Why is my electric bill so high with solar panels?” Some common issues with solar panels and higher electric bills are: 

  • Your solar panels aren’t working properly which could be from faulty insulation or faulty materials. Either way, it is worth having the solar power contractor you use inspect the system. 
  • Salesperson over-hyped the expectation of solar panels. Or there was a misunderstanding what you should expect when you with the solar panel installation. 
  • A solar panel installation is not going to be your knight in energy saving armor!  The savings predicated for your future energy usage will depend on rate increases, power use increases you by, the appliances in your home, etc.  Some homeowners have felt if they were on solar power, they could be more frivolous with their electric use and increased their power consumption. 

Regardless of what the reason could be, if your electric bill isn’t what you expected, you need to have the matter looked into.  Whether you agreed to a PPA or purchased your solar power system outright, you did this with the expectations of saving natural resources and your money. Call 865-238-2628 today for solar panel roofs in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.