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The best roofs for solar panels

The right roof types for solar panel installations 

There is an increasing number of property owners who want to opt for clean solar energy to power their residential or commercial premises. And if you have been thinking of going solar, the first thing you need to do is evaluate if your home or office has the pre-requisites to install solar panels

Not all roofs may be designed to install solar panels, but a professional evaluation can help determine if your roof is solar ready. Here is a ready reckoner on the roof types that are best suited for solar panel installation. They are compatible to the energy received from the sun and ensure your panels have a strong foundation.

Roof with Asphalt Shingles

When it comes to composite roofs, asphalt is the preferred shingle for housing and makes for a great roof for solar panels. They are made of fibreglass or cellulose mat, and asphalt is added in the final product, which makes them sturdy and long lasting. 

Metal Roofs

A metal roof with standing seams is another option well-suited for installing solar panels. The presence of standing seams doesn’t require the intervention of drilling as the solar panels are clamped onto it. A metal roof is not just durable, but also a good insulator. Metal roofs are known to provide additional reflection where the sun rays do not come in contact directly with the solar panels. This helps to keep your home cooler. 

Tiled Roofs

Solar panels work well on tiled roofs whether it is clay, slate or concrete. While clay roofs can be a tad expensive, concrete tiles roofs are the best options for solar panel installation. Because the tile shingles are more waterproof, they have a longer life. To prevent breakage, the tiles are usually removed during installation, and one must ensure that the feet of the solar panels are fastened directly to the roof for a safe installation.  

EPDM Rubber Roofs 

Ethylene propylene dienterpolymer (EPDM) rubber is often seen on the roof of commercial buildings. It stretches easily, so is easy to fit on the roof. A time-tested product, EPDM rubber is very durable and mouldable. It is made of ethylene and propylene, both of which are derived from oil and natural gases and have a low environmental impact. A weighted mounting system, more commonly known as the ballast system, is used for installation on EPDM rubber roofs. This process eliminates the need to drill and make holes in the roof and also makes them cost effective. EPDM roofs are also resistant to bad weather and have a long service life.

TPO and PVC Roofs

Like EPDM roofs, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofs are mostly flat and hence ideal and cheaper for solar panel installation. They last long, and while PVC also has fire retardant properties, TPO has the flexibility to stretch and adapt as per the design of your building. They are tough and resistant to moisture, wind and chemicals.  Besides being a cheaper option, TPO roofs are also resistant to ultraviolet radiation and ozone, and also bacteria.  

While solar panels can be installed on any kind of roofs, be it gravel, wood shake, tar, torch-down, or even foam, the above have emerged as the most viable choices for the best results and longevity.

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