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Is My Roof Suitable for Solar Panels?

overview photo of a house with solar panels

Most residential solar panels are installed on a homeowner’s roof. Why? Because it’s the best place to capitalize on obstructed sunlight.

That said, there are some cases in which roof-mounted solar panels are not ideal. Reasons include:

To help you learn more about whether your roof is suitable for solar panels, we’ll look at each of these reasons below.

And if you’re worried that your roof falls under one of these categories— don’t be. When roof-mounted panels aren’t possible, you can install a ground-mounted system instead. In fact, ground-mounted systems are more flexible, easy to install, and can help you maximize your highest solar gain.

Let’s get into it!

Thinking about going solar?

Contact Photon Brothers at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California) for a FREE in-home estimate. Our solar engineers will carefully review your home’s roof pitch and energy requirements. Then, we’ll design a custom solar system suited to your needs and budget. 

Your Roof Is Too Small

If your roof is too small, you may need to supplement your solar system with an array of ground-mounted panels.

To accommodate the average American power use, we recommend that your roof provides at least 1,000 square feet of space for your solar panel setup. Otherwise, there simply won’t be enough room to install the number of panels you need.

Moreover, smaller roofs do well with higher efficiency panels. Panels average anywhere from 100 to 400 watts of power, so the higher the power output, the fewer panels you’ll need to meet your energy requirements.

To learn more, check out our blog, How Much Energy Do Solar Panels Produce?”

Your Roof Is Too Old

Solar panels need a strong, durable roof to support their weight and mounting hardware. If your roof is more than 20 years old, you’ll either need to upgrade your roof or go with a ground-mounted solar system.

Prior to making any recommendations, a solar expert should provide you with a free on-site estimate. That way they can assess the state of your roof, the material it’s made out of, and whether it can withstand your array of solar panels.

Common roofing materials such as concrete and clay tile, asphalt/​composite, and metal are excellent for solar panel installations. However, they will eventually wear and tear— all the more so with weather damage or if your roof wasn’t properly installed. To prevent damage to your solar panels, including the hassle of having them removed and re-installed, make sure that you have a quality roof in place before installation.

Photon Brothers works with trusted roofing partners, so if you need any roofing adjustments to accommodate your solar panel installation, we’re here to help! 

Your Roof Is Too Shaded

The angle or pitch of your roof can affect whether it’s suitable for solar panels. If it’s facing the wrong direction or is largely shaded by trees or neighboring houses, you may not receive sufficient direct sunlight. And without sunlight, you won’t generate enough power.

In some cases, you may be able to cut down trees or place panels on other parts of your roof that aren’t shaded. However, if your roof is on the smaller side, you may not be able to afford a different placement. 

When this happens, you’re better off with a combination of roof or ground-mounted panels. However, as we mentioned above, it’s important to make sure the design is completely custom. Any solar installer worth their salt will provide a free on-site assessment. After a thorough review of your property, they’ll give you their honest opinion on how to maximize your solar investment.

Want to schedule a free estimate with 5‑star rated solar experts? Contact Photon Brothers today.

More Space Is Required for Your Power Needs

The more power you need, the more solar panels necessary to provide it. And depending on the size, age, and positioning of your roof, you may not have the space to accommodate a larger solar panel array. 

The good news is that ground-mounted solar panels can easily be installed. You won’t need to drill into your roof (or climb it, for that matter), nor will you need the mounting hardware to secure heavy panels from falling off it.

Speak with a solar expert and find out whether your roof is suitable for solar panels. At Photon Brothers, our experts are here to answer all of your questions with honest, educated advice, including free upfront pricing estimates. Call us at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California) today!

Get a FREE Solar Estimate!

For more than a decade, Photon Brothers has helped thousands of Colorado and California homeowners make the switch to solar energy. To get a free, upfront quote on the cost to install solar panels in your home, contact us today. We provide virtual and in-home consultations in which our solar engineers can answer all of your most pressing questions, including financing, solar rebates, tax credits, and more!

Photon brothers John E Johnson

John E. Johnson

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