As climate change becomes an ever more pressing concern, homeowners across Australia are making big changes to try and minimise the energy consumption and carbon footprints of their homes. Installing roof-mounted solar panels that generate electricity and hot water can be an excellent and highly effective way to make your home more eco-friendly.
However, if your home needs a replacement roof before solar panels can be installed, or if you wish to install solar panels on a custom-built home, you should choose roofing materials that are compatible with solar panels. Some traditional roofing materials, such as clay tiles, can make installation and maintenance of roof-mounted panels difficult and expensive. The following roofing materials are much more suitable for solar-powered homes:
If you need a roofing material that can support the weight of a solar panel array, metal roofing is an excellent choice. With an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and significant load-bearing strength, metal roofing can support the weight of several large solar panels without the need for expensive roof reinforcement or steel trusses.
Metal roofing can also handle people walking on your roof without any problems, and it will not shatter underfoot, unlike brittle clay or slate tiles. This will make maintaining and repairing damaged solar panels easier. The durability of metal sheets and shingles also makes them easy to drill and cut, so you won't have to worry about your roof being damaged accidentally when the panels are installed.
As well as being an excellent mounting point for roof-mounted solar panels, metal roofing can also benefit your home's energy efficiency in other ways. Modern metal roofing usually comes pre-fitted with insulated foam cores or backing materials, which prevent unwanted heat transfer through the roof. This can help lower the amount of energy your home uses to run heating and air conditioning equipment.
Concrete Tile Roofing
Another excellent roofing choice for homes with solar panels, concrete tiles are highly resistant to deformation and erosion, preventing your solar panels from shifting and loosening from their mountings after years of use. They are also more than capable of supporting the weight of your solar panels, as well as the weight of solar panel maintenance personnel.
If any of your concrete tiles are damaged by falling tree branches or other heavy impacts, individual tiles can be replaced easily, allowing your roof to be repaired without you having to uninstall your panels. Concrete tiles are also excellent heat insulators and can provide insulation benefits similar to those provided by foam-insulated metal roofing.
If you do choose concrete roof tiles, you should bear in mind that these tiles can be very heavy. A concrete tiled roof with added solar panels can put significant strain on roof trusses and supports. If you are fitting a concrete tile roof to an existing home rather than a new build, the trusses already in place may need to be reinforced or supplemented with additional supports.
Contact a roofing company to learn more.