5 Questions to Ask to Avoid Damage to your Roof from Solar Panels and Solar Strips
Thinking of getting solar electricity or solar pool strip heating on your roof? Here’s five questions to ask at the quoting stage that may save you money down the track.
1. What condition is my roof in?
It might seem an obvious one but the first question that should be asked is “what condition is my roof in?” If the roof is already in poor condition, the priority should be to replace the roof, even if only the section where the panels are going to be installed. Clearly, it would make poor economic sense to install the panels and then later pay to remove and reinstall them to accommodate a roof replacement.
2. Is my roof compatible with the solar support brackets?
If you don’t already know what type of metal your roof is (zinc, galvanised, Colorbond) ask the solar company to clarify what type of roof you have. This is an important question if you are to avoid a situation whereby the support brackets are of a dissimilar or incompatible metal to your roof. If the metals are dissimilar, accelerated corrosion will occur. You can read more about this here http://www.roofrite.com.au/roof-problems/is-your-metal-roof-suitable-for-solar-panels/
3. Where will you position the support brackets on the roof sheets?
There is a right place and a wrong place to position support brackets on roof sheets. The wrong place is in the dip or pan of the roof sheet, ie the bottom of the sheet because this is where the water will always collect. It makes sense then not to have any penetrations in this vulnerable position. The best place to penetrate the roof sheet with fixings of any kind is at the top of the pan.
4. What if your roof leaks after the solar panel has been installed? Will the installer return?
As with all anything you buy, goods or services, you should always find out what the company’s after sales service policy is just in case things go wrong. If the roof leaks after the solar panels have been installed, will the company return and fix it? How will they determine where the problem lies? Rather than ask for a referral of a project that went well, why not ask for a referral from someone where the project didn’t go well? It’s a much better gauge of the company’s after sales service.
5. What roof maintenance is required?
Yes, it is a good idea to factor in roof maintenance if you are considering having solar pool strip heating installed on your metal or tiled roof.
We strongly recommend you regularly check the system for any splits or damage which may lead to leaks. We recently attended to reported roof leaks at a property that had a tiled roof. The pool’s solar strip system had developed a couple of splits enabling the salt water to run across the roof tiles and into the metal valleys. The resulting corrosion meant replacement of the damaged tiles and valleys was necessary. See our pics.