The Issue with Tiled Roofs and Solar Panels
If you’re considering installing solar panels on your tiled roof, it’s important to note that there are some issues, and it will not be as easy as installing them on regular roofs. That said, the process is far less invasive than some make it out to be.
Often referred to as Spanish tile, clay and cement tile roofs are exceptionally lightweight and resistant to the elements. This is why many homeowners across Australia favour them. However, if you’ve ever tried walking on clay or cement tile roofs, you know that they can easily be damaged by simply stepping on them. No wonder they get totally destroyed during roof chase scenes in movies!
While these tiles are very resistant against the harshest of weather conditions, it’s not really advised to install solar panels directly on top of them. These “terracotta tiles” are not designed to handle the extra pressure.
A solar installation may inevitably cause breaks or fractures on the roof tiles if not done properly. If this happens, the integrity of your roof may be compromised, resulting in leaks and other property damage. Drilling through these tiles may also cause harm to the subfloor, the underlying layer of your roof that serves as additional protection beneath tiles or shingles.
How to Properly Install Solar Panels on Tiled Roofs
Installing solar panels on tiled roofs, especially these lightweight ones, is not a walk in the park. However, expert solar installers have been successfully doing it for years, and here’s how they manage to do so:
While this step is required for installing solar panels on all kinds of roofs, it’s particularly crucial when you’re dealing with tiled ones. Before installing solar panels on your tiled roof, your installer has to assess the state of your roof. This will help them determine if it is suitable for solar panel installation and, if not, what needs to be done so it can support the weight of the panels. The installer has to carefully consider the structural integrity of your tile roof before giving the green light for installation.
This is a pretty straightforward step, but it’s absolutely the most critical part of installing solar panels on a tiled roof. Prior to placing the mounting brackets, the installers will start by removing a few selected tiles. They will do this to access the rafters and roof structure after taking measurements and determining the length of railing required for your solar panels. To provide more mounting points for the brackets, the installers could also make a few minor modifications to the roof cavity.
Mounting Bracket Installation
Fitting a mounting bracket is an important step in installing solar panels on tile roofs. In fact, this step is seldom necessary for other roof types. The mounting bracket holds the solar panel on the roof and prevents direct pressure on the roof tiles, which causes them to break. Many of these brackets are made from metal, but some people prefer to use plastic because they’re more lightweight. However, stainless steel remains the best material for this as it’s more resistant to corrosion.
Setting up the Panel Rail
The rail is what directly holds your solar panels. These rails should hold up all of your panels, so the installer will make sure you’ve got plenty of support. If your panels are hefty, or if you’re installing a multitude of panels, it may be worth investing in some heavy-duty steel rails instead of wood or plastic ones.
Mounting the Panels
At this point, all the initial groundwork is done. All that’s left to do is mount the solar panels onto the pre-installed rails via clips and bolts. The installer will then make the finishing touches like connecting wires and setting up the inverter and battery.
Solar Panel Tile Roof Installation- Conclusion
In the end, installing solar panels on tile roofs does present some obstacles. The rails are exposed, so it’s important to keep them well protected with waterproof sealants to prevent rust and water damage. If you want to install solar panels on your tile roofs, know that it is certainly possible, but it’s a delicate procedure that’s best left to the hands of the pros.
Trust Solar Galaxy to Install Solar Panels on Your Tiled Roof
If you meet the requirements for your area and have a suitable roof, there is no reason to be discouraged from installing solar panels. These panels make so much sense for both your wallet and the environment that it is hard to ignore the savings and safe bet of going green. Call Solar Galaxy today for a free quote, and let’s put those panels on your tile roof ASAP.