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Does a Metal Roof Work in Akron Ohio with Solar Panels?

Apr 05, 2022

You’ve probably noticed that metal roofing systems aren’t just for industrial buildings and commercial properties anymore. Rather, this versatile roofing material is becoming more popular with residential property owners across the country.

Metal roofs are unique due to their high level of durability and their long lifespan, especially when compared to asphalt shingles or traditional roofing materials. With a metal roof, you’re far less likely to need frequent roofing repairs, even if you’re dealing with harsh weather conditions like heavy rain or snowfall.

Of course, that’s not the only reason why Akron homeowner may opt for a metal roof, rather than standard shingles. Metal roofing is often one of the eco-friendlier options, given the source of the materials and how they’re processed.

And if you care about being eco-friendly, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ve considered solar panels, at some point – assuming you haven’t already taken the plunge and had them installed.

Do you have a metal roofing system, and are you looking to have solar panels installed to power your home? Fortunately for homeowners, metal roofs and solar panels are completely compatible. There’s nothing about metal roofing that would make the installation of solar panels more complex than it needs to be.

It’s Simple to Install Solar Panels on a Metal Roof

Bird's eye view of a luxury home with a red shake roof and stone siding. There are lots of bushes in the front yard and a pool is visible in the backyard.

If you’re worried about the installation process itself, then there’s really no need to panic. Especially if you’re bringing in an experienced contractor, the process of installing solar panels on a metal roof is quite straightforward.

When they’re working on non-metal roofing materials, many solar installers will drill holes in the roof’s surface. This is how they attach the solar panel mounting. If this job is handled by someone without the necessary skills or experience, it can lead to a huge headache for the homeowner. Solar panel systems that haven’t been properly mounted can lead to leaks or other serious roofing issues.

Thankfully for Akron homeowners with metal roofing systems, it’s unlikely that your contractor will need to drill holes in your roof in the first place. Instead, you can choose from a series of alternative mounting options that don’t involve the creation of holes in your rooftop. These alternative mounting techniques are best suited to homes with metal tile roofs or standing seam metal roofs.

Metal Roofs Are Durable and Can Outlive Your Solar Panels

Bird's eye view of a luxury home with a dark gray metal shingle roof

If you’re looking to install solar panels, you might have considered a scenario where you need a roofing replacement in the next few years. For your roofing system to be replaced, this will also involve your solar panels being uprooted in the process. Naturally, this makes the roofing replacement job even costlier and more of a hassle.

Generally, a brand-new solar panel system will last around 25 to 30 years before it needs to be replaced. If you’ve installed solar panels on top of asphalt shingles, there’s a high probability that you’ll need a roofing replacement before your panels reach the end of their lifespan. Even if they’ve been correctly installed and maintained, the average asphalt roofing system will only last 20 to 30 years.

This isn’t the case for metal roofs, however. If your metal roof was properly installed and looked after by the property owner, it could last upward of 50 to 70 years before a replacement becomes necessary. Certain types of metal roofing, such as copper, can have a lifespan that comes closer to a century. Chances are, you won’t be needing a new roof before you require a fresh set of solar panels.

Solar Panels Enhance the Cooling Capabilities of Your Metal Roofing System

Many Akron Ohio residential property owners are looking to regulate the temperature within their homes, especially during the hot summer months. Roofing materials like asphalt can have the opposite effect since this material has a tendency to absorb heat from the sun and transfer it into the home. This can also lead to higher energy bills, due to your air conditioner needing to work harder just to keep your house at a comfortable temperature.

Unlike traditional shingles, metal roofing doesn’t absorb heat and introduce it into the home. Rather, this is a material that can reflect the sun’s rays, rather than absorb them.

After you’ve had PV solar panels installed, this can provide additional shade and further fend off heat absorption.

What Kinds of Solar Panels Are Best for Metal Roofs?

Solar panels come in a wide range of forms, although some are better for metal roofing systems than others. Namely, there are two types of solar panels systems that are great for metal roofs: crystalline solar panels and thin-film solar laminates.

Crystalline Solar Panels and Metal Roofing

In North America, crystalline solar panels are the more common option. However, these systems come with both positives and drawbacks. Before you decide on a crystalline solar panel system for your metal roof, make sure you’ve carefully considered the pros and cons.

On the positive side, compared to thin-film solar panels, crystalline panels are often capable of generating twice as much energy. They’re also a fantastic choice if you’re looking to use a specialized mounting system for your panels.

Still, there are some cases where crystalline solar panels will require holes to be mounted. Before having this solar energy system installed, make sure you’ve talked with a contractor to determine the best possible mounting strategy. If holes are drilled, homeowners run the risk of leaks developing later down the line.

Crystalline panels are also costlier and bulkier, which can lead to a more complicated installation process.

Thin-Film Solar Laminates and Metal Roofing

If you have a standing seam metal roofing system, then thin-film panels may be the best bet for your situation. Also, it’s completely possible to install these panels without penetrating or drilling through your roof. These panels are lightweight and involve a faster and easier installation process.

Even so, thin-film panels are less efficient than their crystalline counterparts, on top of having a shorter average lifespan. Ultimately, you’ll need to take a careful look at your personal priorities before deciding on the solar panel system for your metal roof.

Are you looking to have solar panels installed on a metal roof? Solar energy systems are a great option for any residential property owner with metal roofing. To get started on installation, all you need to do is contact your local solar energy contractor.

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