Roof Replacement & Solar: Which Roofing Material Is Best

If you're scheduling a roof replacement in anticipation of installing solar panels on your roof, it's important to choose the right roofing material. Not all roofing materials are created equal when it comes to solar energy systems. Some materials can make the installation process more difficult and expensive.

In this blog post, we'll explore the best roofing types for solar panel installations and the pros and cons of each.

Asphalt May Be Your Best Bet

Asphalt roofing is one of the most popular roofing materials in the US, with good reason. It's durable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install. It's also a good choice for solar installations.

Asphalt shingles provide a solid base for solar panels, and as long as your roof decking is strong enough to support your panels, you can expect to get the full lifespan out of your roof. Additionally, because of their relatively low profile and smooth surface, cleaning and maintaining your asphalt roof after your solar installation is simple and easy.

However, it is important to remember that asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan than other roofing materials, typically around 15-20 years (though with newer asphalt shingle technology, we are seeing this average lifespan increase). Because solar panels last, on average, for 20-30 years, your asphalt roof may need to be replaced again before your solar panels, which can be a hassle to coordinate.

What About Tile Roofing & Solar?

Tile roofing is another popular roofing material in Arizona, largely because it can last over 50 years and is heat, pest, and fire resistant. It is also often used in solar installations. Tile roofs are very durable and require minimal maintenance, and once your solar panel system is installed, you don't have much to worry about.

The downside is that tile roofs are more expensive than asphalt shingles, making them a costlier option for homeowners on a budget. Additionally, you may be more likely to experience broken tiles during your solar installation as tile roofing is more prone to breakage when it is walked on. With this in mind, make sure you work with a solar company that is experienced in installing solar panels on tile roofing, and keep Lyons Roofing on speed dial in case you need to have a few tiles replaced.

Architectural Shingles Can Be a Good Compromise

Architectural shingle roofing is a good choice for homeowners who want the aesthetics of tile roofing but at a lower cost. Architectural shingles are a type of shingle roofing that is made of asphalt and designed to look like tiles. They're also durable and easy to install. However, they are more expensive than traditional asphalt roofing and don't last as long as tile roofing.

No Matter Your Roofing Materials, Maintenance Is Key

Maintaining your roof after a solar energy system has been installed is crucial for the longevity of your roof and the performance of your solar panels, regardless of the roofing material you choose. Regular maintenance can prevent leaks, extend the life of your roof and panels, and ensure optimal performance.

It's equally important to keep your roof clean and free of debris that could damage your roof or interfere with energy production. Trim tree limbs that may shade your panels and regularly inspect for roof damage around your solar panels.

Similarly, be vigilant against roof leaks. Because solar panels require bolting down to your roof, they can introduce new weak points in your roofing materials that are more susceptible to leaking. Additionally, debris can build up around your panels, creating an environment where plant life, mold, and mildew can grow. All these things can degrade your roof and result in an early replacement.

Consult with Lyons Roofing Before Installing Solar Panels

It is always recommended to consult with a professional roofing contractor to assess the integrity of your roof before installing solar panels. At Lyons Roofing, our team can help you determine if you need a roof replacement before installation and what the best type of roofing for your home will be.

Schedule a roof inspection today by calling us at (520) 447-2522 or message us online.