Is Your Roof Solar-Ready?

Houses, and therefore roofs, come in all shapes and sizes.  Some of our Seattle customers have asked; Will solar panels work on all roofs?  Here is some helpful information when considering installing solar panels on your roof.

What is the condition of your roof?

Solar panels can last 25-40 years, so we'll help you be sure that the roof underneath your solar PV system is up to snuff.  If your home has an older roof or one that may need replacing in the next few years, we can help you decide if it will need replacing or repair before installing your solar panels.  Generally speaking, solar panels can be installed on any kind of roofing material.  

Is my roof too small?

Ideally, you’d have a large square roof on which to install your solar panels.  But, here in Seattle it's very common to install solar energy systems on smaller homes or houses with dormers or skylights.  Basically, for each kW of your system’s size, you’ll need about 100 square feet of roof space.  

What about a flat or steeply sloped roof?

If your home has a flat roof - no problem.  But, a steeply sloped roof, meaning a slope who’s angle is greater than 40 degrees, would cause your solar energy system to be less efficient.  The ideal roof gradient is somewhere between 30-40 degrees. 

Does my roof need to be south facing?

Solar panels that are south facing are the most efficient because they catch the most sunlight.  But, many roofs don’t have south-facing roofs.  If your home has an east or west exposure - this can still be enough to produce enough energy to power your home. 

What about shade?

Shade can impact the efficiency of your solar panels, so have a solar PV technician evaluate your home.  If needed, you may need to trim back some trees that overhang your roof. 

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