residential metal roof solar panel installation
massachusetts metal roof solar panel installers
metal roof solar panel mounting
pitched metal roof solar panel mount installation

Metal Roofing – A Good Fit for Solar Energy

Although not as common in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, structures with metal roofing are found. Older and more rural or farming buildings are still found constructed of metal. However, because this material is both durable throughout all four seasons and generally long lasting with little maintenance, more homes and other pitched roof structures are being built with metal roofing or retrofitted. Some of the newest engineered designs may be made to appear more like shingles for aesthetic appeal.

Benefits

Often people either keep their metal roofing or choose to change and upgrade because of certain benefits:

  • Superb at withstanding decades of winter weather and cycles of hot, direct summer sunshine. A metal roof will most likely outlast the decades of service from a solar energy system;
  • Depending on design, they can be lightweight and easier to support;
  • They can be made out of recycled base materials, making them more eco-friendly than others;
  • More modern metal roofing systems are designed and installed to be a better option for thermal insulation. The materials and installation practices address radiant heat from the direct sunlight with certain coatings, and trap or exhaust other forms of heat.

Adding Solar

The addition of a solar energy system to a structure with a metal roof is different but no more complicated than more traditional roofs.

  • The integrity of a metal roof is not impacted by traffic during installation;
  • Often the installation time is equal to or faster than with traditional roof designs;
  • The installation crew needs to use more caution as metal roofing poses a greater slipping hazard;
  • Many solar panel racking mounting options are available, however the metal roof design has a big impact.

Mounting Solar Panels on Metal Roofs

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Standing Seam Metal Roof

In general, a standing seam metal roof allows a solar energy system to be mounted to a building without having to penetrate the surface to secure the racking. Southern Light Solar can attach panels using a mounting system that clamps onto the seams of the roof without having to make any holes. Because appropriate flashing and leak protection isn’t needed, often this can be completed more quickly than mounting solar systems on more traditional roofs.

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Corrugated Metal Roof

There are a range of corrugation designs in use today. Some look almost sinusoidal with smooth and rounded peaks. Others have flatter peaks and tapered edges. The distance between the peaks – or the flats – vary as well. Commonly the footers or base blocks for securing the racks are made to specifically contour the metal design and require a
through-screw to fasten to the underlying structure. Care must be used to ensure a watertight installation.

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Other Metal Roof Designs – Tile and Shingle

Metal roofs designed with architectural styling tend to require mounting similar to what is used for corrugated styles, where the mounting base must work specifically with each designed contour. Because the appearances are made to simulate tiles or shingles, those bases are readily available. Fastening may require additional effort during the
installation.