Can you install solar panels on your roof?

With the increasing cost of electricity and the falling cost of solar panels, more and more people are considering installing them. The payback period has dropped significantly and there are still significant savings to be made in the medium to long term on electricity bills. There are a few fundamental things that you need to consider about your roof though before determining whether or not you can install solar panels, including:

Roof materials

Your roof must have concrete or clay tiles, or slate. This is so that the panels can be safely mounted while ensuring your roof remains watertight.

Structural integrity

While individual solar panels are not too heavy, the combination of a number of panels can add some significant weight so your roof must be structurally sound and able to bear this additional weight. A structural survey will check its suitability and even if it is found to be unsuitable there are things you can do to improve that. Similarly, if you know that you need to renovate your roof in the future it is worth doing that in advance so that you are not disconnecting the panels in a couple of years in order to undertake the renovation work. Getting it done now will see you through for years to come and could be done at the same time as checking and upgrading its weight-bearing capacity.

Roof angle

The angle of your roof will determine whether or not you can install solar panels. Ideally it should be 30o to 45o but angles of 15o to 50o can also work. If your roof is flat panels can be mounted on a frame to get the desired angle. Again, critical to this is the structural integrity of your roof.

Roof space

You will also need to confirm that there is enough space on your roof to make it a cost-effective installation. This is something that your solar panel installation specialist will advise on, taking into consideration the available space and efficiency of your chosen panels.

Roof and chimney maintenance

One thing to keep in mind is that installation of panels must not compromise the maintenance and repairs to your roof. Make sure to allow sufficient space for access and work on any loose tiles, flashing and pointing, and the chimney if you have one.

Planning permission

While not all local authorities require planning permission for the installation of solar panels, it is worth checking. If you live in a conservation area or your property is listed there may be restrictions. You can check on the government’s Planning Portal which provides specific guidance with regard to solar panel installation.

If you are considering installing solar panels on your roof, your first step should be to check the structural integrity and weight-bearing load of your roof. Our Roof Rescue team can help with that and can also undertake any work necessary to make sure that you can safely go ahead with it. Talk to us today by calling us on 020 3189 1618 – we’re here to help!

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