Solar Panels on Asphalt Shingle Roofs vs Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roof with solar panels installed.

Thinking about installing solar panels on your sloped roof?

Solar panels are becoming more popular to install these days. With the future putting more of a demand on the electric grid, solar panels can help with the strain placed on the grid.

If you are considering having solar panels installed on the roof of your home, there is an important question you should answer. How old is the roof you currently have installed on your home? Maybe you should consider replacing the roof before you have the solar panels installed? Your average solar panel can last between 25 to 35 years. There are some solar panels that can last 40 years or more. Your average asphalt shingle can last 20 to 30 years, depending on the climate conditions you live in. Chances are, you will need to replace the roof before the solar panels need replaced. In order to replace the roof, you would need to first have the solar panels removed, the roof replaced and the solar panels reinstalled. Dealing with the solar panels will add to the cost of your roof replacement.

You could always consider installing a premium asphalt shingle roof. A higher grade asphalt shingle can last as long as the average solar panel. Depending on the premium grade asphalt shingle, the roof could even last as long and the higher grade solar panels.

The other consideration is to install a standing seam metal roof. The average life span of a standard standing seam metal roof is 50 years and above. Well above the best solar panel life expectancy. Your would be replacing the solar panels before the roof would need replaced.

There are a number of advantages to installing a standing seam metal roof when installing solar panels. As mentioned, the roof will outlast the life of the solar panels. Metal roofs also have less of a chance of developing a leak over time. Solar panels installed on an asphalt shingle roof will have penetrations into the roof that would become a risk of developing a future leak. If a leak develops under the solar panels, then the affected solar panel would need to be remove to repair the leak, adding cost to the roof repair. Solar panels installed on a standing seam metal roof employs the use of heavy duty clamps to hold the solar panels in place. These specialized clamps do not penetrate the roof. They clamp to the standing seam to hold the solar panels in place, no penetrations.

Asphalt shingle roofs require annual cleaning to keep the roof free from debris and moss. The solar panels can make cleaning the roof a lot more time consuming. A standing seam metal roof will require less maintenance throughout the life of the roof. A standing seam metal roof is basically a self-cleaning roof. The granules on an asphalt shingle roof will hold debris and allow moss to develop. A standing seam roof will not hold as much debris as the asphalt shingle roof and won’t aid in the development of moss.

So if you are considering adding solar panels to your roof, consider the standing seam metal roof option. A standing seam metal roof will keep the cost of maintenance and repairs to a minimum. You will also see a maximum return on your solar panel investment.