Can You Install Solar Panels on Tile Roofs?

There are many factors that can affect the cost and design of your solar panel system. Different roof types require different installation methods. A lightweight tile roof can pose unique challenges for solar installers. These are some things to consider before you add solar energy to your tile roof.

What’s Unique About Solar Installation on Lightweight Tile Roofs and Solar Panels?

Clay tile roofs made of cement and clay, also known as Spanish tile and terracotta tile are common in the southwest and western United States. These three shapes are often associated with this type of tile: “W”, “S”, or flat tile. Lightweight tiles are those that weigh less than nine pounds per square foot. You may have ever attempted to walk on a tile roof to repair or maintain it. You might have damaged some tiles because they are fragile and easily broken.

Solar Installation on Tile Roof

It is not advisable to place solar panels directly on top of a lightweight tile roof. These tiles may not be able to withstand extreme weather conditions, but they are not made to withstand additional pressure. Solar installation can cause cracks or breaks that could lead to roof damage, leaks, and other damage. The underlayment is the protective layer beneath tiles and shingles that can be damaged by drilling through them.

Solar installers may choose to remove individual tiles and install special tile replacement mounts. This method is safe for heavier tiles but not for lightweight tiles. Even if this method is followed and the solar panels are mounted successfully without any tile breaking, there are still potential problems. Vibrations from wind passing between panels and the racking system on top of lightweight tiles can cause future problems.

This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD is one of the top solar panel companies in Florida! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value! For more information, Click Here.

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