As more homeowners pursue green energy alternatives in their daily lives, installing solar panels has become increasingly popular. In addition to helping save the planet, they appreciate the energy savings from switching to solar power. While most homes have asphalt shingle roofs, some have metal. When evaluating whether to switch to solar power, homeowners with metal roofing have questions about essential issues relating to solar panels installed on metal roofs.

The Advantages Of Having Solar Panels Installed On Metal Roofs


Image of black metal roof with solar panelsMetal roofs offer several unique advantages compared to traditional roofing systems like asphalt shingles. If you own a metal roofing system, mounting solar panels to your roof has numerous benefits. Consider the following factors when evaluating whether to install solar panels on your metal roofing:


With basic maintenance, metal roofs routinely experience a life expectancy of 40-80 years (lasting 2-4 times as long as asphalt shingling by comparison.) In addition, this type of roofing also provides a highly sturdy foundation for securely and permanently mounting solar panels.

Easier Installation

In comparison to other types of roofing, metal offers a much easier non-penetrative installation process. Often, mounting panels on asphalt shingles is time-intensive and can lead to long-term issues because penetration through the shingles must happen for the solar panels to hold firm.

Energy Efficiency

Because metal roofs are highly reflective, they prevent heat absorption from the sun’s rays. Consequently, homeowners achieve meaningful energy savings with reduced cooling costs in warmer months or climates. Installing solar panels on metal helps further produce energy savings.

Environmental Sustainability

No other roofing alternative offers more significant environmental benefits than metal. Because metal roofing is 100% recyclable, it meets the highest standard of eco-friendliness. As a recyclable material, solar paneling also provides a green energy solution akin to metal roofing.

Weather Resistant

Metal offers greater wind, rain, and hail resistance than traditional roofing. Mounting panels on metal typically will not require reinstallation when a severe weather event occurs. With shingles, a hail storm often requires a new roof; thus, panels must be removed and reinstalled.

What To Consider When Installing Solar Panels On A Metal Roof

  • An astute homeowner involves a third-party structural engineer to verify that their metal roof can handle the weight of solar panels.
  • Installing solar panels does not normally void the roof warranty. However, some manufacturers require specific installation methods to preserve the warranty.
  • Metal roofing is an ideal choice for handling the weight of solar panels. Other roofing materials do not have the same structural strength.
  • Metal roofing usually allows for attaching either standard silicon photovoltaic (PV) or thin film solar panels.
  • Most types of metal roofing, including aluminum, copper, and steel, are ideal for installing solar panels securely and permanently.
  • Mounting solar paneling to a metal roof requires special equipment and tools. Many roofers do not possess these items.
  • Not all roofing contractors possess the knowledge and experience to install solar panels on metal roofing expertly.
  • Solar panels can enhance a metal roof’s cooling capacity. This hand-in-hand synergy makes solar and metal an ideal match.

How Solar Paneling Is Mounted To Metal Roofing


Image of 2 workers on a metal roof installing solar panelsInstalling Solar Panels To Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal panels have become an increasingly popular roofing material. This metal roofing alternative is ideal for attaching solar panels efficiently and effectively. Typically, the installer fastens U-clamps to the roof’s seams. The solar panels and their racking system securely attach to the U-clamps. The installer does not drill any holes or penetrate the roof.

Installing Solar Panels To Corrugated Or Ribbed Metal Roofing

Generally, the installer must make minor incursions into this metal roofing material to correctly mount solar panels. However, these penetrations do not impact the roof’s integrity or weatherproofing rating. The installer will add a small foot and a rubber bushing to seal the drilled holes. The solar panels and their racking system attach to the newly installed brackets.

Installing Solar Panels To Metal Tile Roofing

A knowledgeable installer will utilize tile replacement mounts and switch them out with existing roof tiles where needed. Using these mounts substantially simplifies the installation procedure. It also produces the benefit of ensuring the solar system is completely waterproof. The installer does not need to drill holes into the metal tiles or penetrate the roofing surface.

Installing Thin-Film Solar Panels To Metal Roofing

Most roofing materials allow for mounting standard silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. However, thin-film solar panels are ideally suited for metal roofing installation, particularly standing seam. Thin-film solar panels have a lower profile than PV solar panels and are easier to mount. For these reasons, thin-film solar panels are a less expensive alternative than PV solar panels.

For all your metal roofing replacement and solar panel installation needs, contact Straight Line Construction in Sacramento, CA. We provide knowledgeable expertise for any roofing project, no matter how complex.