Solar Panels on Metal Roof (Advantages + Disadvantages)

Solar panels are typically mounted on pitched roofs with shingles, although there are other mounting positions like the ground, pole, and metal roofs.

Metal roofs are also becoming more popular due to their durability and low maintenance costs. Installing solar panels on a metal roof is a great way to take advantage of these trends. 

We will look at the advantages and disadvantages of installing solar panels on metals roofs and other common questions

Solar panels on a house with a metal roof

Can You Put Solar Panels on Metal Roofs?

You can put solar panels on any roof, metal roofs offer several advantages for solar panel installation.

Metal roofs provide the most durability and fire resistance. Not to mention they tend to last longer than asphalt shingles. They also offer good reflectivity, which can help keep your home cooler in the summer months. 

In short, a metal roof is a solution that will give you the most peace of mind.

Yes, you can put solar panels on a metal tile roof. This is always a question because installing solar panels on asphalt tile is more common than on metal. 

Many contractors aren’t familiar with it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t the best overall option for getting the most out of your solar panels.

Advantages of Solar Panels On A Metal Roof

Metal roofs are an excellent choice for solar panel installation, as they offer several advantages.

  • Durable and long lasting
  • Reflects sunlight and keeps the home cooler
  • Save money on energy bills

Durability

Metal roofs are highly durable and can last for decades with minimal maintenance. This makes them ideal for holding solar panels, which require little to no maintenance. Metal roofs are also fire resistant, which can provide peace of mind in areas where wildfires are a concern.

Reflects Sunlight

Metal roofs reflect sunlight, which can help keep your home cooler in the summer months. It can lead to lower air conditioning bills and reduced energy consumption overall.

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Solar Panel FAQ Video

Metal roofs are also environmentally friendly, as they can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

Easy Installation

Metal roofs are thinner and less brittle than shingle roofs, which makes them easier to drill into and they are less likely to crack or break. You can also feed the cables underneath a metal roof easily.

Carport with solar panels

What Are the Disadvantages of a Metal Roof?

The main disadvantage of a metal roof is the noise. To some, the noise may be therapeutic. For others, it can be a nuisance. However, there are other disadvantages. 

  • Price
  • Is it worth the investment?
  • Clamps for metal roof

Price

Because metal roofs tend to have the most extended lifespan, they can be more expensive. 

Clamps for Metal Roof

Another major disadvantage of a metal roof is the fasteners. They are designed to contract and expand to relieve pressure from weather conditions. Unfortunately, those fasteners may not have the lifespan of the metal itself. 

A more minor problem is coloring matching. If you have to repair only part of the roof, finding the exact metal is challenging. 

Problems with Solar Panels On Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are not without their problems, but they are generally minor. Here are a few common problems.

  • Noisy
  • Scratches, nicks, and scuffs
  • Erosion

Noisy

First, metal roofs can be quite noisy, especially in the rain or during a hailstorm. The noise can negatively impact sleep quality.

Scratches, Nicks, and Scuffs

Life happens, and no one has complete control over severe storms, accidents during installation, and falling objects that could cause scratches, nicks, and scuffs. 

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In many cases, the roof can be painted to add an extra layer of protection to prevent some aesthetic issues. For some, metal roofs can be more challenging to install than other roofs. 

Erosion

While metal roofs don’t require much maintenance, if they start to erode, the expenses will add up, especially if a new roof needs to be installed.

The fact is that some issues cannot be prevented, and that is why it is vital to do your research to determine which roof is best for your budget and preference.

What Type of Roof Is Best for Solar Panels?

There is no one “best” type of roof for solar panels. Every rooftop has unique characteristics that may or may not be well suited for solar panel installation. However, some types of roofs are generally better suited than others.

As mentioned earlier, metal roofs are an excellent choice for solar panels, as they are durable and fire-resistant. On the other hand, Tile roofs are also a good option, as they are durable and provide good insulation. 

Asphalt shingles are a less ideal choice, as they are not as durable and can be more difficult to install solar panels on. Ultimately, the best type of roof for solar panels is the one that is best suited to your specific needs and circumstances.

Best Metal Roofing for Solar Panels 

Standing seam metal roofs are one of the better metal roofs to install solar panels on because they are made with two layers of metal joined together at the seams. These metal panels utilize clips and clamps that fasten together. They create a strong and durable roof that is ideal for holding solar panels. 

In addition, standing seam metal roofs are 100% recyclable and are very easy to maintain. As far as easy installation goes, mounting and installing solar panels is effortless and straightforward.

Installation is more simple compared to other roofing systems.

Installing Solar Panels On Metal Roof  

Installing solar panels on a metal roof is a relatively simple process. Solar panels are typically installed using special brackets that are screwed or bolted into the roof. The solar panel is then placed on top of the bracket and secured in place.

In most cases, installing solar panels on a metal roof does not require any special skills or knowledge.

Solar Panels on Metal Roof

The cost of solar panels on a metal roof varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of solar panel, the quality of the solar panel, and the environment in which it is installed. 

Cost

The average cost to install a solar panel system on a metal roof is $19,000. Considering how durable and long-lasting they are with minimal maintenance, this makes sense.

That seems worth it with little to no maintenance, fire resistance, and a 20 to 30-year lifespan.

Thin-Film Solar Panels for Metal Roofs 

Thin-film solar panels are another awesome choice for use on metal roofs. Thin-film solar panels are made with thin layers of photovoltaic material, making them flexible and lightweight. 

Additionally, thin-film solar panels are less likely to break or be damaged than traditional solar panels.

Tesla Solar Panels On Metal Roof 

Tesla solar panels are a good choice for use on metal roofs. Tesla solar panels are made with high-quality materials and are designed to be durable and efficient.

Additionally, Tesla solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, making them a good choice for long-term use.

Can You Install Solar Panels on Aluminum Roofs?

Yes, you can install solar panels on an aluminum roof. Aluminum roofs offer several advantages for solar panel installation.

Aluminum roofs are another option that is exceptionally durable and can last for decades with minimal maintenance. This makes them ideal for holding solar panels. Honestly, they function almost identically to standard metal roofs.

Aluminum roofs reflect heat from the sun, making them ideal for use in sunny climates. The most significant difference is the price.

Aluminum roofing will cost up to 20 percent more because it is highly resistant to corrosion. Steel will start to corrode over time.

Can You Put Solar Panels on a Zinc Roof?

Yes, you can put solar panels on a zinc roof. Zinc roofs are a good choice for solar panel installation because they are corrosion-resistant. It is also self-healing. If scratches happen, they can recover over time. Zinc roofing strips are also low maintenance. 

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The central dilemma is finding materials that are purely zinc. The more additives and die-casting, the more the corrosion effect of the product is compromised.

Therefore, to save effort, and time, and lower the risk, it’s best to go with steel.

Best Color Metal Roof for Solar Panels 

The best color metal roof for solar panels is light-colored such as gray or brown. Light-colored roofs reflect sunlight, which helps to keep the solar panels cool and prevents them from overheating. 

Light-colored roofs can help increase the efficiency of solar panels by reflecting more light onto them. The more heat they reflect onto the solar panels, the more money you save on your energy bill. 

Lighter-colored roofs enhance your overall savings year-round, especially during summer. There will likely be some benefits during the winter months as well, especially when the sun is shining.

Not to mention, they tend to look better with black solar panels. It’s a win-win.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Solar Panels on Your Roof

There are a few reasons you might not want to install solar panels on your roof. First, solar panels can be pretty heavy and may require reinforcement of your roof structure to support the extra weight.

Second, solar panels can be expensive, and you may not recoup the installation cost through lower energy bills, especially in the winter. 

Finally, solar panels require periodic cleaning and maintenance, which may be difficult on a rooftop.

Do Solar Panels Make the House Hotter?

Solar panels can make a house hotter, but it is not a common problem. Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into electricity. This process generates heat, which can be transferred to the surrounding air.

This heat dissipates quickly and does not cause any problems in most cases. However, in some cases, the heat from solar panels can make a house warmer than it would otherwise be. It is most likely to happen in hot climates or if the solar panels are not installed properly.

If you are concerned that solar panels may make your house hotter, you can take measures to prevent this. For example, you can choose a type of solar panel that is less likely to generate heat or install solar panels to minimize heat transfer.

Solar Panel Roof FAQ

What Type of Metal Roof Is Best for Solar?

The best metal roof for solar panels is standing seam metal because of its construction. They join two layers of metal joined together at the seams. Standing seam metal roofing is easy to install because it uses clips and clamps to connect the layers.

The thicker roof layer is durable and robust enough to effortlessly hold even heavier solar panel systems. 

What Color Roof Is Best for Solar Panels?

Light colors such as gray and brown are best for solar panels. They enhance the performance of the system by reflecting heat from the sun. 

Dark colors absorb heat from the sun, meaning that your solar panels would be missing out on some of the charging effects it absorbs from the heat. Ultimately, the best color for a roof when it comes to solar panels is the one that is best suited to your specific needs and circumstances.

Can You Add Solar Panels to a Metal Roof Later? 

Adding solar panels to a metal roof is generally possible but may be difficult depending on the age and condition of the roof. Metal roofs are typically very durable. 

However, older metal roofs may not be able to support the weight of solar panels and may need to be replaced before solar panels can be installed.

What is the Best Way To Install Solar Panels on Metal Roofs?

Solar panels are relatively easy to install and can be done by most people with little to no experience. Ultimately, the best way to install solar panels on your roof is to hire a professional. 

Solar professionals have the experience and knowledge necessary to install solar panels properly and can do so quickly and efficiently. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine if solar panels can be added to your metal roof is to consult with a professional. Solar professionals will be able to assess your roof and determine if it is possible to install solar panels.

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