How to Mount Solar Panels on Roof: 8 Easy Steps (2022)

How to Mount Solar Panels on Roof: 8 Easy Steps (1)

Are you pondering how to mount solar panels on roof surfaces? Fundamentally, rooftops are deemed the most suitable location to install solar panels. This is because they obtain a generous amount of sunlight exposure, there isn’t anything that obstructs them, and they are durable.

The installation process can be slightly specialized; hence, it would be great to get a contractor to do the work for you. However, there’s no harm in learning about mounting solar panels on roof.

If you’re in the construction field or would like to uncover what the entire solar panel installation process involves, read the rest of this post.

Table of Contents

  • Things You Need to Consider to Install Solar Panels on Rooftop
  • How to Attach Solar Panels to Roof
    • Materials Needed
    • Instructions for Installing Solar Panels on Roofs
  • Affixing Solar Panel Systems on the Other Roof Types
  • Is It Safe to Mount Solar Panels on the Roof
  • Conclusion

Things You Need to Consider to Install Solar Panels on Rooftop

Before installing solar panel systems, there are a few things you need to check out, and these include:

The Structure of your Roof

Make sure that your roof is in good condition before you install solar panel on roof areas. Manufacturers specifically design their solar panels to work for many years; generally speaking, they can be of service for 25 years. This is why your roof should be incredibly durable.

Fix your damaged roof before you mount the solar panels. Unquestionably, fixing the damage early on will save you the additional expenses and hassle of lifting the panels and re-attaching them after fixing the roof.

Note that there are different types of roofs; however, the most common among them is the asphalt shingle roof.

The Location of your House

For example, do you have growing fruit-bearing trees that could block your solar panels? Remove anything that could block the solar panels from absorbing full sunlight.

The gist here is that you need to ensure your panel’s location allows sunlight absorption.

The Strength of your Roof

Is your roof solid enough to support the additional weight of solar panels? Solar panels aren’t bulky; in general, they weigh up to 2.7 lbs. for every square foot.

Regardless, consider having a structural engineer inspect your roof so that you can ensure it suits your panels.

(Video) How to Install Solar Panels on roof in 8 Easy Steps | DayRise Solar

How to Attach Solar Panels to Roof

How to Mount Solar Panels on Roof: 8 Easy Steps (2)

Before starting the installation process, you need some required items. Having the installation materials complete and accessible can help you finish the job with fewer struggles.

Materials Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Drill bit and a drill
  • Chalk line
  • Ladder
  • Pencil

Note that the other assembly materials or hardware should be included in the solar panel kit you purchased. If the installation items are all set, you can now proceed to the step-by-step solar panel mounting process.

Instructions for Installing Solar Panels on Roofs

Here are the pro tips when mounting solar panel systems on shingle roofs:

Step 1: Lay out the installation materials you need.

Make sure that all the materials necessary for installation are nearby. You surely wouldn’t want to go from the roof and back repeatedly.

Step 2: Determine where the stanchions go.

Decide where the stanchions go. These refer to the large screws that keep the solar panels in place. When mounted, they should be solid enough and can withstand tearing the panels from your roof (upforce).

Find the roof rafters with the aid of a stud finder or your home’s blueprint. These will help you figure out the correct placement of the stanchions. Position the stanchions at least 4 feet apart.

Step 3: Fasten the screws to the roof.

When fastening the screws to the roof, utilize a drill to create holes in the rafters.

Step 4: Tightly put the screws in the holes and secure them.

It would help if you tightly secured the lower and upper aluminum rails to the stanchions. Utilize bolts to do this. Since optimal tightness is required, utilize an impact driver to achieve this.

Afterward, make sure that you seal the screws tightly to maintain the thermal envelope of your home. Substantially, thermoseal roofing is the most excellent way to execute this.

This approach will help keep an incredibly tight lock on your roof and prevent any elements from getting inside. Leakage is less likely to emerge if the stanchions are correctly installed.

Step 5: Gauge the distance from the rails.

Gauge the distance from the rails when installing solar panels. Put a measuring tape diagonally from the top of one rail to the bottom of the rail situated directly across from it.

(Video) How to install solar panels yourself on your roof. (It's easier than you think)

Repeat the process on the other side. The measurements should be equal. If they are, the rails are parallel to each other. On the other hand, you’ll need to make some adjustments if the measurements aren’t equal.

Step 6: Install the middle rail.

The next step will be to set up the center rail. Note that the center rail must be aligned with the lower and upper rails.

Step 7: Bring power to the solar panels.

Bringing power to your solar panels entails putting wires into them and running them to the power inverter kit to make up your conductor system. Then, install the power inverter kit below each of your panels.

Set up some 6-gauge copper grounding wire into the inverters. This process will create your conductor system. Link the wire connections from one solar array to the other.

Step 8: Position the panels on top of the previously installed stanchions.

Finally, place the panels above the previously installed stanchions. Link the plug connections. It is also essential to screw the securing clips onto the rails to ensure that the panels are solid as a rock.

You will need to deal with more electrical work after all these. Start extending some wires from the panels and link them to an electrical meter. You’ll also need to link the wires to an electrical sub-panel.

Affixing Solar Panel Systems on the Other Roof Types

How to Mount Solar Panels on Roof: 8 Easy Steps (3)

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Among the other types of roofs, this one is the easiest to deal with when roof mounting solar panels.

A standing seam metal roof is super sturdy. Moreover, it saves you the trouble of determining where the trusses are. Since you can utilize a U-clamp to mount the panels, it is unnecessary to drill holes.

Tile Roof

It is required to remove a few tiles when affixing the panels on a tile roof. From there, you can mount the tile hooks and flashings onto your roof.

The potential setback of affixing panels on a tile roof is the possibility of damage during the installation process. You might need to change the tiles once you have accomplished the job.

Flat Roof

(Video) Do It Yourself Solar Power? - Easy DIY Solar Panel Installation!

Use a ballasted racking when installing the solar panel systems on a flat roof. Cinder blocks can reinforce the entire structure of your solar panel.

This type of racking allows you to adjust it to a 30-degree angle to absorb an ample amount of sunlight.

Is It Safe to Mount Solar Panels on the Roof

You have nothing to worry about if safety is your concern when mounting solar panels on your roof. Installing solar panels on your roof is not as damaging as you imagine. Of course, you’ve got to ensure that you install them correctly.

Many homeowners are careful of holes in their roofs. This is normal because once the roof is damaged; you’ll need to prepare yourself for an expensive repair and renovation cost. Except for flat roofs and standing metal roofs, roof penetrations are needed to fasten the solar panels correctly.

Nonetheless, a correctly mounted solar panel system should not bring about any damage or leakage, even if penetrations are required.

The good news is that the solar industry has been setting up rooftop solar equipment for many years now, and appropriate measures have been developed. Such measures are designed to reduce the risk of any emerging water damage incidents due to incorrect solar panel system installation.

For a fact, mounting solar panels onto the roof can offer an additional benefit, and this is protecting your roof. Did you know that solar panels act as a protector against inevitable and typical wear and tear?

Solar panels are superbly durable and specifically engineered to tolerate much of what outdoor elements throw their way. They execute an excellent job of keeping roofs dry and tidy underneath.

It is vital for you to work with a trusted and licensed solar installer. In doing so, this will ensure that warranties support you.

Conclusion

As mentioned, you have to look into a few issues before installing your solar panels. Such issues include the location of your house, the structure of your roof, and the durability of your roof. Hopefully, the instructions we have shared about how to mount solar panels on roofs provide you with the information you’re looking for. Besides, if you own RVs or Vans and often picnic with them. so I think you should consider solar panels for vans, flexible solar panels, and foldable solar panels. I think you will choose the best one.

Did you find this post informative and interesting? Please feel free to recommend or share it with others.

(Video) Solar panel mounting method, aluminium rail, module clamps, rafter roof hooks

5/5 - (4 votes)

How to Mount Solar Panels on Roof: 8 Easy Steps (4)

Kathleen Miller

I am Kathleen Miller, staff writer and reviewer of the Avasolar team. Working with the team has been a pleasure for me so far, I hope to bring readers useful information by creating detailed and easy-to-follow contents.

FAQs

What are the three common ways of mounting solar panels? ›

The most common locations for mounting are on the roof, using solar roof mounts, or on the ground with ground-mount options.

Where do you mount solar panels? ›

The most optimum direction to face your solar panels is somewhere between south and west. It is at this location that your panels will receive the maximum sunlight throughout the day. If your roof does not face the right direction, then surface mounted panels or pole mounted panels may be your best bet.

Is it easy to install solar panels? ›

The electrical wiring and component installations are best left to the professionals. The correct answer might be that solar panel installation isn't difficult, but it is complex. If you're not a fan of being on a roof, or not comfortable working with electricity, then yes, it's hard to install solar panels yourself.

How do you build a solar panel mount? ›

Crazy Easy Solar Panel Mount! Solar Power Part 1/3 - YouTube

Which way do solar panels need to face? ›

So, what is the best direction for solar panels? For homeowners who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the rule of thumb is that solar panels should be oriented toward true south. (For those in the Southern Hemisphere, solar panels should be oriented toward true north.)

Do solar panels work at night? ›

Technically, no. Solar panels do not produce energy at night. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels must have sunlight to create electricity.

What is solar mounting structure? ›

Summary: The mounting structure is the supporting structure that holds the solar panels or arrays of solar panels to the ground.

How are solar panels supported on roof? ›

Solar PV panels can be retrofitted onto an existing roof, on top of the tiles or other roofing materials, using roof anchors (also called roof-hooks or brackets), mounting rails and clamps. Mounting rails are usually made of aluminium (due to its lightness) and other components from aluminium or stainless steel.

How long do solar panels last? ›

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at expected capacity. Not only are solar panels remarkably reliable, solar panel longevity has increased dramatically over the last 20 years.

Is solar good for my house? ›

Not only is solar power good for the environment, but you can earn money selling back excess power to the grid. While costs have come down over the past years, installation and maintenance of solar panels can be quite expensive. Solar panels are best suited for homes that receive ample sun exposure throughout the year.

Can solar panels power a whole house? ›

With a modern solar energy system, including power storage, you can definitely run a whole house completely on solar power. Today's high-efficiency solar panels and solar batteries make it cheaper than ever before to power an entire home exclusively using solar energy.

How do you mount solar panel rails? ›

Save money on solar with rail-less mounting - YouTube

What side of the roof do you put solar panels on? ›

For a solar panel to generate the most power, it should ideally be facing true south. Roofs that face south-west and south-east are also considered highly efficient, while properties with an east or west facing roof will lose approximately 15% efficiency compared to a south facing roof.

What is best angle for solar panels? ›

Latitude

For the vast majority of U.S. property owners, the ideal angle for a solar panel installation is close or equal to the latitude of your home (on a south-facing roof), somewhere between 30 degrees and 45 degrees.

Why do solar panels have to face south? ›

South is best direction to maximize solar panel output

That's because, on average, the sun shines directly over the Equator over the year. If you're north of the Equator, facing south towards it will maximize exposure to sunlight.

Does rain affect solar panels? ›

Rain itself will have no effect on your solar energy system. Solar panels are waterproof, so moisture won't damage them. And, in fact, rain is helpful in that it will wash off some of the dirt and debris that accumulates on the panels over time.

Do solar panels work in rainy weather? ›

Solar panels are designed to work in most conditions. However, one question that comes to mind most often, is—do solar panels work in the rain? The answer is yes, it does.

Do solar panels work during winter? ›

Even in below-freezing weather, solar panels turn sunlight into electricity. That's because solar panels absorb energy from our sun's abundant light, not the sun's heat. In fact, cold climates are actually optimal for solar panel efficiency. So long as sunlight is hitting a solar panel, it will generate electricity.

Can solar panels be installed on any roof? ›

Fortunately, most roofing materials can accommodate a solar panel installation without harming the roof itself. First, let's focus on the most common roofing material — asphalt shingles, also called composite roofing. Asphalt shingle roofing works great for solar panels and involves a simple installation process.

How high should solar panels be off the roof? ›

Make sure to place solar panels at least 3 inches off your roof, but it is best to have a clearance between 4 and 6 inches.

How are solar panels attached to a metal roof? ›

Corrugated Metal Roofs

There's also a method to put solar panels on it. Solar panels and their racking are attached to corrugated metal roofs with a bracket specifically designed for the surface. The bracket sits over the rib and is fastened in place using galvanized screws identical to those used by your roofer.

Which type of roof is best for solar panels? ›

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is the most common type of shingle used on housing and is also the best roof for solar panels. These shingles are made from a fiberglass or cellulose type of mat that is very flexible and durable, making it the perfect material for solar panels.

How long do solar panels last? ›

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at expected capacity. Not only are solar panels remarkably reliable, solar panel longevity has increased dramatically over the last 20 years.

How much is a solar roof system? ›

The average cost to install solar panels is $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the size of your roof. To break it down further, according to EnergySage.com, “The cost of solar panels as of July 2021 is about $19,300 after tax credits ($2.76/Watt for a 10 kW system).”

Do solar panels need an air gap? ›

In traditional mounting situations for rigid solar panels, you typically need to leave a small air gap to dissipate any heat that is generated from the panels. Some installers may recommend putting a spacer behind the panel with double sided tape or velcro tape to give your panels some breathing room.

Do you need a gap between solar panels? ›

The gap between solar panel rows should be around five to six inches, but it is also recommended that you leave one to three feet of space between every second or third row. What is this? This is because there needs to be enough room for maintenance workers to get on the roof and make repairs whenever necessary.

How do you install solar panels on a roof without drilling? ›

The Renogy Corner Bracket Mount is a great drill-free alternative mount for your solar system. These light weight brackets can be used with virtually any aluminum framed solar panels to provide drill-free and secure mounting to flat surfaces.

How do solar panels on your roof work? ›

Solar panels capture the sunlight hitting your roof and convert it into electricity. A solar inverter connected to your solar panels converts this electricity into the clean energy that can power the lights and appliances in your home.

Can solar panels damage your roof? ›

The installation of solar panels

Failure to securely fit the racking can cause water to seep through the holes, causing rot and great damage for your roof and so seriously affecting the structure of your home.

Why are solar panels placed on roofs? ›

Putting solar panels on your roof allows your home to directly harness the sun's radiation and convert that energy into useable power. The roof is the best place to install your panels. Your canopy is already a prominent collector of solar rays, heating your attic to unbearable temperatures.

Videos

1. How to install solar panels On Steep standing seam metal roof without rail systems
(metalplusllc)
2. 7 Steps to Install Solar Panels on Your Roof top
(DayRise Solar Enerdy Pvt Ltd)
3. How to Install Solar Panels | This Old House
(This Old House)
4. At What Angle Should Rooftop Solar Panels Be Installed?
(SolarQuotes)
5. UNISTRUT SOLAR PANEL MOUNT: How to install solar panels Using Unistrut/Superstrut
(jwsolarusa)
6. How to install solar panels on a flat roof DIY
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