Solar Panels are not easy to install, and they require proper placements and a few holes to be dug to place them right on the roof. Most house owners prefer putting them on the top, increasing the panels’ efficiency.
But do solar panels leak water? That means, is it going to damage your roof? Well, not really, but it can certainly do in sporadic cases. That is the primary reason why all the homeowners are scared and confused about installing solar panels. Well, there is always a fix.
Prevention is better than cure. With that note, we can discuss the preventive measures you should take before installation and what can cause the leak. By the end of this article, you will know all you can do to stop or prevent the leak from the solar panels.
Let us get started.
Significant Reasons Why Your Panels Could be Leaking
Roof Leaks are not very common with solar panels. But, if you find them, these could be the probable reasons for the same.
Your roof might not be suitable for installing a Solar panel
For installing the solar panels, you would need to drill the raft. While the solar panels are ideal for all kinds of roofs, some of the Roofs might not withstand and are unsuitable for installing solar panels. Poor installation tactics might worsen and stand as a significant culprit for the roof leakage.
Roofs made of wood shingles, clay, and terracotta are more vulnerable to leakage. If your roofs are not suitable for solar panels, it would be best to replace the roof area with composite shingles.
If you have installed the panels from a professional expert, you can call upon them to fix this, as in most cases, their warranty covers the leakage issue.
This is a straightforward and most common reason why your roof might be leaking. While the experienced installers can install it perfectly, if you prefer to choose inexperienced or new entrants to support you for the installation, better be cautious.
If you find any leakage, act quickly and contact the installers to fix them for you.
You need to consider the age of your roof, the condition, and the type of shingle well in advance. If your roof is too old, the shingles might have deteriorated over time and might not be suitable for installing solar panels. There are two significant risks when you plan to install solar panels on an old roof.
The first one is the common one; the old roof might not suit and cause leakage.
If you have to replace the roof after a few years of installing the panels, you have to remove the entire panel and install them back, which involves a lot of effort and money.
It would be best to get your roof checked by an experienced installer before installing the solar panels.
How to prevent Roof leakage after installing the solar panels?
To prevent your solar panels from leaking the roof, you must first consider proper professionals to install them. Installation is the key to having a successful solar panel operating effectively. Before choosing the installers, make sure you research their service. Read the reviews, consult by word with the friends and neighbours and check if they have any complaints from the Better Business Bureau.
- Choosing an experienced contractor with certifications makes money spent on installation worth it. Always stay cautioned and keep your eyes wide open to contractors who take shortcuts and fail to observe best practices.
Some installers will mount the solar panels on the roof made of wood tiles or slate, and these materials are usually flexible and brittle, and they cant withstand drills.
- Even if your roof is all fine, you need to make a roof inspection before installing the solar panels. Roofing professionals and solar technicians can help you evaluate the rooftops before installing.
If your roof requires any major rehauling, repairs, or replacement, you should try to do them before installing the solar panels.
These might seem like an additional cost to the installation. But, this can save you a bunch of pennies for the next six to eight years. And the energy that you could keep from proper installation could save you these additional costs.
- Some installers prefer grinding the underside of the roof tiles to keep them dry. It also ensures that the mounting brackets in between the tiles do not open the gaps through which the water can leak.
Did you know that solar panels can protect your roof?
Yes. Though poor installation can damage your roof, a properly installed one can protect your roof from the harsh climate. Too much sun and rain could damage your roof and increase the likelihood of a leak, and your solar arrays may protect your roof from wear and tear.
There is an added advantage in that it also helps keep your home cooler during summer. The PV arrays absorb the sunlight and block the heat from entering the roof. This, in turn, reduces the air conditioner’s usage and gives much comfort. Your cooling costs might be reduced drastically.
Why should you check your roof before installing solar panels?
Some of the elements or considerations should be given a thought before you begin your installation.
Your roof is the main element to be inspected and checked before installing the solar panels, and the roof must be in good shape to withstand the solar panels. While solar panels can protect your roofs, if you install the solar panels when the roofs are in bad shape, you would end up in more trouble.
While the panels won’t protect the roof from the leak, it would be tough for you to revamp your roof after installing the solar panels.
How to identify and fix the solar water leaks on the roof?
Several reasons may cause the roof leaks, and each of them has different solutions. For instance, sometimes, the leak may be caused by a loose valve or pipe, and tightening the tools may stop the leak from the roof.
No matter what the solution is, you may need to follow the below steps to identify and solve the leak from the roof.
Step 1: Identify the problem
The solution would be handy only if you identify the problem accurately. Identifying the problem is not an easy task, and if you find water logging below the solar collector, it would be comparatively easy to find out the problem.
But, if the water leaks drop by drop, it certainly gets challenging to find the culprit. Closely look around the components, pipes, water tanker for water leakage.
If there is any major problem, like a hole in a water tank, you need to drain the entire system to check out the area.
Step 2: Turn Off all power Systems
Now that you have identified the problem before you begin the maintenance activity, make sure you switch off all the power systems, including the electric and gas power boosters.
Make sure you do that safely. If you do not know how to disconnect the power systems safely, you may take the help of a professional installer for doing so. You may also need to shut off the water valves.
Step 3: Check the Valves for Leaks
Closely examine the valves and pipes for leaks. If you find any of them loose, begin with tightening the components to some extent to fix the problem. Before you tighten them up, loosen up and open the valves to check any dirt or debris deposited in them. Make sure you tighten them properly.
The leaky valves may also damage the other parts. In most cases, seat washer, nut or sometimes the entire valve. Especially during winter, you may need to protect them with the freeze protector to keep the system running safely.
Step 4: Run the water taps
Once you have tightened up the pipes, it is time to check the water taps. Switch on all your power systems and run the faucets. If the leaks persist, switch off all the power systems and follow the next step.
Step 5: If nothing helps, call a professional
There is not much you could do on your own, with little knowledge about the power systems. Though we are pros, we are not as experts as professional installers.
If your system is under warranty, you might need to contact the original installer to check how to solve the leak. You can get it solved without making any additional payments.
The roof is the most crucial element to be considered before installing the solar panel. It is always better to check them and get the maintenance done before installation. Every piece of equipment requires preventive care, and so do solar panels. Though they can stay stern and steady, there are chances that it might bring a leak to the roof. If that is the case, you better follow the steps mentioned above.
Suppose nothing works out well; head straight to the original installer if you have a warranty. Else, you can call any installer available at your reach.