On average, Anderson, South Carolina gets 221 days of full sunshine per year. This means the conditions are ideal for the installation of photovoltaics and the generation of electricity from sunlight.
If you’re considering the addition of solar panels to your house in the Anderson, Greenville, Clemson, or Seneca area, you probably have some questions about the logistics. Is your roof strong enough to support the weight of the new installation? Are you going to get a good return on investment? Will the benefits outweigh the maintenance costs and procedures?
At Anderson Metal Roofing and Shingles, we have most of the answers. Through the years, we’ve helped numerous clients with their solar installations and their roofing needs. Today, we’d like to share some of our experiences to help you make an informed decision about a brand new solar installation.
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What Are the Benefits of Solar Panels?
The US southeast is an absolute hotspot (both figuratively and literally) for the installation of solar panels. South Carolina isn’t an exception to this rule. Not only is there a ton of sunshine in the state, but there are also excellent tax incentives and rebates to make the installation of solar panels a much more affordable endeavor.
According to some estimates, installing solar panels in your Anderson home will generate lifetime savings of 94,809 dollars. This number is based on rebates and the estimated annual power production. As a result, an installation will pay itself off in as little as seven years and nine months.
But these numbers don’t represent the only benefit of choosing solar panels for your household’s electricity or water heating needs.
A residential solar system increases the value of the property. Sustainability has become a major trend over the past few years. Hence, if you ever do decide to sell your Anderson home, you’ll find it much easier to attract buyers. In addition, people will potentially spend more money on a property that already has a solar system installed.
Several other solar panel benefits worth mentioning include the following:
- You will be living in a property that’s sustainable and that has reduced greenhouse emissions
- As already mentioned, solar panels can be used both for electricity generation and for water heating
- Going solar will give you some energy independence
- Innovative solar systems require little to no maintenance after they’ve been installed professionally
- There’s a big choice of equipment on the market today and prices are constantly going down
Will you have to invest in the installation? Absolutely! We believe, however, that the project will deliver a huge payoff. It’s a good idea to get acquainted with tax rebates and other South Carolina financial incentives for the installation of a photovoltaic system. These opportunities to save some money will definitely help you execute the project and keep within a reasonable budget.
Solar Panel Attachments by Roof Types
If you’ve decided already that you’d like to install solar panels, you’ll need to get into the specifics of the procedure itself.
Most often, solar panels are positioned on the roof of a house. This is why many homeowners worry about the integrity of the roof, its ability to support the system, and the type of attachment that will have to be utilized on the basis of roof type.
Let’s take a look at how solar systems work with some of the most common roof types in Greensville, Anderson, Powdersville, Mauldin, and the surrounding areas.
Asphalt Shingle Roof
Solar panel attachments or mounting systems for asphalt shingle roofs usually feature a lag bolt and some flashing. The bolt gets secured against the rafters of the roof. Once a roofing contractor has completed the procedure, the solar panels will be attached to the racking system.
The benefit of this mount type is that it’s fairly easy to install. On the downside, there’s some risk of leakage. To prevent such issues, the roofing contractor will usually position a piece of flashing underneath the shingles that support the racking system.
There are two types of attachments possible. One is used for standing seam metal roofs and the other’s a common choice for corrugated metal roofs.
If your Anderson home has a standing seam metal roof, you’ll benefit from one of the simplest solar installation procedures. There will be no alteration of the roof or penetration, hence, its integrity will remain unaffected.
Usually, a standard U-clamp will be attached to the raised seam of the metal roof. The solar panel racking itself will then be attached to the clamp. As reputable roofing contractors, we’ve carried out dozens of such installations. They remain intact for a very long time and they can support even bigger solar installations.
In the case of a corrugated metal roof, special brackets will have to be designed to fit over the rib. We can create such personalized brackets for your solar installation and secure them in place with galvanized screws. The construction is very reliable and stable, giving you many years of good use.
Flat roofs and rubber roofs benefit from the same kind of mount system for solar panels.
It doesn’t matter exactly what the material is. Solar panels can be installed on flat roofs crafted from EPDM, TPO, and various other materials.
The system is once again fairly system. There will be no penetration of the roof construction, which means that an experienced contractor will handle the project quickly and efficiently.
Ballast mounts will be used on both flat and rubber roofs. These are essentially cinder blocks that act in a very simple way – their weight is the one thing that holds the entire solar installation in place. And because they’re being installed on a flat roof, ballast systems can benefit from a large degree of pre-assembly.
Keep in mind that if the roof cannot support a lot of extra weight, some penetration will be required. This way, the solar system will be secured in place without the need for adding too much ballast. Even if you worry about your roof’s ability to hold the system in place, there could be choices. The only way to find out what’s possible is to get in touch with experienced roofing contractors like our team.
Can Your Roof Support the Additional Weight of a Solar Panel?
We have touched briefly upon this issue in the previous section but the ability of the roof to support the weight of the solar panel system is a valid concern.
The short answer to this question is yes but on a few conditions. With proper planning and professional installation, most roofs will get to support a solar system without the risk of accidents.
Solar panels, including the racks and the rest of the mounting equipment, weigh approximately two to four pounds per square foot. That isn’t an awful lot of added weight. And just to put things in perspective – a well-constructed roof should be capable of supporting up to 20 pounds of snow per square foot. Hence, the weight of the system is more or less negligible.
If you attempt a DIY installation, you may run into some problems. As already mentioned, a ballast system could easily get too heavy for some kinds of flat roofs. This is why you should leave the attachment of the solar panels to the roof to professionals.
Not only does a professional installation benefit security, it also increases the output of the system. Making sure that the solar panels are properly mounted, angled, and turned in the right direction will increase electricity production. If you lack specialized knowledge, chances are that you wouldn’t accomplish all of those on your own.
Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
The solar panels themselves cannot really do any harm to your roof. The racks used to install them, however, can be problematic. This is especially true if penetration of the roof structure is involved and if the task is being handled by someone who doesn’t have enough specialized knowledge.
When installed properly, solar panels do not damage your roof. There is no risk of leakages or undermining the structural integrity of the construction. This is why different kinds of attachments are being utilized with different materials. The aim is to ensure both security and a problem-free installation that leaves the roof intact.
If anything, solar panel installations could be good for your roof.
For a start, they have a cooling effect during the hot summer days because they “absorb” the sunlight to turn it into electricity. A solar panel can also offer some protection against harsh weather.
What Happens to Solar Panels if You Need a New Roof?
We need to check out another hypothetical scenario to give you complete clarity about solar installations. That scenario involves needing a roof replacement when the photovoltaics have already been positioned on the home.
Replacing a roof with solar panels on it has already become a standard procedure. We’ve completed such upgrades a number of times through the years. Simple protocols have to be followed for the quick and efficient completion of the house upgrade.
It’s best to have your roof evaluated before installing a solar system. Replacing it at that point will save you some worries in the future.
In the event of needing a roof replacement after a solar installation has been mounted, you’ll have to go through several additional steps. The first is the removal of solar panels. Since some professional involvement will be required to take down the panels safely, such a roof replacement is going to cost you a bit more.
Usually, it’s best to work with your solar installer on the roof replacement. They will know the type of mounting used and they’ll do the best job when it comes to taking the solar panels down. Still, every reputable Anderson roofing contractor will be capable of handling the task without damaging your equipment or running into complications.
Will Solar Panels Be Secure in Severe Weather?
Severe weather can occur in Anderson and the surrounding areas. Hurricanes, torrential rains, and hailstorms can all impact solar installations. Will your photovoltaic panels survive such extreme weather or should you be worried about the prospects?
Solar panel systems are very tough but they’re not invincible.
In some instances, severe weather will cause damage. If this happens, the equipment is going to be operational but the electricity output is going to be reduced.
It’s interesting to point out, however, that solar power equipment is very tough. In 2017, a major hailstorm passed through Colorado. Individual hail pieces measured over three inches in diameter and damaged various vehicles and houses.
Similar scenarios have unfolded as far as hurricanes are concerned. There have been a couple of instances when powerful storms caused serious property damage across the US. In those instances, solar installations remained largely unaffected.
Thus, if you’re worried about the Anderson weather, you shouldn’t be. Chances are that your solar panels will remain intact and operational for many years to come, even if the occasional storm took place.
Final Verdict on Solar Power in Anderson
Anderson and the nearby South Carolina areas offer excellent conditions for solar power generation. Don’t hesitate about adding such an upgrade to your home – it will benefit you both in terms of financial and convenience.
The one thing to understand is that professional installation ranks among the biggest safety and efficiency requirements. You can’t leave the placement of the photovoltaic panels on your roof to chance. If you do, the consequences can be serious and costly.
Anderson Metal Roofing and Shingles is the team that can guide you through proper installation and will help you put together the most secure system for your solar panels. We have the knowledge, the equipment, and the experience to complete such projects quickly and successfully.
The integrity of the roof’s structure and the strength of the installation are both dependent on some professional input. A DIY project can end up costing you a lot more money than the amount you’ll save by avoiding professional installation. It’s simply not worth it, taking into account everything that’s at stake.
We’d be more than happy to help you add a sustainable energy production system to your house. All you have to do is get in touch with us now to have your questions answered and to schedule the first consultation.