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Can solar panels be installed on a slate roof?

Do you want to have install solar panels installed on your slate roof but are unsure how to go about it?

Or are you wondering if installing solar panels on your slate roof will harm them? In this article we will address your concerns centred on the question- can solar panels be installed on a slate roof?

Slate roofs have always been a common feature in home design. Slate is popular as a material of choice due to its long lasting, aesthetically pleasing and fireproof qualities.

The only downside to this is that unlike other roofing materials, slate requires regular maintenance to ensure its neat appearance. It also requires extra care and attention when installing any object on a slate roof so as not to damage or crack any of the tiles.

While installing solar panels on a slate roof can be a little more difficult and tricky than a standard tile roof, an experienced solar company will have no trouble installing solar panels on a slate roof while ensuring that the slate roof tiles aren’t damaged in the process.

Let us now understand the process of how solar panels are installed on a slate roof.

How are solar panels installed on a slate roof?

With a few differences, the installation of solar panels on a slate and asphalt roof is almost the same. The primary difference is that while the mounting bracket would normally be drilled directly on to the roof, when it comes to a slate roof- each tile would have to be removed carefully.

When the necessary tiles are removed, a standoff is attached through the roof sheathing onto the rafter below. This standoff must be attached with a mounting bracket.

Do keep in mind that due to the added complexity of a slate roof, the installation of solar panels on a slate roof is highly technical in nature. It should be left in the hands of professional solar panel installers and should not be undertaken as a DIY project. Unless of course, you have the necessary experience and know how.

What you should never do when installing a solar panel on a slate roof

The golden rule when seeking to install a solar panel on a slate roof is to never drill directly through the slate tiles. This could damage and compromise the tiles’ structural integrity. Consequently, leaks could occur and the strength of the tiles could be impacted negatively.

Things to consider before installing solar panels on slate roofs

Before you get solar panels installed on your roof, the following things must be taken into account along with a thorough check of your slate roof:

  • Leave the installation of solar panels on a slate roof in the hands of a professional:

The solar panels must be installed by a professional only.

This is integral to ensuring that the process of installing solar panels on a slate roof doesn’t harm the structural integrity of your slate roof. It also makes sure that the underlayment of the panel is good.

Do ensure that the solar panel is properly anchored to the underlying roof rafter. Since this requires special planning and expertise, you should consult a professional for this and let them handle the job.

  • Labour costs should be taken into account:

Slate is a smooth stone material. The problem in installing a solar panel on a slate roof occurs when it’s shaped as a steep pitch.

This is because unlike installing solar panels on a metal roof, slate tiles are more likely to breaking and cracking.

Do note that a few slate tiles will break or crack inevitably, even when the utmost caution is paid in the process of installing solar panels on a slate roof.

Artificial slate is a good alternative to these tiles and can be the replacement material for the same. Moreover, artificial slate is more cost effective than purchasing single tiles of real slate in the event of breakage or cracking.

When compared to the installation process with asphalt shingle roofs, the cost of labour for slate roofs is often more. Sometimes, even double.

Labour cost considerations should be taken into account if you are planning on getting solar panels installed on a slate roof.

  • Time taken to install solar panels on a slate roof

Because of the complex and brittle nature of slate roof tiles, the instllation of solar panels on a slate roof is to be done with extra caution. It is a job which cannot be rushed because of the care involved to avoid damage of any sort.

Therefore, do note that the installation process of solar panels on a slate roof can take up to a week to complete because of the reasons mentioned before.

Lastly, because it’s more delicate to drill and work on slate, the number of solar panels that can be installed on a slate roof will be less than on roofs made of other roofing materials.

Conclusion:

Although slate tiles are fragile and require special consideration and care, it is quite possible to install a solar panel on a slate roof.

In fact, slate is actually one of the best roofs for solar panels because once the panels are installed, the mounting will stay secure. The only rule to stick to is to ensure that the work is done by professionals for effective results.

If you are looking to transition to solar energy to meet your home or work requirements, we at Solar Power Nation would love to have a chat with you! Get in touch with us for a Free quote today!

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