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Solar For Slate Roofs

Attention architectural aficionados: you do not have to choose between an energy-efficient property and one with history or character. Solar energy installations work anywhere regardless of slope or surface material. More and more property owners with slate, shingle, and tile roofs are leveraging the benefits of solar energy.

Last year, over one million residential and commercial property owners in the US took the necessary steps to go solar. Their solar actions are enough to power 8.3 million homes. Once you have a professional solar evaluation, it’s uphill from there. A consultation is more than a Q&A session; you will receive an estimate and dependable figures predicting how much free electricity your system will generate based on all of the variables. From that information, your estimate calculates your financial outcomes, such as:

  • Reduced electricity bills
  • Net metering
  • Federal tax incentive
  • Solar Renewable Energy Credits
  • Low cost financing opportunities
  • State and local and industry-specific grants and rebates

Slate Roof Procedure Is No Different

Solar energy companies are experienced in accommodating new and old builds alike, including properties just like yours. To a reputable contractor, installations on slate roofs are not a challenge, just a project with a slightly different procedure. All other steps are identical, even for historical landmarks. From your initial chat with an installation representative and all through the hookup to your first net-metered utility bill, the experience of going solar for slate roofs is the same!

Slate shingles can last for decades; soft slate shingle roofs last for 50-125 years and hard slate roofs are reputed to endure 75 or even 200 years. The photovoltaic substance creating a charge inside the panels will last up to 30 years. Provided your shingles are still resilient, you can have the panels only replaced.

Installing photovoltaic panels requires minimal drilling into the roof. Naturally, potential water leakage is a concern; therefore, the installation needs to be done professionally as to avoid any breach in the barrier that keeps out moisture.

Once you see the plans for your custom instillation, you will be happy to discover your new solar system requires fewer attachment points than you may expect. Solar panels attach to an underlying metal racking system. Manufacturers have perfected the watertight installation procedure over the years, but the framework’s design will still call for as few drill sites as possible in the interest of cutting installation time.

Slate Roof Features

Slate roof shingles are made of natural stone. Stone tile-makers harvest slate from riverbeds which act as a water resistant for decades, not to mention its deep blue-grey hue is stunning to look at. It is no wonder slate roofs have endured the test of time as a building material. However resilient, working with it requires patience and skill. 

Cracking under pressure

Slate will split at the puncture site unless the contractor works carefully, but even then, experienced solar contractors will replace the slate as needed. This is in contrast to asphalt shingles, which are flexible and have a tarry coating that self-seals around the nail puncture sites.

A slippery slope

Stone shingles are not gritty like asphalt shingles. Workers take extra precaution moving on a slate roof and therefore take longer. Labor costs contribute to the overall cost.

Cost of doing business

Roof tiles and other kinds of stone-like shingles sometimes require stone masonry bits and drilling oil. These material costs, albeit minor and unavoidable, will affect the total cost of installation.

Burden of proof

Solar panels are not so heavy that their weight is a concern, but only reputable contractors should service slate, tile, and natural shingle roofs. These materials combined place a lot of burden on the trusses. Drilling into the trusses should only be performed by a knowledgeable professional, and only when unavoidable. This procedure must be undertaken carefully but for most slate-and-solar owners, workers will minimize the number of attachments.

Although still a financially viable investment, these factors make solar for slate roofs a job for skilled professionals. We leave the actual task to the pros either way, but it behooves you as a customer to understand the difference.

Take steps now and your slate roof can start doing double duty as a distinguishing feature of your property and a valuable asset.

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