Provided that the panels are properly installed, in most cases solar panels will not void your roof warranty.
Shingle Warranties and Installation
A good roof is a major investment, both with regard to installation and the protection it provide your property from the effects of heat and precipitation.
The warranty is a major part of having any kind of repair work done down the line and no one wants to cause damage to something that is as important as the roof. But with proper installation this is not an issuet.
Proper Installation Solves Problems Before They Happen
Solar installations tends to raise at least three questions about how the surface of the roof will be impacted by it: will there be heat buildup, will there be water intrusion and will the shingles themselves be damaged in such a way that the warranty will be voided? Fortunately, all of these problems are solved when the solar panels are installed on your roof correctly by an installer who understands proper roof functionality.
Solar Energy and Heat Buildup
Many people are well aware of the effects that heat can have on a roof, just as heat has on almost everything else. With thermal expansion being a factor and heat buildup being a potential cause of damage, asking “will solar panels void my roof warranty” is essentially asking if the roof will overheat and become damaged as a result of having the panels over it. A device that is generally dark and attracts light naturally sounds like it will build up heat, but surprisingly they do not build up a sizable amount of heat.
The heat only truly becomes an issue under the panels when they are not properly protected underneath. Particularly in hotter climates, bees and birds will sometimes build their nests under solar panels due to the protection they offer. In actuality, this is the only normal way that heat can build up enough to be an issue. Generally, the air between the panels and the roof tends to be considerably cooler than air that is in direct sunlight due to the effect of shade that the solar panels provide. Your roof is often protected from the heat due to having the panels installed as opposed to being overheated when there is either no gap between the roof and panels or when the gap is secured with wire mesh.
Effectively Secured and Flashed Panels Stop Water
Panel flashing is important to keep in mind because while the panels themselves will obviously not cause water damage, improperly flashed panels could allow water intrusion. This is where it once again becomes important that your installer be properly trained and knowledgeable about how a roofing system needs to work. While commercial roofs tend to have no breach of the surface whatsoever, residential roofs with gables do need to be properly secured. Just like when there is a chimney, vent or pipe protruding from the roof, the breach needs to be flashed to keep out water. When the job is done properly, the flashing keeps the roof in good order.
Undamaged Shingles are Still Warrantied
One reason why panels do not void the roof’s warranty is that often the shingles themselves are warrantied. Since the shingles are not damaged by having the panels be attached to the roof underneath, this has no impact on the shingles themselves. Provided the flashing is done properly and no shingles are damaged during the installation process, they will continue to function on your roof the way they always have.