Can You Install Solar Panels On Midwest Roof Tiles?

One of the advantages of concrete and clay roof tiles is that they are fully recyclable, making them the perfect choice for eco-conscious Midwest residents. The next logical step towards sustainable homeownership is to add solar panels. Solar energy is environmentally friendly and also allows you to save money on heating and cooling while qualifying for local and federal rebates and tax incentives. 

Challenges of Installing Solar Panels Clay Roof Tiles

You may have heard that it is impossible or at the very least cost-prohibitive to install solar panels on a clay or concrete tile roof, but this is far from the truth. However, roof tile is not the easiest material for installing solar, for a few reasons.

Concrete and clay roof tile break easily when walked on

Though very strong against weather conditions like heat and hail, roof tile is brittle when stepped on. Since solar installers need to walk on your roof to mount the panels, some tiles are likely to break and will need to be replaced. Authentic concrete and clay roof tiles are not always easy to get, so this may leave your roof vulnerable while waiting for replacements.

Removing tiles makes your roof vulnerable to leaks

Some solar installers try to simplify the process by drilling holes in tiles so the solar mounts can be punched through and installed on the wood sheathing below the tiles. Others use a method called “comp out”, where the tiles are removed and replaced with composite shingles, allowing regular solar panel mounts to be used. Both of these methods leave gaps on the roof that make the underlayment vulnerable to damage, increasing the possibility of leaks.

How Solar Panels Are Installed On Roof Tiles The Right Way

While roof tile has traditionally presented some challenges for solar panel installation, there are some excellent strategies available to make solar energy accessible without sacrificing all of the other benefits of clay roof tile in the Midwest.

The correct way to install solar panels on roof tiles is a bit slower and can add some labor hours to your solar installation process. The installer carefully removes just a few tiles so special hooks can be installed into the roof joists. Base plates are then installed onto the roof membranes, with more special hooks added. Then, the installer must apply flashing to prevent leaks caused by the gaps. Finally, rails are attached to the hooks so your solar panels can be mounted properly.

Thankfully, La Escandella has created yet another alternative for adding solar panels to their Spanish clay tiles. The Planum Photovoltaic Solar System looks just like a regular clay tile. It is installed with an interlocking mechanism like any other clay roof tile but can be easily integrated with solar panels onto any properly ventilated roof with encounter battens. This method saves homeowners time and money while adhering to the aesthetic benefits of quality imported clay roof tile.

Design Your Dream Tile Roof With Solar Panels In The Midwest

Are you ready to take the next step in sustainable living? Contact Stoneworth to experience the benefits of roof tile right here in the Midwest.