Solar roofing has become more and more popular as homeowners seek to reduce utility costs and limit their carbon footprints. Is this roofing option right for you? Read on to learn the advantages and disadvantages associated with solar roofing tiles.
What Are Solar Roofs?
Solar tiles are made of thin-film solar cells consisting of copper indium gallium selenide. Light and flexible, the cell material is a great semiconductor. A single solar tile can produce from 50 to 114 watts or power. To get the most power, however, it’s best to install the tiles along the true south.
With solar tiles, each individual unit is installed and wired individually. This can be very tedious, and mistakes can be costly. This is why it’s very important to hire a professional with extensive expertise. It’s also important to know the pros and cons of this sort of roofing system so you can make an intelligent decision for your unique needs.
Solar Roofing Pros
Solar roofing systems require a heavy up-front investment, but this comes with some pretty compelling benefits, including:
They are energy efficient.
This is the greatest advantage of solar tiled roofs and the most appealing selling point for potential buyers. Solar roofs can help lower your utility bill by producing clean, reliable energy. Solar shingles produce about 100 to 110 Watts per meter squared, while tiles produce about 65 to 70 watts per meter squared.
They are environmentally friendly.
Solar roofs are much more eco-friendly compared to fossil-fueled power sources. While it is true that the manufacturing process does rely on fossil fuels; in the long-run, solar shingles and solar roofing tiles are much more environmentally friendly because they draw power from the sun while producing no waste.
They are durable.
Solar roofs are made out of durable glass that’s resistant to impact. In fact, solar tiles typically exceed the highest Class 4 impact resistance. Solar roof shingles and tiles are also made to meet the highest standards for fire resistance (Class A fire rating).
Solar tiles are infrangible which means you can walk on them without causing breakage. Rated for wind speeds up to 130 mph, solar tiles have an estimated life expectancy of around 25 to 40 years.
They are attractive.
Unlike bulky solar panels, solar tiles are sleek and discrete. They also blend in with the roof and give it a clean contemporary look. Available in a variety of different forms and shapes, solar tiles can be made to look similar to various roofing materials, including shakes, clay and slate tiles.
Solar Roofing Cons
While they offer a number of attractive traits, solar roofing systems do have some drawbacks, including:
They aren’t cheap.
While prices can vary by company, solar tiles can cost you anywhere from $1,100 to $2,600 per square. That said, you can recoup a good portion of these costs over time thanks to lower utility bills.
They require expert installers.
Solar tiles require specialists trained in both roofing and electrical work. It also takes longer to install compared to traditional roofs. To avoid issues, it’s important to work with a reputable local contractor with extensive experience installing solar tile roofing.
Repairs can be complicated.
Repairing solar tiles can be a complex process requiring special ordering and technical expertise. Again, it’s best to work with an expert to reduce the risk of problems.
Your ROI can take a while.
Solar roof shingles and tiles have a high upfront cost. And while you can recoup much of this expense from energy savings; it can take at least 15 years to get your return on investment. That equates to about half the life expectancy of a solar roof system.
They require rewiring.
Solar tiled roofs demand new wiring to install battery storage and connect your home to the roof. You must also get a new roof when you install the solar tiles because you typically can’t install them over an existing roof system. The old roof system must be completely removed before installing the solar tiles, which is different from many other kinds of roof systems, such as SPF, TPO, asphalt shingles, etc. which allow you to cover the existing roof system.
Whether you need a traditional roof, energy-efficient shingles or stylized roofing design, A to Z is here to help. For decades, the professionals at A to Z Roofing have served countless satisfied customers throughout the Denver metro and the Front Range. For nearly a quarter of a century, we have been the go-to source for expert commercial and residential roofing, repair and restoration for homeowners and businesses throughout Colorado. During this time, we’ve provided comprehensive service using only top-quality products. Contact our attentive team to learn how we can restore, repair or replace your damaged or aging roof and get a free estimate!