Homeowner Blog

What You Need to Know About Solar Installation

Luke Pemberton · 16 Jun 2023

Fixing a few hundred kilograms of silicon to your roof warrants many queries about the general installation process. So lets answer some of the frequently asked questions.

Will the installation damage the roof?

Will the installation compromise my home's weather resistance?

How long will the installation take?

How do the panels attach to my roof?

Will the installation damage the roof?

Understandably, the integrity of your roof is a top concern when considering solar panel installation. With a professional installation, damage to your roof should be non-existent. Spirit Energy has over 12-years’ experience installing solar for homes with our own in-house installers. We first conduct a thorough inspection of your roof to make sure it's structurally sound and capable of holding the additional weight of solar panels.

The actual installation involves attaching a mounting system, also known as "racking," to your roof. This mounting system is designed to secure your panels in place without causing harm to your roof; they simply slip under the tiles, attaching to the rafters beneath. Once the mounting hardware is secured, the panels are then attached to the mounts. It's a non-invasive process so your roof should remain undamaged. Of course, like any home modification, it's important to work with a reputable company that will ensure a high-quality installation.

Will the installation compromise my home's weather resistance?

When solar panels are properly installed by a professional team, they should not compromise your home's weather resistance. In fact, the panels and their mounts can add an extra layer of protection to your roof. The solar panel mounting system is designed to withstand environmental stresses like wind, rain, and snow. The mounts Spirit uses are attached to your roof using bolts and are sealed to prevent any water penetration that could lead to leaks.

Solar panels themselves are made to be incredibly durable and are tested to endure a variety of weather conditions, from high winds to hailstorms. In some cases, having solar panels can protect your roof from some of these weather elements, as they take the brunt of the exposure.

How long will the installation take?

The installation process for solar panels can vary based on several factors, such as the size of the system, the type of roof, weather conditions, and whether any additional electrical upgrades are needed in your home. However, once all the necessary permits are obtained and the system design is finalised, the actual installation process typically takes one to three days.

However, it’s worth noting that the entire process from quote to completion can take several weeks or even a few months. This includes time for the initial consultation, site evaluation, system design, permit application, and DNO approvals. Despite the lengthy timeline, it's important to remember that almost all this time boils down to preparatory and approval steps, with the goal of ensuring a safe and efficient system for your home.

How do the panels attach to the roof?

Solar panels are typically attached to your roof using a specialised racking system. The type of racking system used often depends on the type and slope of your roof. There are three main types of mounting systems: fixed mounts, adjustable mounts, and tracking mounts, but for most residential applications, fixed mounts are the most commonly used.

Installation begins with securing a series of durable metal brackets to the roof. These brackets, also known as 'mounting feet' or 'standoffs', are typically bolted directly into the roof rafters to ensure a strong and secure attachment. For sloped roofs, 'flashing' is also installed to help direct water away from the bolt holes, preventing potential leaks.

Once the mounting feet are secured, metal rails are attached horizontally across them. These rails serve as the primary support structure for the panels. Solar panels are then clamped onto these rails, and the connections are tightened to ensure that the panels are secure.

The entire installation is designed to be as minimally invasive to the roof as possible while also providing a secure, long-lasting structure that can withstand environmental factors like wind and rain. Our installers take care to seal all points of roof penetration to maintain the integrity of the roof and prevent any possible leaks.

Topics: Solar PV, FAQs