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10 Things You Should Know About Solar Roof Racking

by | racking

If you’re a homeowner considering the leap to solar power, one component that often gets overlooked in the planning process is the solar racking system – the support structure that holds your solar panels in place. While the panels themselves take the spotlight, the racking system is a crucial element of a successful solar installation.

To help you navigate the complex world of solar installations, we’ve compiled a list of essential questions every homeowner should ask their solar representative regarding the racking system.

1. Compatibility:

The first question on your list should be, “Is the proposed racking system compatible with my roof type?” The type of roof you have, whether it’s shingle, tile, or metal, can impact the installation process and the type of racking system used. Make sure to understand how your specific roof type fits into the equation.

2. Load Capacity:

Another essential question revolves around the weight of the system. Ask, “Can my roof structure bear the weight of the panels and the racking system?” Your roof must have sufficient load-bearing capacity to support the extra weight. A structural assessment might be required before installation to ensure safety and longevity.

3. Roof Penetrations:

Inquire about the installation process. If it requires roof penetrations, ask, “How will potential leakage be prevented?” Roof penetrations can lead to leaks if not properly sealed. Some racking systems avoid this risk altogether by using non-penetrating methods.

4. Wind and Snow Resistance:

Your solar system should be built to withstand the elements. Ask, “How will the racking system fare against local wind speeds and snow loads?” A well-designed system should prevent potential wind damage or collapse under heavy snow.

5. Positioning and Angling:

For optimal solar energy production, the positioning and angling of the panels are crucial. Ask, “What is the best orientation and angle for the panels on my roof?” A good solar installer can calculate the ideal setup based on your geographical location and roof direction.

6. Aesthetics:

For many homeowners, the visual impact of the system matters. So, it’s worth asking, “What will the installed racking system and panels look like on my home?” A visual representation or photos of similar installations can give you a sense of how it will look.

7. Expansion:

If you might want to expand your solar system in the future, it’s crucial to know, “Does the racking system allow for easy expansion?” Some racking systems are more conducive to future growth than others.

8. Building Codes and Permits:

Understanding legal requirements is essential. Ask, “Does the proposed racking system meet all local building codes and permit requirements?” Ensuring that the solar company handles all necessary permits can save you a lot of hassle.

9. Warranty:

Knowing the terms of your warranty can save headaches down the line. Ask, “What kind of warranty does the racking system come with? Does it cover potential damages to my home?”

10. Professional Installation:

Finally, ensure that your investment is in good hands. Ask, “Is the installation team licensed and experienced in installing this type of racking system? What steps will they take to ensure safety and efficiency during the installation process?”

Asking these questions will not only deepen your understanding of solar racking systems but also prepare you for a more productive conversation with your solar sales representative. Remember, a well-informed customer is a satisfied customer!