Capturing Sunshine: Solar Panels and Synthetic Roofing
The customer and technical services departments at DaVinci Roofscapes get many questions each week. One of the hottest questions these days deals with an alternative source of energy: the sun. In a nutshell, what’s the best way to add solar panels to DaVinci synthetic roofing?
“Consumers are increasingly interested in solar panels for their homes,” says Eric Salvesen, senior technical services representative for DaVinci Roofscapes. “I get calls from people who already have DaVinci roofs who wish to add solar panels. Similarly, I also get phone calls from homeowners who are researching new roofs. They want to know if solar panels can be added on to DaVinci roofs during installation.”
According to Salvesen, the second option is always the easiest.
“When you’re installing a new roof, that’s the very best time to make any additions to it,” says Salvesen. “Whether it’s a snow retention system or solar panels, it’s easiest to design and install them when the roof goes up. That doesn’t mean they can’t be retrofitted in, it’s just the most straightforward.”
Steps for Synthetic Roofing with Solar Panels Success
Whether you already have a composite slate or shake roof or you’re looking to get one installed, make sure you talk with the technical department at your solar panel manufacturer. They need to know the exact roof type you have, and the roofing manufacturer. This is important so they can provide the base flashing plates needed to align with your DaVinci roof system.
“We always recommend homeowners consult with their solar manufacturer,” says Salvesen. “They make components for different roofing products. You want to make sure the contractor uses the right components for a DaVinci roof to get a successful installation. For example, a wider base flashing plate is needed for our component product than for an asphalt roof. This helps assure that leakage will not occur into the attic space.”
Once at your home, your solar contractor will install mechanical hardware around your roof tiles. On the roof, rails are then installed horizontally. A track is set up on the rails, and then your solar panels go on the track, gathering up the sun’s rays.
Sunny, Satisfied Homeowners
In Florida, when Ken Slowik had his roof replaced, he chose to have solar panels added at the same time. Slowik described the process as a “roof dance” where the roofer and solar contractor worked together to assure the project was successfully completed.
Homeowner David Starling in Arkansas also went through the process of adding solar panels to his home. His solar contractor installed 55 panels over DaVinci synthetic shake. In both cases the homeowners feel supportive of the environment and positive about their energy savings.
“From the volume of calls I receive, I believe we’ll see an increase in solar panels included with our DaVinci roofs on future homes,” says Salvesen. “What’s important for people to know is that adding these solar panels will not negatively impact their DaVinci roof warranty.
“However, they must assure that the solar contractor drilling holes in the roof for the mechanical hardware do not cause leaks or problems at that installation site. Anything related to those areas will not be covered by the DaVinci warranty. So as long as people guarantee that their solar contractor is using the correct mechanical hardware for our DaVinci product, they should go ahead and let the sun in!”