What Roofing Material Is the Best for Solar Panels?

May 9, 2024

Choosing the right roofing material is pivotal when installing solar panels, as it influences not only the installation process but also the efficiency and longevity of the solar system. At Cloud Roofing, we specialize in providing informed guidance to homeowners and businesses looking to optimize their rooftops for solar panels. This blog post will dive into the most popular roofing materials, and uncover which offers the best support for solar panels. 

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing stands out as an ideal candidate for those considering solar panels for their commercial or residential buildings. Known for its durability and long lifespan, metal roofing aligns well with the typical 25 to 30-year lifespan of solar panels, ensuring that both the roof and the solar installation can age together without the need for significant adjustments. Moreover, the ease with which solar panels can be installed on metal roofs—often without needing to penetrate the roof's surface—makes this combination a preferred choice for many environmentally conscious property owners.


Durability and Longevity

Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, matching or exceeding the lifespan of solar panels, which means less worry about roof replacements.


Metal's lightweight nature puts less strain on building structures, an important consideration when adding solar panels.

Easy Installation

The raised seams on standing seam metal roofs allow for easy and secure attachment of solar panel mounts without drilling holes, preserving the integrity of the roof.


Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which helps keep buildings cooler in summer, reducing air conditioning costs and increasing the efficiency of solar panels.



Metal roofing can be more expensive initially compared to other materials, but the long-term benefits often justify the investment.


Without proper insulation, metal roofs can be noisy during rainstorms, though this can be mitigated with additional insulation layers.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in many regions due to their cost-effectiveness and wide availability. This popularity also extends to their use under solar panels. While not as durable as some other options, the ease of installation and the straightforward nature of integrating solar mounts with asphalt shingle roofing make it a viable option for many homeowners. The flexibility and repair simplicity of asphalt shingles offer additional appeal, allowing for easy maintenance and adjustments as needed throughout the lifespan of the solar panels.


Popularity and Familiarity

Asphalt shingles are widely used, making it easy to find contractors skilled in both roofing and solar panel installations.


They are one of the most affordable roofing materials on the market, making them accessible for a wide range of budgets.

Ease of Repair

Shingle roofs are relatively easy to repair, and finding matching shingles for replacement is straightforward.


Shorter Lifespan

Typically, asphalt shingles last about 15-30 years, which might require a roof replacement during the lifetime of the solar panels.


While generally not an issue, the cumulative weight of shingles and solar panels might require assessing the structural support of older buildings.

Tile Roofing

Tile roofs, which include materials such as clay, concrete, and slate, provide a robust and aesthetically pleasing base for solar panels. These materials are celebrated for their classic beauty and exceptional longevity, often outlasting the solar panels themselves. However, tile roofing presents unique challenges in solar installation, primarily due to the delicate nature of the tiles, which requires specialized handling to prevent damage during installation. The weight of tile roofs also necessitates careful consideration regarding the structural support of the building.


Aesthetic Appeal

Tile roofs are prized for their aesthetic look and can increase a property's curb appeal and value.


Both clay and concrete tiles are known for their durability, often lasting 50 years or more.


Complex Installation

Installing solar panels on tile roofing requires specialized skills to avoid damaging the tiles, which can add to the installation costs.


Tile roofs are heavy, and adding solar panels increases the load. Structural assessments may be necessary to ensure the building can support this weight.


Tile roofing can be on the higher end of the cost spectrum, particularly for slate tiles.

Rubber (EPDM) Roofing for Flat Roofs


Seamless Surface

Rubber roofs provide a smooth, seamless surface that is ideal for installing solar panels, especially on flat or low-slope roofs.

Weather Resistance

EPDM roofing is resistant to weathering, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations, providing a stable base for solar installations.


Professional Installation Required

The installation of both EPDM roofing and solar panels on such surfaces should be handled by professionals to avoid punctures or leaks.

Periodic Maintenance

To maintain its integrity, a rubber roof may require periodic recoating or sealing, especially prior to solar panel installation.

For The Best Roofing Services in San Antonio, Trust Cloud Roofing 

Choosing the right roofing material for solar panel installation is a decision that affects energy efficiency, cost savings, and structural integrity. At Cloud Roofing, we are dedicated to helping you make the best choice for your specific needs and conditions. Whether you require a simple roof repair, or an entire roof replacement, Cloud Roofing has got you covered. Contact us today for a comprehensive consultation and begin your journey toward sustainable energy solutions with confidence.

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