Central Florida Solar Panels and Hurricanes


Solar on a home in Satellite Beach after Hurricane Irma

Solar on a home in Satellite Beach, Florida after Hurricane Irma.

One of the biggest questions our Central Florida clients have is whether solar panels can handle our hurricane seasons. The simple answer, is yes. Solar panels are secured to deck and trusses. Even if you loose shingles, you are not going to loose your solar panels. Now, if the entire roof comes off, your solar panels are going with the roof, but if that happens, you are dealing with much bigger problems. So how are solar panels mounted to your roof? Lets take a look. In Florida, we have a few popular roof types that includes: Composite Asphalt, singe to 3-tab shingles, Metal, Tile, and occasionally still see the 80s stylish wood shake roof. There is a solar mounting package for all types used in Florida.

Composite Shingle

Quick Mount PV on a Composite Asphalt Shingle

Quick Mount PV on a Composite Asphalt Shingle

The most common type. Mounting solar panels on asphalt shingles requires the use of flashing under the layers of shingle to create a water-tight seal. Drilled bolts are then sealed using various sealing compounds.

Metal

Vertical standing seam solar mount

Vertical standing seam solar mount

Metal with vertical standing seam roofs are ideal for solar panel installation since they require ZERO penetrations. The mounts are clamped and pressed to ensure a strong but water-tight fit. Metal roofs, specifically white metal roofs offer amazing efficiency. They are rated the best roofs to keep a home cool in the hot Florida sun.

Tile

quick mount PV for Solar on Tile Roof

Quick Mount PV for Solar on Tile Roof

Tile roof solar mounting hardware is by far, the most costly, but is also the most customized and difficult to install. Tile comes in all shapes and sizes, and ensuring a good fit is important. Tiles are removed, replaced, hooks and flashings installed, and some tiles may require cutting and trimming.

Shake

Solar mount on Wood Shake Roof

Solar mount on Wood Shake Roof

Not so common in Florida, but did find a neighborhood in Indialantic, Florida that was predominantly wood shake installations. Same principle applies with flashing and sealing as with asphalt shingles.

Hurricane Proof Solar Panels

They don't exist. I would never tell a client that solar panels can survive any storm. Its simply not true, but if installed correctly, your solar panels should fare the storm as well as other structures in the area. In other words, total devastation means total devastation. Minor damage to surrounding structures means minor damage to your panels are likely. But if the panels are mounted correctly, they aren't going to turn into Sails and fly away.

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