solar panels on tiled roof

Solar Panels on Tiled Roof: What You Need to Know

Vancouver is known for its mild climate and abundant rainfall, but it also receives a significant amount of sunshine throughout the year. Installing solar panels on your roof can help you take advantage of this solar power and save money on your energy bills.

However, if you have a tiled roof, you may face some unique challenges when it comes to installing solar panels.

In this guide, we will provide great detail on how to install solar panels on clay tile roofs correctly, including what you need to know before you install solar panels, how to be cautious when walking on a tile roof, and how to keep extra roof tiles accessible.

Solar Installation on Clay Tile Roofs Can be Expensive

Man holding solar panel on tiles

Installing solar panels on clay tile roofs can be more expensive than other roof types due to the extra precautions and installation methods required. Clay tile roofs are particularly challenging because they are fragile and break easily.

This means that installers need to take extra precautions to avoid breaking clay tiles during the solar installation process. Therefore, taking extra care with clay tiles is critical.

Concrete tile roofs are less fragile, but they are also heavier, which means that the roof structure needs to be strong enough to support the extra weight of the solar panels.

Correct Installation of Solar Panels on Tile Roofs

Solar panel holding

Before you install solar panels on your tile roof, you need to make sure that your roof is in good condition. This means checking for any cracked or broken tiles and replacing them before installing solar panels.

You also need to make sure that the roof structure is strong enough to support the extra weight of the solar panels. This is particularly important for older roofs that may not have been designed to support the weight of a solar panel system.

Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels on a Tile Roof

Before installing solar panels on a tile roof in BC, it is important to consider the following factors. This will ensure saving your time and money in the long run.

installation of solar panel on flat roof

Be Cautious When Walking on a Tile Roof

Tile roofs are fragile and can break easily during the solar panel installation process, so it is important to be cautious when walking on them. Walking on individual tiles can cause them to crack or break, which can lead to leaks and water damage.

man holding a solar panel

To avoid this, solar installers typically use roof tile hooks or replacement mounts to mount solar panels on the roof without having to walk on the tiles. If walking on the tiles is necessary, extra precautions should be taken, such as using a ladder stabilizer to distribute the weight evenly across the tiles.

Keep Extra Concrete Tiles Accessible Before Putting Solar Panels

Roof tiles for solar panels

Tile roofs can be challenging to work with because they require individual tiles to be removed and replaced when you install solar panels.

It is important to keep extra roof tiles accessible beside existing tiles so that they can be easily replaced if they are damaged during the installation process.

Solar installers typically keep replacement tiles on hand during the installation, but homeowners can also keep extra tiles on hand for future repairs.

Think About Adding Shingles Beneath the Solar Panel Array


Roof Top tiles

To ensure that the solar panel installation is completely waterproof, some homeowners opt to add asphalt shingles beneath the solar panel array. This is particularly important for clay tile roofs, which can be prone to leaks.

The asphalt shingles act as a protective layer, preventing water from seeping through the gaps between the tiles and into the roof.

Choosing a Solar Installer in BC

When choosing a solar installer for your tile roof, it is important to get multiple quotes from different solar companies. This will give you a better idea of the upfront costs and what to expect during the installation process.

It is also important to choose solar installers with experience working with tile roofs. Look for solar installers who have installed solar panels on similar roof types before and who have a good track record of completing installations on time and within budget.

Mounting Solar Racking Around Roof Tiles with Tile Hooks

There are a few options when it comes to mounting solar panels on tile roofs. The most common method is to use roof tile hooks or tile replacement mounts, which attach directly to the roofing tiles. Another option is to use a solar racking system, which consists of metal brackets that are attached to the roof mounts.

The solar panels are then attached to the brackets, which allows them to be adjusted for optimal solar exposure. Quick Mount PV is a popular brand that provides a variety of mounting solutions for tile roofs.

One important consideration when choosing a mounting system for tile roofs is the placement of the mounting points. The mounting points need to be located in a strong area of the roof structure to ensure that they can support the weight of the solar power system.

Your Roof Type

Solar Panels on Roof

Different roof types require different solar panel mounting solutions. If you have a flat roof, you may need a ballasted mounting system that uses weights to hold the panels in place.  you have a sloped roof, you may need a racking system that can be attached to the roof structure. If you have a tile roof, you will need to use tile hooks or tile replacement mounts to secure the panels to the roof.

Your Roof’s Age

It is important to consider the age of your roof. If your roof is relatively new, it should be able to support the weight of a solar power system. However, if your roof is old or in need of repair, you may need to have it replaced before installing solar panels. If installed on an old or damaged roof, solar panels can result in leaks and other issues.

Your Energy Usage

Before installing a solar array, it’s important to assess your energy usage. During daylight hours when the sun is shining, solar panels produce electricity. If you use most of your electricity in the evening or at night, you may need to install a battery backup system to store the excess electricity generated by your solar panels.

Your Local Regulations

In British Columbia, the installation of solar panels is subject to local regulations that vary depending on the location. These regulations also depend on the type of installation being performed.

In Vancouver, one must obtain permits for the installation of solar panels. Additionally, the panels need to meet specific standards for safety and durability. Furthermore, the installation must comply with the building code, fire code, and electrical code.

In other areas of BC, such as the Okanagan Valley, there may be different regulations for the installation. It is important to research and complies with the specific regulations in your area before installing solar panels.


Your Budget

Person holding credit card


Installing a solar panel system incurs an initial cost. However, it eventually helps in reducing energy bills in the long run. Before installing PV panels, it’s important to consider your budget. You should also get multiple quotes from solar companies to find the best deal.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re a homeowner in BC, installing solar panels on your tile roof can be a smart investment. It can help you move towards a sustainable future.

Harnessing solar energy can be an excellent way to reduce your reliance on traditional sources of energy. This can help you save money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. It can also save money on utility bills.

However, it is crucial to work with a professional installer. This is because professional installers understand the unique challenges of installing solar panels on a tile roof. These challenges include the type of roof tiles commonly found in the area.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can make an informed decision. This will help you move towards a greener and more efficient home. Investing in a well-designed solar array can not only benefit your household. It can also contribute towards creating a more sustainable future for British Columbia and beyond.






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