From Asphalt Shingles to Zinc Strips

5 Things To Know About Solar Shingle Roofs

The average asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan between 15 and 30 years. While asphalt shingles aren't the only roofing material available, they're one of the most common selections. If you're ready to upgrade your asphalt roof or want a more eco-friendly space, one option to explore is solar roof shingles.

Solar roof shingles (also known as photovoltaic shingles) combine the design of a roof shingle with solar panels. The end result is a shingle that looks like a typical shingle but provides solar power to your home.

Many homeowners prefer the sleek, slim look of solar shingles over bulky solar panels. Check out a few things you need to know about solar roof shingles to help you decide if they're a good fit for your home. 

1. Solar Roof Singles Require Minimal Maintenance

If you're searching for a roof that doesn't need a lot of upkeep, a solar roof is one alternative that fits your needs. Once they are installed, there are no special maintenance tasks required for solar roof shingles. You don't need any expensive or special equipment to properly care for your roof.  

Should the shingles get dirty, you can spray them off with a garden hose. Clear away leaves and snow using a roof rake that's designed for use on roofs. You can find an inexpensive roof rake at most home improvement stores or retailers that sell lawn and garden supplies.

2. A Solar Shingle Roof is More Expensive Than Most Roofing Options

When compared to other popular roofing options, like asphalt shingles or metal roofs, solar shingle roofs are significantly more expensive. The technology for solar shingles is fairly new, and there aren't a lot of manufacturers that produce the shingles. 

If you're interested in solar shingles but are concerned that they're over your budget, one option is to integrate the shingles into your existing roof. You don't have to have an entire roof of solar shingles in order to generate solar power. It's possible to have your roofer replace shingles that are worn or damaged with solar shingles. 

Another option to offset the cost of solar roof shingles is federal and state tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements. Depending on your eligibility, you might be able to deduct a portion of the cost of your solar shingles or take a tax credit. 

3. A Solar Shingle Roof is Movable

Solar shingle roofs are a large investment; if desired, you can take your shingles with you and put them on another home. Obviously you would need to put another roof on your home, but it's acceptable to remove and reuse solar shingles as needed. 

However, you may want to leave your solar shingle roof in place if you're concerned about adding value to your home. Homebuyers are willing to pay more for properties that have solar technology. Some research also suggests that homes with solar panels sell faster than comparable properties. 

4. The Energy Output of Solar Shingles Decreases Over Time

Most solar shingles last between 20 and 30 years. At some point, the energy output of your shingles will decrease and continue to decrease as the shingles get older. They'll still be able to produce some energy, but their overall energy production will be lower. As long as the shingles are structurally sound, it's acceptable to use them as your home's roof, even with the lower energy production.

5. Certain Home Designs are Better Suited for Solar Shingle Roofs

To produce energy, solar shingle roofs must have consistent exposure to sunlight. Not every home has a roof slope that provides sufficient sunlight levels. If only a portion of your roof has high sunlight levels, you might only install solar shingles on this part of the roof.  Contact someone in your area for more information on roofing services.