12. How are the panels attached to my roof?
Solar panels are mounted on to rails or “racking”. The racking is attached in one of three ways:
1. The rails are attached to the roof via attachments that are flashed and sealed. These slide underneath your existing shingles. The attachments are secured to the structural members of the roof with lag screws every four to six feet. This produces a secure and leak proof attachment system that is designed to withstand local wind speeds. In addition, dispersed roof loads are quite low, typically around three pounds per square foot – a roof load that is usually well within the parameters of a structurally sound roof. This is typical of residential systems.
2. The rails are attached to ballast systems. The ballast systems have a large number of heavy blocks that sit on the attachment array to keep the panels in place during high winds. Typically, a membrane is put underneath to provide added protection for your roof. This is typical of commercial systems.
3. The system may be supported by a ground mount on an open space of your property.