Earlier this month, I worked on a story about attaching solar panels to corrugated and trapezoidal metal roofs. I was excited to learn more about metal roofs, because I feel like I only ever experience asphalt roofing in my daily life in Ohio. Even when the Solar Power World team worked on a solar install in California, we were working on composition shingles.
I’ve read about a few solar installs on standing-seam metal roofs, and the racking clamps for those projects are fairly straight-forward. But when researching solar installation techniques for other metal roof styles, it was more difficult to find the appropriate solution. I’m sure many solar installers unfamiliar with the many metal roofing profiles feel the same.
Rob Haddock, CEO of metal roof attachment manufacturer S-5!, penned a very informative blog on the various types of metal roofs and how best to attach solar to them. I encourage anyone questioning solar best practices for metal roofs to give it a read; it clears up a lot of confusion about fastener locations and appropriate product testing.
Upon reading the Solar Power World article Metal roofs are no problem for solar installations, my reaction was, “Well, I suppose that is true—if (and only if) it is done ‘the right way.'” There are so many materials, profiles, gauges, metallurgies and corrosion behaviors to consider; not to mention effective waterproofing methods, sealant chemistries, thermal cycling characteristics, weathering behaviors, strength of materials, structural engineering principals and relevant test methods. It is anything but a simple science!
Aside from having installed thousands of these roofs, I have traveled the world to learn more before technically consulting to and teaching architects, engineers, roof consultants, metal roof manufacturers, trade groups and industry professionals on the topic. In 1991, I began inventing new and unique technologies to securely mount all kinds of things to these roofs while preserving the roof’s integrity and conforming to the science that I had learned. With 47 years of all that behind me, I am still learning.
The commonality of corrugated and most (not all) trapezoidal roof profiles is that they are face-fastened, but that’s about where it ends. Every other aspect of these roof types varies widely. Not surprisingly, face-fastened means that the fastening to the building structure is accomplished by driving a fastener directly through the weathering surface of the roof panels. This is the characteristic that…read the rest of Rob’s article here.