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How to Install Solar Panel Mounting Rails on a New Home

It is no longer news that installing solar panels in our homes is a smart investment. In addition to saving you money and reducing our carbon footprint, it has been applauded as a sustainable choice for Mother Earth and our environment.

While solar panel installation may seem like a “walk in the park” for some people, others need to hire expert help to get/ the job done.

If you have an expert handling your solar panel installation for your new home, you can sleep with both eyes closed, knowing that your project is in capable hands and there is much less risk of things going sideways or not as planned.

Before we dive deeper, let us quickly mention that there is one key aspect of solar panel installation that you should not compromise – installing the solar panel mounting rails.

In this article, we will reveal the process of installing mounting rails on your new home and share professional tips on how you can make the most of your investment in solar energy renewable energy.

Shall we?

Step 1: Get the Right Tools and Materials

As the famous saying goes, a farmer is only as good as his tools. Similarly, you have to get the right tools and materials before taking on solar panel installation projects.

To help you get started and save you a lot of stress, we have made a list of all the items you will need.

You will need your safety gear (this usually comprises your harness, gloves, and safety glasses), wrenches, Screws and bolts, Drills and drill bits, and Level.

Other materials include Flashing and sealant, Ladder or scaffolding, Tape measure, Roof anchors, and, of course, the solar panels and mounting rails.

Step 2: Assess Your Roof

After getting all the necessary tools, the next thing to do is to assess your roof. While you are at it, remember that no two roofs are the same. As such, take your time to evaluate your roof structure and orientation.

These will help you decide on the best way to install your solar panels and what orientation will receive optimum sunlight. You should not forget to check any obstacle that might hinder sunlight from reaching your panels – look out for obstacles like chimneys, vents, or roof protrusions.

Step 3: Choose the Right Mounting System

When you are done with step 3 above (assessing your roof), you need to decide on the best mounting system. You can choose from two options: Rail-Based Mounting and Rail-Less Mounting.

Let us take a look at the difference between them.

  • Rail-Based Mounting

This system is best for pitched roofs, and it offers great flexibility when it comes to placement. It also allows you to secure and adjust the foundation for your solar panels.

  • Rail-Less Mounting

On the other hand, this option is best for homes with flat or low-slope roofs. What makes it stand out is the fact that it requires fewer components and it is super easy to install and maintain. It also offers a sleek appearance and low profile.

Step 4: Mark the Layout

After deciding on a suitable mounting system for your new home, the next thing to do is to mark out the layout of your roof. The idea is to mark the position where the mounting rails will be placed.

This will make it much easier for your panels to get optimum sun exposure.

Step 5: Install Roof Anchors

Now, you need to secure the roof anchors to the roof rafters or roof trusses.

Remember to take your time to make the attachment sturdy because these are the elements that will serve as the foundation for your mounting rails. You should also consider applying sealant around each anchor to prevent water from going through.

Step 6: Attach Mounting Rails

You can now go ahead and attach the mounting rails. However, before you do that, use your level to check if the surface is perfectly horizontal. Then you can go ahead and secure the rails with either screws or bolts.

What is next? What is now left to do is to connect the cross rails and mount the solar panels. Also, remember to check for proper grounding. This is very important for safety and ensuring functionality. If you are not sure how to go about this, seek expert help and ensure that you comply with standard practice. After completing the entire installation process, take time to review your work by inspecting the entire system.

Last but not least, Clean and Maintain your solar panels.

You need to invest in regular maintenance to keep your solar panels working smoothly. And no, this doesn't cost a fortune. Proper maintenance will maximise the lifespan and efficiency of your panel. It will also keep them clean and free from accumulation of debris.

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