Replacing roof and adding solar. Any tips?

Sep 5, 2014
Kenmore, WA
The house I bought earlier this year had a failing roof and defunct solar pool heater. I'm planning to replace both this year. This puts me in the semi-unusual position of being able to plan for the solar system while having the roof re-done. So I'm wondering if anybody has any tips or advice. I'm mostly interested in whether any roofing systems are more conducive to solar pool heaters, and whether there's anything I can do when doing the roof to reduce the chance of roof leaks (e.g. somehow minimize roof penetrations needed for the solar).

FYI- I have a low-pitch roof (2:12) and am currently considering a torch down, PVC, or standing seam metal roof.

I'm fascinated by the idea that a metal roof allows you to clamp onto the seams for securing things, which means no roof penetrations. I know people install PV panels this way, but I don't know if it'd be suitable for the pool heater panels / headers. Anybody know?

Anyway, if anybody happens to have any insights / tips, I'd appreciate it. I'm fairly new to roofs, pools, and solar. :)


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
Tucson, AZ
Solar panels expand and contract with temperature. So they can wear holes in shingles and rubber roofs. I think the metal roof might be the best option.

Mine is a little flatter than yours and I have some repairs to do to the rubber roof coating when it warms up a bit.
Sep 5, 2014
Kenmore, WA
In case anybody reads this post later, I ended up going for the metal roof and had solar installed using the clamps that attach to the standing seams. Metal roof was the most expensive option, but it should last a long time and the peace of mind of having zero penetrations in my roof for the solar makes me happy!