GAF Energy, a sister company to GAF Roofing has recently released their Timberline Solar Roof. A complete roofing solution that is installed similarly to traditional asphalt shingles with PV (photovoltaic cells) integrated into the shingles instead of on top like solar panels. Giving homeowners in search of a residential solar system and a new roof one complete solution.
We’re excited to be installing these new arrays and have really enjoyed the process so far. In this article we’ll be going over why the Timberline Solar Roof is a fantastic solar solution, and why so many homeowners are interested in a solar roof rather than solar panels.
How is GAF Timberline Solar Different?
Within this last month, we’ve had the opportunity to be one of the first to begin installing GAF’s Timberline Solar Roof. For those unfamiliar with a solar roof, imagine if the shingles on your home had energy-generating capabilities. Unlike solar panels, a solar roof integrates PV cells directly within the shingles, instead of on top of existing shingles.
GAF integrates PV cells into their active energy shingles and surrounds them with inactive asphalt shingles. What makes a solar roof like GAF Timberline Solar special is the ability to install energy shingles similar to asphalt shingles. Resulting in fewer crews, fast installation times (1-2 days), and an integrated solution that is installed with your roof instead of on top of it. Resulting in an energy-generating roof that is as weathertight as a regular asphalt roof, because the energy shingles are installed together with the asphalt shingles. Eliminating the risk of poorly sealed mounting brackets and additional nail holes into your new roof that panels require.
GAF’s Timberline Solar Roof is Installed Similar to Traditional Shingles
As a homeowner the length and technicality of the installation process will directly affect the total cost you end up paying. Generally, with asphalt shingles, installation can take anywhere from 1-2 days to complete. When it comes to solar panel installation, a roofing crew will need to install the shingles, followed by a solar crew that will install the panels, and a utility crew to turn them on generally taking 1-3 days. This also will result in separate costs for each crew’s labor.
GAF’s Timberline Solar Roof can only be installed by roofing crews who are certified in installing their specific energy shingles such as American Home Contractors. This results in one crew installing both your roof AND solar in one installation ranging from 1 to 2 days.
The energy shingles are installed just like normal asphalt shingles. They do not require mounting brackets and are nailed with the asphalt shingles, creating a weather-resistant seal that a new roof is meant to have. Additionally, there are no additional nails nailed through your new roof for mounting brackets. This seamless installation and integration of solar within the roof speeds up installation times and provides better protection than that of traditional panels.
Availability: Largest Shingle Manufacturer in the Country
Contrary to other solar roofing solutions GAF is one of the largest and longest operating shingle manufacturers in the country. Expanding with their sister group GAF Energy to create a complete solar roofing solution to complement their line of asphalt shingles. GAF Timberline Solar offers a solution to residential solar that others can’t compete with. Your roof will be backed with a warranty from America’s oldest roofing company. Along with the peace of mind from a product developed by the worlds leading experts in solar and roofing technology. These energy shingles give people exactly what they want when considering solar. A new roof, and energy-generating capabilities all in one package.
Certifications: Protected from the Elements
One of a solar roof’s many benefits is the added protection you gain from having an integrated solar solution, rather than one which sits on top of your existing roof. Incorporating energy-generating shingles within the roof allows for a weathertight barrier with as few nails required as possible. This is different from panels as the energy shingles are embedded within the roof instead of on top of it.
- Leaving no room for unsealed or poorly sealed nail holes required in the mounting process.
- Removes the gap between panels and roof which causes accelerated wear and tear on the sheathing and shingles.
- Aesthetically blending into your roof.
Just like regular shingles, the energy shingles are designed to withstand bad weather. The technical specifications of the Timberline Solar Roof ensure your home is protected from the elements no matter where you live. With certifications such as:
- Fire: UL 790 Class A
- Wind: ASTM D3161 Class F
- Hail/Impact: UL 2218 Class 1
Federal Tax Incentives: 26% Set to Decrease by 2023
Currently, there is a Federal tax incentive of 26% set to decrease to 22% by 2023 and expire in 2024. This 26% deductible only applies to the solar aspect of your roof if you were to go with traditional panels, covering only the panels and panel labor cost. However, with GAF’s Timberline Solar Roof this tax incentive covers the entire installation cost, including the surrounding asphalt shingles around the active energy shingles. Resulting in a 26% deductible of your entire project. This factor surrounding the installation and labor cost of the roof is a huge motivator for people on the fence about going solar, as the incentive is set to decrease, and you can benefit from the maximum available deduction of your entire roof, instead of just the solar aspect of it.
Why Choose a Solar Roof Over Solar Panels.
What most homeowners are not aware of when considering solar is the damage panels can cause to your roof. Most commonly the shingles underneath panels tend to experience accelerated deterioration. In areas with dramatic temperature changes like Maryland, DC, and Virginia your roof’s shingles undergo a constant uneven heating and cooling cycle from the panels mounted on top. This can lead to cracking, sealant failing, and moisture penetrating.
During the installation process of traditional panels, an excess of additional holes will be drilled in order to secure the mounting brackets to your existing roof. Although these holes are sealed it still leaves more room for the elements to penetrate, as time passes and sealants deteriorate.
Animals can also be a common issue. The gaps underneath the panels provide a warm sheltered area for animals to nest. Issues arise when wires are gnawed on leaving them exposed, creating a fire hazard and non-operational systems. Lastly, the configuration of solar panels makes it difficult to maximize space around vents, skylights, and exhausts, resulting in more panels not being optimized for energy production.
By offering a complete roofing system, a solar roof mitigates the need for excess holes, doesn’t allow room for animals to interfere, and can provide a more effective configuration. A solar roof can eliminate common problems associated with conventional panels helping the longevity of your roof and solar system.
Resources We Offer
On our website, we offer free virtual consultations with our solar experts to discuss the different solar systems available, as well as a cost calculator to give an estimated cost of what going solar will be. Every home, lifestyle, and budget is different, and we want to offer the best possible experience, from research to installation.