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Tue June 25 2024

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Solar panels create surge in leaking roofs

4 Aug 11 The growing popular of solar panels on houses has led a surge in leaking roofs, the National House Building Council has warned.

The feed-in tariff scheme has led to a huge increase in popularity of microgeneration systems such as photovoltaic, solar thermal, and micro-wind turbines installed on residential buildings. When the Green Deal kicks in, they are likely to become an even more common site.

However, the uptake of these systems has resulted in an increase in wind-induced failures and rainwater penetration through the roof envelope.  While the energy generating systems are regulated by a range of British and European standards that ensure they are fit for purpose, there are currently no standards that regulate the mechanical installation on buildings to ensure that they are resistant to wind and rain.

The NHBC Foundation has issued new guidance on how renewable energy systems should be installed and a running a series of training courses to tackle the leaky roof epidemic.

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Graham Perrior at the NHBC Foundation said: “Recent government initiatives, such as Feed in Tariffs and the Renewable Heat Incentive, are encouraging consumers to embrace renewable technology.  However, while there is widespread enthusiasm for these initiatives, there is a gap in knowledge about the best way to install renewable technology on a domestic scale.

“Use of renewable energy technology is much advanced across parts of Europe, so there exists a tendency to follow instructions and examples set elsewhere.  Unfortunately, the UK’s unique weather system requires a specific approach to installation - for example, the potential for prolonged periods of rain in conjunction with high winds is something that must be thoroughly considered to ensure satisfactory installation.”

The NHBC Foundation guide can be downloaded here.

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