Years ago, homeowners had a tough choice between achieving green living using solar panels and maintaining their home’s curb appeal. Traditional installations involved punching holes on the surface of the roof and fastening racks onto shingles before mounting those blue solar panels. To prevent squirrels, raccoons, birds and other wildlife from turning these into their breeding ground, all four sides were covered with steel or plastic mesh fencing.
Thanks to recent innovations by top roofing manufacturers like GAF, however, this is no longer the case. With the DecoTech® Solar Roofing System, going green while keeping your home beautiful is still possible.
About the DecoTech® System
DecoTech is GAF’s roof-integrated solar product that utilizes high-performance Deco Black photovoltaic panels. Currently the best in their class, these high output panels deliver optimal performance by consistently collecting sunlight for your home’s daily electricity needs. The panels, however, not only do their job, but also help enhance the look of your home, thanks to their elegant, low-profile Deco Black styling that is simply stunning.
DecoTech’s appearance also reduces the likelihood of leaks as well as the risk for debris or wildlife to find its way underneath the panels. Compared to traditional rack-mounted solar panel systems, its integrated, interlocking system allows GAF-certified roofers to expertly install it with ease. Working with these professionals may also qualify you for a warranty that covers both the DecoTech and new GAF roofing systems.
Main Components of the DecoTech System
The DecoTech System has three main components, which are as follows:
- Underlayment System
The underlayment attaches to the deck and is installed underneath the DecoTech solar array. It provides a Class A fire rating for the entire system and secondary leak protection to ensure a watertight roofing system.
- DecoTech Module Assembly
The entire solar array or system is composed of module assemblies, which are deck-mounted solar laminates with integrated framing, racking and power electronics as well as flashing components. These include roof attachments and either a direct current (DC) optimizer or alternating current (AC) microinverter.
The AC or DC wiring connects to all solar module assemblies within the solar array or system. It is responsible for bringing the power from the solar array to the load center.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About DecoTech
To better understand what the DecoTech system is capable of doing, here are some answers to the frequently asked questions:
- How big will the DecoTech System be: If you intend to install the DecoTech System together with your new GAF roof, its size will be dependent on your home’s energy consumption, the space of your roof and the percentage of energy offset.
- How do I know if I am a good candidate for the DecoTech System: To learn if your home is eligible for the DecoTech system, get in touch with a GAF-certified residential roofing contractor, particularly one with the distinction of being a GAF Solar Elite Contractor®. These roofers are also adept at installing solar panels and will perform a site survey and walk you through the entire process.
- Will I become eligible for incentives and tax rebates: Installing rack-mounted solar panels may qualify you for incentives and tax rebates. To be sure, consult your tax advisor and/or local utility company to learn more about the availability and applicability of credits and rebates.
- How much maintenance is required to keep the DecoTech system in good condition: The good thing about having a DecoTech solar system installed on your new GAF roofing system is that it requires little to no maintenance. Hosing down the panels with water occasionally is enough to keep them in good condition.
- What if the solar panels are subjected to rain or when there’s no sun: The common misconception about solar panels is that they are rendered useless every time there are cloudy skies. Sunlight reflected or partially blocked by clouds can still find its way on land, allowing your panels to harness its energy and convert it into electricity. It is also perfectly fine if it rains. Raindrops help remove dust and dirt from the panels, allowing them to work efficiently.
- Are there any warranties for my GAF DecoTech System: The DecoTech system comes with a DecoTech Limited Warranty, which provides product coverage for manufacturing defects. If installed together with your new GAF roof, you may be eligible for the brand’s Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty Addendum for DecoTech System. Here, both products are covered against defects and misapplication. Be sure to review the documents that come with your newly-installed solar panels and roofing system to learn about the warranty’s coverage and restrictions.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
To make sure you get the most out of your DecoTech System, see to it that you work with a GAF-certified roofer with the appropriate manufacturer certifications. The installers must be properly trained and qualified to install the solar array onto the roof, having received specialized solar training and have roofing experience as well.
Since the solar array will be installed on the roof, proper safety precautions must be maintained. The contractor you work with must follow the standards and requirements set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These include reducing trip and fall hazards, and using the right personal protective equipment (PPE) during installation.
At Hershey Exteriors, LLC, we don’t just install roofs and siding. We are also proud to offer solar panel installation for your home and roof. Our team of professional roofers has the necessary experience and expertise to install the GAF DecoTech roof-integrated solar panels, whether as a standalone project or in conjunction with your roof replacement. With the product’s elegant profile and superior water-shedding capabilities, if you install this system, you will be giving your home a major asset that will help you invest in green and sustainable living.
Let us help you save on monthly bills with a beautiful and cost-efficient solar solution from GAF. Give us a call today at (302) 569-9039 to get started with your project. Or, you may fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.