Solar Roof

Solar Roof in Winter Weather - Any concerns or people who have experience

I'm going through the process of permits right now and am being told i will get installed next year. I have seen some articles on line where people have complained about leaks. I was hoping to hear from people who have installed their roof in a cold weather (snow/wind) area that have some experience and can share how its gone during and post install?


  • I've been on the forums for years and never heard of any leaks with the solar roof. It's an entirely new roof, with a double layer of underlayment. I think there are more risks with traditional solar panels where they have to drill through the existing roof for mounts and even those seem watertight. Note that some people talk about "solar roof" but are really talking about an existing roof with solar panels. It can get confusing!

    Ok, I'm in California, so where I am, we rarely get snow and the cold for us is 50F (it's 41F at this second here). So I can't answer for snow. I can say the roof is much slicker than other roofs, so a few inches of snow buildup may just slide off.
  • As long as the build-up is minimal, snow and ice sliding off the roof in small amounts should be fine. Many a car and human have been damaged by large build-ups of snow and ice suddenly breaking free. You can put small upward-turning flanges on the bottom edge of the roof to help prevent this from happening. The problem of *that* is that you can thus create ice dams on the bottom edge of the roof, so snow-melt won't run off the roof, and instead builds up (on the ice dam) and runs up underneath the first few courses of shingles and leaks into the attic.

    These are all issues with roofs in general in the snow belt. I suspect what the OP is also asking is: do Solar Roofs suffer from the same kinds of problems as a shingle roof does, under these circumstances.

    With that, I have no personal experience.
  • I'm curious about ice dam potential as well. Has any more been said about being able to hear the tiles to facilitate snow melt?
  • I'm not sure you can get a ICE dam problems like other roofs. The glass tiles are installed about an inch over the underlayment, so there is an air space under the tiles. If ice were to build upon a tile, it's still above the roof underlayment. I very much doubt there is any way to heat the tiles. They are black, so the sun may heat them up more than other roof surfaces, but I don't know what effect that has in winter conditions.
  • With any major construction work, it doesn't hurt to inspect the work after project completion.
  • With regular panels, if just a small corner of the nearly black panel is exposed to the Sun, the panel absorbs solar heat energy and rather quickly warms up to melt the snow on the rest of it. Previous threads described how some customers would simply scrape snow off a portion of each panel in order to eventually remove all of it. The rest simply slides off in relatively short order.

    I wonder if the same is true for a 'Roof
  • in my opinion snow guards/cleat options will need to be made available.

    our background: 2900sf V3 install in RI. ~1900sf 12/12, ~1000sf 7/12.

    2 frozen precip events so far since Oct2020. Pattern for both was rain turning to wet heavy snow.

    Snow would accumulate to ~1/2 inch sheet then all at once shed off the roof. Then repeated cycles of accumulation and shedding.

    Sound: unless you've experienced snow shedding off metal roofs before the sound can be somewhat alarming. Sounds like a subway rumbling overhead.

    Safety: it would not be pleasant and possibly injurious to be under the sheets when they shed. 1/2" doesnt sound like a big deal but multiply by xxxx sf at once and it is. Presently we cant open our back door due to piles of slush blocking the door.

    Gutters: brand new 6" gutters were installed since the existing gutters had to be removed to install new solar roof drip edges. all are now packed with slush. we're hopeful they dont distort or get damaged by repeated sheds and/or by freezing expansion and weight in the lower temps expected tonight.

    Please be clear this is not a complaint about the solar roof and we'd likely have the same issue with a metal roof. However i'm not aware yet of an available option to put snow guards on the solar tiles. I doubt Tesla monitors these threads but hopefully at some point they're made aware of this and consider offering option to mitigate this behavior.
  • Teslarati posted a story (with YouTube video) of the roof performance in a snowfall. Answers a lot of questions...
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