Choosing the Best Roof for Solar in Phoenix

By Rob Madden

Arizona, concrete tile, dirty solar panels, flat roof, foam roof, green energy, metal roof, Phoenix, Phoenix AZ, Phoenix Real Estate, roofs, solar 101, solar basics, solar energy

Phoenix, with its expansive sunny skies, stands out as a premier location for harnessing solar energy. But while many homeowners are eager to tap into the benefits of solar power, there’s a common question that arises: “What is the best roof for solar in Phoenix?” In this guide, we’ll explore the best roofing types in Phoenix for solar installations.

1. Composite Shingle Roofs

The most common type of roofing in many parts of the U.S., composite (or asphalt) shingle roofs, are also prevalent in Phoenix. Their flat and even nature makes them ideal for solar installations. These roofs provide an easy grip for solar mounting systems and require minimal drilling, making installations swift and straightforward.


  • Affordable roofing material.
  • Easy to replace or repair.
  • Excellent grip for solar mounting systems.

2. Tile Roofs

Tile roofs, particularly those made of clay or concrete, are popular in Phoenix due to their ability to withstand the city’s high temperatures. Though they present a more complex scenario for solar installation due to their curved nature, it’s entirely feasible. Specialized mounting systems are designed to ensure that tiles aren’t damaged during the installation process.


  • Long-lasting and durable.
  • Provides a classic Southwestern aesthetic.
  • Specialized mounts prevent tile breakage.

3. Flat Concrete Roofs

Many Phoenix homes, especially those with a more modern design, possess flat roofs. These flat concrete surfaces are excellent for solar installations as they provide a large, unobstructed surface area. Solar panels can be easily angled towards the sun to maximize energy capture.


  • Optimal sun exposure with proper angling.
  • Large surface area allows for more panels.
  • Straightforward installation process.

4. Metal Roofs

While not as common as shingle or tile, metal roofs are gaining popularity due to their durability and longevity. Whether they’re standing seam or corrugated metal, these roofs are solar-friendly. The installation on metal roofs often doesn’t require any penetration, making the process seamless and preserving the roof’s integrity.


  • Highly durable and long-lasting.
  • Can reflect more sunlight, reducing heat.
  • Seamless solar installations without penetration.

5. Foam Roofs

Common in commercial buildings, foam roofs offer a flat and lightweight roofing solution. They are also suitable for residential homes, especially when considering solar installations. With proper sealing, foam roofs can support solar panels without any issues, turning commercial spaces into energy powerhouses.


  • Lightweight yet durable.
  • Excellent insulation properties.
  • Suitable for both commercial and residential solar setups.

What to Remember When Choosing a Roof for Solar in Phoenix:

  • Roof’s Age: Regardless of type, a newer roof is preferable before a solar installation. Solar panels have a lifespan of 25+ years, so you won’t want to remove them for a roof replacement shortly after installation.
  • Roof’s Direction: South-facing roofs capture the most sunlight, but east and west-facing roofs can also be effective in Phoenix’s sunny climate.
  • Structural Integrity: Before any installation, ensure that your roof is assessed for its ability to handle the weight and setup of solar panels.


Phoenix’s abundant sunlight provides homeowners with a golden opportunity to invest in solar energy. While the type of roof you have can influence the installation process, advancements in solar technology and mounting systems have made it possible for nearly every roof type to be solar-compatible. By understanding the nuances of your roofing material and working with experienced solar professionals, you can better determine what the best roof is for solar while trying to harness Phoenix’s sun to its fullest potential.

Rob Madden

About the author

Rob Madden is an experienced real estate broker in the Phoenix metro area, having worked in the industry for over 28 years. He has helped many home buyers and sellers navigate the local real estate market, and is considered a trusted expert in the field. Rob is committed to making the buying or selling process as seamless and straightforward as possible for his clients, and provides hands-on assistance at every stage of the transaction. In his free time, Rob enjoys being a Scoutmaster for a local Scouts BSA troop, hiking, backpacking, photography, and playing pinball.

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