There are many advantages to having solar panels positioned on your roof, but some homeowners may be hesitant to invest. Many people are wary of getting solar panels because they worry about the state of their roof and their ability to fix it or change it after the panels have been installed.
Anyways, there’s no need to panic because a new roof may be installed with a solar energy installation. Here, we’ll examine the process of replacing a roof with solar panels in further detail. We’ll also look at the 4 factors to consider before the roof replacement process with solar panels.
When Is It Time To Get A New Roof?
Numerous criteria must be considered before concluding that a roof replacement is necessary for installing solar panels. What type of roofing you have, how much weight it supports, the age and quality of your roof and other factors all contribute to whether or not you need a replacement.
For the most accurate assessment of your roof’s suitability for solar panels, we recommend scheduling a free consultation with one of the Solar Energy Specialists. In case you were wondering, here is a rundown of what to anticipate during your consultation. In the meantime, let’s look at some of the most frequent warnings that it’s time for a new roof.
Winter storms cause damage
If your roof has been damaged, that’s the most obvious sign that it has to be replaced. Texas’ Big Freeze resulted in more than slippery roadways and skyrocketing energy costs. But, no matter where you live, severe weather always leaves its mark. A few examples are as follows:
- The many forms of water can be a severe problem for your roof. Rain that freezes due to sub-freezing conditions threatens roofs since it can break and damage shingles. Also, snowfall may exceed the carrying capacity of your roof. Water can also degrade your roof, which can lead to leaks.
- Winds are a common cause of shingle loss. Your roof’s shingles or panels are at risk of being blown off if you reside in a windy region. Not only could branches or other debris from the area be blown onto your roof, but they could do additional harm.
- A common effect of weathering is granule loss. Harsh winter conditions, such as hail and wind, gradually deteriorate the protective surface layer of your shingles.
The roof’s age
The average lifespan of a roof is roughly 20 years. However, this can vary greatly depending on several factors. Because of its low cost, asphalt has become the most used roofing material. This substance could endure for up to 30 years. Making a reliable roof age estimate is essential before learning how to replace a roof with solar panels.
In the end, solar panels work best on relatively fresh roofs and are free of major and minor damage. If you have an older roof, this may not be the case.
Four considerations before installing solar panels on your roof
To get your roof replaced, you’ll always have to take down your solar panels first
It’s inevitable that when it’s time to replace your roof, you’ll have to remove your solar panels. During the time it takes to replace your roof, you won’t be able to use any renewable energy sources, forcing you to rely on the power grid entirely.
That will cause prices to rise, so be ready to pay more than usual for your utility bills. Both the removal and installation of your panels will likely cause brief power disruptions; plan accordingly.
Another thing you should know is that your roofers won’t be the ones to take down your solar panels. Roofers typically lack the knowledge and experience to remove solar panels safely, so before beginning your removal project, you should contact your installers to have them remove the boards for you.
Removing and replacing your panels momentarily will require at least a day of your time. Incorporate the time needed to remove and reinstall the boards into the overall duration of your replacement process.
Take your time while selecting your new roofing material
It’s not uncommon to want to try something different when it comes time to replace your roof. Not all roofing materials require the same solar installation brackets due to differences in energy efficiency, durability, and cost.
The project cost could increase by the thousands if the materials are altered, as this could require the purchase of new mounting gear. Get in touch with your solar panel installers in advance to find out if the new roofing material you’re considering will work with your existing mounting hardware, and if not, make sure to schedule the delivery of any necessary replacements well in advance of when the roof replacement is expected to be completed. That way, you can get your solar energy system backup and run without waiting for a shipment.
Select Roofers and Solar Installers That Collaborate
Even while your roofers and solar installers aren’t technically working together, they both significantly impact your home and the rooftop above your head, so you’ll probably have to act as a go-between.
Always remember that the buck stops with you; you get to decide what gets done, when, and how in your project. Selecting a roofing contractor that cooperates with your solar panel installer might streamline the replacement process.
Similarly, if you supply your solar installers with the roofing company’s contact information, the two services can work together to complete the installation more quickly and with less hassle.
Getting a new roof before putting in solar panels can save you money
Is the use of solar power something you’re thinking about? Before beginning a solar installation, many companies will ask if you’ve had your roof inspected recently so they can assess its condition. If your roof has less than five years of useful life left, your solar contractor will likely advise you to replace your roof first.
Avoiding the expense of temporarily removing your solar panels by changing your roof beforehand could save you thousands of dollars compared to installing your system now and changing your roof later.
Steps to replace your roof with solar panels
1. Checking Out Your Roof
It is crucial to evaluate the condition of your roof before beginning the installation of solar panels because these systems could survive for decades after they have been installed. Before you go ahead and install solar panels, you should inspect your roof to determine whether it needs any repairs or whether it should be replaced entirely. The following are standard early warning signals that a roof is leaking:
- Cracks and openings: If you believe your roof may have holes, one solution is to go into the attic and look for the light in the space. Water may penetrate the structure if there are stains or streaks on the ceiling or the walls.
- Deformed shingles: All the shingles on your roof must be laid out horizontally. Buckled, broken, or curled shingles will not perform as effectively as straight shingles. Granules may become loose from shingles as they decay and find their way into the gutters that run along the roof’s edge.
- Sagging areas: A significant warning sign that you need a new roof is sagging in your roof. If you notice this problem, get a new roof immediately. In most cases, this results from a buildup of moisture, ultimately leading to the collapse of the supporting framework and the roof.
If you notice any of these warning signs, you should get the damage repaired on your roof as soon as possible. This will not only prevent more significant problems in the future but also give the most stable basis for your pricey solar panels.
2. Estimating the Cost of Removal
When installing solar panels on a roof, there are a few clear limitations, the most evident of which is the first to remove the existing roof. When you lease the panels, you will typically be responsible for paying a nominal fee to have them removed and replaced at the end of your lease. Having your panels will almost always result in a higher cost. The exact amount will be decided by the state of the currently installed apparatus and the degree to which components such as the rail network and other supporting items can be recycled.
3. Creating a Plan of Action to Complete the Task
After you better understand your financial situation, the following step is to establish a timetable for completing the tasks. You will need to coordinate schedules with the roofing service provider and the installer of the solar panels.
4. Solar Panel Removal
If you run into issues after installing solar panels, you may still choose to repair your roof. Before beginning work on your roof, the professionals can take down your solar panels so that you can get back to enjoying the electricity generated by your solar panels as quickly as feasible. The panel mounting hardware must also be removed when dealing with more extensive roofing operations, such as an entire roof replacement.
5. Replacing Your Solar Panels
Once the experts have completed any required roof repairs and replacements, they will reinstall your solar panels and associated hardware. They’ll do it in the best possible spots on your roof, ensuring not to mess up the repairs.
Inspect your roof for damage before installing a solar energy system. It’s possible that adding solar panels to a roof will make it last even longer. Panels, constructed from long-lasting materials, cover a sizable area of most roofs, protecting occupants from the elements and other hazards. When installing solar panels, don’t put off fixing any damage to your roof that might be present. That way, you won’t have to sacrifice the use of your system for a couple of years to give it a rest.
What About Solar Shingles?
If you wish to re-roof your home using alternative energy sources, solar shingles can appear to be the optimal choice. Because these shingles would take the role of roofing materials, you wouldn’t need to spend money on solar panels or roofing materials anymore.
Solar shingles are a fantastic option for some homeowners but are not the best choice for every property. It is not common for contractors to provide these, and even when they do, the price is often relatively high compared to that of a standard rooftop solar panel. The technology is quite costly, and you will need to install many of them to cover the same surface as you would with a single solar panel. Regardless, if you plan to rebuild your roof before installing solar panels, solar shingles could be a feasible choice for you to take into consideration as an option.
At all times, you should get your roof inspected by a professional
It is highly advised that a professional roofer evaluate your roof before and after installing solar panels to ensure that the roof is in good condition and that it has not been damaged in any way during the installation process. Even though solar panel installers will check for damages, they may not have the same focus on weak areas on the roof as a professional roofer does.
Solar panel installations may occasionally cause minor damage to roofs. Because of this, when everything has been said and done, you should have a professional roofer make a final check to look for any loose tiles, inadvertent ruptures, or cracked roofing.
A typical solar system will save homeowners tens of thousands of dollars throughout their lifetime. There would be no better moment to examine solar if you were already planning on re-roofing your home anyhow since the savings from going solar should more than offset the upfront costs of re-roofing over the long term. These steps mentioned above help to explain the process of replacing a roof with solar panels.