Installing Solar Panels is one of the best home upgrades. The clean energy system allows you to leverage cheaper electricity to power everything in your home. In places like Arizona, solar panels can offer 100% savings on electricity. The installation offers energy dependency and also improves the value of your home. But there’s one big question every homeowner asks; is it necessary to replace the roof before installing Solar Panels?
Every solar panel installation project is unique, and the contractor determines the need for a new roof after thorough evaluation. This post explores pertinent factors that help contractors make the call for a new roof.
Why Does the Roof Condition Matter in Solar Panel Installation?
Your solar panel installer designs the project based on your home’s energy needs, type of roof, weather, and other factors. During the initial assessment, the contractor checks the condition of your roof to determine if it can support the weight of the solar panels.
Residential PV modules weigh about 40 pounds each. When you have an array of panels, the roof must be strong enough to support the entire system, including the mounting. An old worn-out roof will not support the solar panel system effectively.
A standard roof system comprises roof truss, decking, insulation, ice and water barrier, underlayment, and wood frames. If the roofing material or the underlying support structure is damaged, installing more weight on top is dangerous. Signs of roof damage that show you need a new roof include:
- Worn down materials
- Visible water/moisture damage
- Loose/broken/missing shingles or tiles
- Cracks and punctures on your roof
- Structural damage
If the roof has some damage, you might have to replace it in the future. This would mean removing the solar panel system, which is costly and disruptive. undertaking. You’ll have to call in the solar installation company to take down the installation before the roof replacement.
The contractor then replaces the panels on the new roof. For this reason, a roof inspection is one of the critical steps in installing solar panels projects. Some solar contractors offer comprehensive solutions that include roof repairs and replacement.
Why you Need a New Roof for Solar Panel Installation
Some scenarios where a new roof is a necessity to include:
Check out these points
- In case the house is old and the roofing structure is over 10-15 years old
- In a case where the roof manufacturer’s warranty or other service guarantees have expired or are about to expire
- If you’ve remodeled the rest of the home and you also want a solar energy system
- If you’ve to regularly repair the current roof
- If you’re experiencing energy loss through the roof
- A new roof boosts your home’s aesthetic appeal and enhances protection over your family and the structure
- To align the life of your roof with that of the solar panels
While a roof replacement is an expensive project, consider the cost benefits you’ll enjoy after installing solar panels. The electricity savings from solar energy can help replenish your savings over time. A new roof with a lifespan of about 25-30 years aligns perfectly with a solar panel system warrantied for 25 years. This means you don’t have to replace the roof within the life of the solar panels.
When You Might Not Need a New Roof for a Solar Panel System
There are situations where you might not need a new roof with the solar panel installation project.
Take a look:
- If yours is a new home
- If the roof is relatively new and the solar installer has given it a clean bill of health
- If the roof has over 15 years of life left and can do with minor repairs