Why Solar Panels Should Never Be Installed On An Aging Roof

Many different types and styles of buildings are suitable for a solar panel installation, but it is important that the roof be in good condition before anything is installed on it, least of all solar panels. 

If your roof is looking worse for wear, or you know that it will soon be approaching the time when repairs might be needed, or a replacement be necessary, it’s always better to sort the roof out before having a solar panel system installed on it, no matter how keen you are to do so. 

Once solar panels have been installed, they essentially form part of the structure of the roof, and as such, cannot easily be removed should the roof need work to be carried out on it. With this in mind, here are some things to think about when investing in solar panels, and reasons why they should never be installed on an ageing roof:

The longevity of solar panels

Solar panels are becoming more and more durable as time passes and technology progresses, and you can expect the average panel to last for a minimum of 25 years before needing to be replaced. With solar panels able to remain on your roof for so long, it could certainly raise concerns when installed on a roof that is older and more likely to need repairs sooner.  

Roof repairs and the removal of solar panels

Once solar panels have been installed on a roof, should it then need to be repaired or replaced, the process automatically becomes more complex. All of the panels will have to be removed first, along with any associated equipment such as wiring, inverters, and any mounting hardware, to enable the roofing contractors to access the roof and carry out their work. Not an easy task and one that requires roofing companies to coordinate with solar installers, this could end up costing you more money than you are able or willing to pay, and could bump up the cost of what might have been a relatively simple and straightforward repair job. Additionally, this will also disrupt the system’s production of solar power while work is underway. 

Keeping all of this in mind, while investing in a solar system is a wonderful step towards a greener home and a reduction in your energy bills, it does reinforce the significance of having a healthy, younger roof if doing so. 

If you’re not sure about the condition of your roof, you can always schedule a roof inspection from a local contractor, who can help determine whether the roof should be replaced before solar panels are installed. Or, you might find that a local solar installation company can assess the roof for you, and give you guidance based upon their extensive knowledge. 

When is it too early to replace a roof?

You don’t want to replace your roof for the sake of it, especially when you’ve got the expense of a solar installation on top of that. But if your roof is within 5 years of the time when it should ideally be replaced, it simply makes sense to have this work done when your solar panels are being installed. This means that the lifespan of your solar system and your roof will be of a similar timeline, making it more convenient and cost-effective, especially when you consider that solar panels are unlikely to need to be removed during the lifespan of your roof. 

Should your roof be in relatively good condition but requires a few small repairs, it would make sense to have these carried out at the same time as your solar system is being installed.

In short, aging roofs or roofs in an advanced state of disrepair, should be replaced before solar panels are installed, to prevent you from having to go through the whole process of solar installation again when the roof needs to be replaced.