Installing solar panels on your roof is an exciting and efficient way to make use of renewable energy. However, before you install these panels, it's important to understand how they will impact your roof and to answer some key questions: will solar panels damage my roof, or do I need to replace my roof before installation? In this blog post, we'll answer these questions, and more so you can make an informed decision about whether or not solar panels are right for you.
How Will Solar Panels Impact Your Roof?
Solar panels can have both positive and negative effects on your roof, but with the proper care and preparation, you can safely install them without compromising your roof's integrity. The number one reason people install solar panels is to help save money on energy bills. Secondly, they provide renewable, clean energy, enabling us to reduce our dependence on both fossil fuels and our local utility providers. Though this is not their purpose, solar panels also serve as an additional layer of protection against weather elements like heavy rains or hail and can even help protect your roof from damaging UV rays.
On the other hand, installing solar panels may put additional stress on your roof due to their weight. Furthermore, any time you install something directly on your roof, you create potential weak points, and if not installed correctly, solar panels can damage your roof's structure. However, this does not mean you shouldn't switch to solar energy for your home.
Preparing Your Roof for Solar Panel Installation
To minimize the increased risk of weakness or damage, take the time to check for repair issues or weak points before installation and use an experienced technician who understands how to attach the solar array to your roof's structure securely. Depending on the age of your roof, you may also want to consider performing a roof replacement before solar panel installation.
Tips for preparing for solar panels:
- Have your roof inspected by a licensed, professional roofer, like Lyons Roofing, before installation
- Confirm with both your roofing company and the solar panel installation company that your roof structure can withstand the full weight of your planned solar PV system
- Repair any existing issues, and shore up any areas that are showing signs of wear
- Make sure your roof is clear of debris and fully dry before installing solar panels
- Trim back overhanging trees
- Check to see if any existing roof installations need to be relocated, such as antennae or satellite dishes
With careful planning and professional installation, you can reap all the benefits of solar energy while keeping your roof in good condition.
Roof Maintenance Requirements Post-Solar Panel Installation
After installing solar panels, proper roof maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of your roof and the good performance of your solar array. An annual roof inspection should be performed to check for any damage or wear that may have occurred. It's also important to keep debris from accumulating on the surface of the solar panels, which can reduce efficiency. Lastly, trim overhanging branches that may drop leaves and other debris, which can interfere with panel efficiency.
What To Do If You Have a Repair Issue
If you ever experience a roof repair issue associated with your solar panels, it's important to take action as soon as possible. Ignoring small issues, such as cracked or loose tiles, can quickly morph into larger problems that can be difficult and more expensive to fix. The longer you let a repair issue go, the more likely you are to have significant damage to both your roof and your solar PV system.
If you are experiencing a roof issue associated with your solar panel system, such as leaks or damaged roofing materials, it's best to contact a professional roofer immediately for guidance. Lyons Roofing is experienced in maintaining and repairing roofs with solar panel installations, and we are available to help diagnose and repair any roofing issues you may have.
To discuss your roof repair or maintenance needs with one of our licensed roofing experts, call us at (520) 447-2522 or send us a message online.