Things to Know Before Installing Solar Panels
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, but they can be a source of roofing problems if they are installed on a roof that is in disrepair. Even if your roof is in good condition before the installation, solar panel installations can put extra stress on the roof over time. This is why it’s important to be aware of common solar panel-related roofing problems and how to fix them.
At Lyons Roofing, we support our customer’s transition to solar power. We work hard to provide our customers with the roofing services they need to move forward with their solar panel installations. Keep reading for some helpful information to know as you plan your solar PV system.
Roof Leaks Are a Common Problem Associated with Solar Panels
Roof leaks occur when your roofing materials degrade and/or the sealant used to attach your panels to the roof deteriorates due to weather or age. Any roof installation, by nature, damages your roof. However, when things like solar panels are installed, their points of contact with your roof should be sealed, thereby preventing leaks and water damage. However, if your roof is already struggling, a major roof installation, like solar PV panels, can create problems that you otherwise wouldn't have if your roof started in good condition.
Small leaks can become exacerbated, and without proper roof drainage, water and moisture can sit on your roof, taking longer to dry out and deteriorating your roofing materials more quickly. Similarly, debris and leaves can build up under solar panels, creating a moist environment where water, algae, moss, and other plants or insects can flourish, further damaging your roofing materials.
Leaks should be addressed immediately because they can cause serious damage both inside and outside of your home.
Every Rooftop Solar Installation Should Begin with a Professional Inspection
The best way to ensure a successful solar panel installation is by having an experienced professional inspect your roof first. Even if there appears to be no visible damage or wear prior to installation, it’s still important to have an experienced, licensed roofer review your roof, inside and out, before moving forward with solar panels.
A professional roofing contractor (like Lyons Roofing) can help you determine the best approach for your solar installation, including whether you should consider a roof replacement. Ideally, you will install your solar panels on a new roof, as removing solar panels to replace your roof can be both a hassle and expensive (asphalt roofing and solar panels have similar lifespans of around 20-25 years).
Signs you might need a roof replacement before solar installation include:
- Missing, broken, or cracked shingles
- Leaking and water damage
- Age of the existing roof (15+ years)
- Soft spots on the roof deck
- Mold growth or moss buildup
- Sagging roofline
- Daylight showing through the attic boards
Roof Maintenance for Solar Panels
You should also stay vigilant about maintenance throughout your roof's lifespan – especially if you live in Arizona, where the extreme heat we experience can affect the integrity of your roof faster than in other parts of the country. Check regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as holes, cracks, and peeling sealant. To avoid further damage, have professionals inspect and repair your roof at least once per year. With regular inspections and repairs by Lyons Roofing, you can make sure your solar panel installation will last for years without any major issues along the way!
If you live in the Phoenix or Tucson areas, Lyons Roofing is available to help you establish a roof maintenance routine tailored specifically to your roof needs. We are also adept at providing inspections, maintenance, and repairs on roofs with solar panel installations. Our team is made up of experienced professionals who can identify potential problems before they become more severe and costly to repair.
Considering solar? Contact Lyons Roofing to schedule a roof inspection as your first step.