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Solar Panels: Four Key Tips to Remember When Re-roofing and Installing Solar Panels

Date: May 10, 2022

When it comes to re-roofing your home, numerous considerations must be taken into account to guarantee that you have a solid and sturdy new roof. It is a delicate technique that has the potential to result in costly and time-consuming mistakes.

Roofs with solar panels, on the other hand, take into consideration these variables and other crucial factors that must be adhered to for both to be effective. This shouldn't be a source of concern for you because, in this post, we will walk you through four essential considerations before beginning the project.

1.   Use the opportunity to your advantage. 

When a roof is damaged or expires, it is common to be replaced. The manufacturer's recommended replacement date may be approaching, and it is advised to replace the roof when it has reached 80% to 85% of its life.

As a result, you should take advantage of this opportunity to perform repairs, replacements, and preventative maintenance.

Some of them are as follows:

  • Change solar panels
Solar panels against a clay tile roof

There are several distinct types of solar panels, each of which has its advantages. Because of personal preference and other considerations, it is possible to switch to a different model at any moment.

Changing your solar panels at the same time as replacing your roof provides several advantages:

Convenience 

They may be time-intensive, but it is more convenient to cover two related projects simultaneously. Compared to executing each task individually, this enables a one-time financial plan and expenditure.

Double inspection 

The roofers and solar installation crews will ensure that the roof is robust and well-fixed before they leave. The two-fold inspection reveals any errors that may have occurred from either party's perspective.

The roofing business repairs and replaces any damage to the roof frame and ensures that the deck is sturdy enough to support the roof covering. This is critical since the solar panels will be installed on the roof.

The strength of the roof and the state of the roof deck, where the brackets will be affixed, will be examined by the solar panel experts before they can install the panels.

  • Make any repairs

The roof has some sections that you cannot replace whenever you wish. When you re-roof your home, you have the opportunity to check and repair any damaged areas of the roof.

Some examples of repairs and maintenance are as follows:

  • If nail holes and water have damaged the roofing deck, it may be necessary to replace it.
  • If you discover that you require additional ice and water protection at suitable locations, you can add it at the right time.
  • Clean out and unclog your gutters and repair any that have been damaged.
  • Roof flashings that are broken or rusted should be replaced.

2.   You may have to replace your roof. 

Re-roofing adds a fresh layer of shingles to an existing roof structure. There are some advantages as well as disadvantages to doing so.

Re-roofing is a one-time investment, and if the roof is damaged or has reached the end of its useful life, you will have to replace it entirely. As a result, before re-roofing your home, you should consider the following factors:

The age of your roof

Your roof will require replacement after it has surpassed 80 percent to 85 percent of the manufacturer's recommended life span.

There are a few concerns associated with re-roofing your home under an old covering of shingles:

  • If the exterior shingle layer of your house is weakened, your home will be vulnerable to leaks.
  • Most insurance companies will not compensate for damage to a house that has been re-roofed. They are concerned about the structural stability of the roof as well as the state of the initial layer of shingles, which they believe may have made the property more vulnerable to damage.
  • Some roofing companies regard warranties for houses that have been re-roofed as null and invalid.
  • By adding a layer of shingles to the roof and solar panels and snow or rain, the roof's structural integrity is reduced, and the roof may fail as a result. You may have to replace your shingles instead.

The extent of the damage

If you have a damaged roof it could be the perfect time to install solar panels

When you believe it is time to re-roof your home, you should inspect your roof yourself or have a professional do so for you first. The amount of damage determines whether you'll need to replace or re-roof your home when it comes to roofing.

If the damage has spread to the roof's frame due to water damage, there is a reasonable risk that your roof will not be able to support the weight of the solar panels and the extra layer of shingles on top of them.

Missing, cracked, or curled-up shingles may necessitate replacement rather than re-roofing. This is because an excellent first layer of shingles provides an extra layer of protection for the house if the top layer is compromised.

Building codes 

Local building codes are subject to change over time. Contact your local construction business to determine what you can and cannot do with your property.

One of the examples includes;

The use of 3-tab asphalt shingles was once widespread, but several building codes no longer permit their use because of their low wind resistance. As a result, architectural shingles are the asphalt shingles of choice in some places since they have a greater wind rating.

If you had previously used 3-tab shingles, you would have to transition to architectural shingles to comply with building regulations.

3.   You will have a power outage. 

Sometimes not being connected to grid lines means that you will not face power outages

If you have solar panels attached, you may experience a power outage for a period of time that lasts the entire replacement period.

When it comes to solar panel mounting, you have two choices:

Off-grid

These solar panels store energy in batteries while also supplying solar power to the home's electrical system. They operate independently of the electricity grid and are not connected to it.

This implies that if you have an off-grid solar panel, you will not be charged any utility fees for electricity, and you will not be affected by a power outage in your neighborhood.

On-grid

While the on-grid solar panels are connected to the main power line, the house draws its electricity from the power line rather than the solar panels. It functions indirectly to give electricity to the owner.

The power grid absorbs solar energy, and the owner gets compensated by the utility company for the energy that they have provided to them through their solar panels. If you do this, you will save money on your electricity bills, but you will lose power if there is a power outage. 

Several grid systems can provide power during power outages by installing batteries that serve as backup power sources.

If you have an off-grid solar installation system, you will have a power outage during the period of re-roofing work. Make sure that the re-roofing takes place at a time convenient for you to be prepared.

Connecting your home to the primary power grid allows you to use your solar electricity as a backup in case of a blackout while saving money on utility charges.

4.   You can switch to solar shingles. 

Solar panels fitted to a roof

As an alternative to re-roofing your home with a new covering of shingles, you should consider adding solar shingles. You will choose to have shingles and solar panels in a single package.

 This is recommended if your roof does not qualify for re-roofing and requires a complete replacement. Consult with a roofing professional to discover whether your roof is suited for solar shingles.

 It is advantageous to use solar shingles to replace your roof since you will not have to replace your roof for the entire life of the solar shingles. They also have a longer life span and provide protection and solar energy in one package.

Additionally, combining them will save you money on maintaining and repairing both the solar panels and the roof individually. Solar shingles have one replacement and maintenance period, whereas shingle roofs and solar panels, which are of different durability, have many replacement and maintenance periods.

FAQs

Are roof replacement and solar installation both offered by the same company?

Most of the time, different businesses compete with one another to provide their services. This is true unless the company is a partnership or a fully integrated corporation.

This distinction between solar panel installers and roof replacement contractors is critical to grasp. Before you begin the job, ensure the team members are capable of working together to provide you with a functional solar installation and a sound roof.

Can solar panels be fitted to any roof type?

Solar panels are equipped with various mounting hardware that can be utilized in multiple situations. In the case of re-roofing with different solar panels or when intending to install solar panels on your roof, check with the solar panel providers to see if they can be installed on your roof. 

If you are re-roofing your home with solar panels and intend to use a different roofing material, you need to make provisions for this in advance. Have the mounting hardware and other items supplied to your home before the re-roofing process begins.

When is the best time to mount solar panels on your roof?

Solar panels can be fitted at any time, but given that the roof has a limited lifespan, installing them simultaneously as your roof or installing a new roof may be preferable.

About Mikku & Sons
Our roofing company was founded in 2001 by Michael Riutta, who is still part of the ownership and management team. Between Michael, his two sons and co-owners, Devin and Joshua, and our crew members, we have many years of experience to handle any type of roof repair or roof installation solutions you may need.
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