Do I Need a New Roof Before Installing Solar Panels?

In 2020 solar energy accounted for about 11% of all energy usage in the US.

Residential solar panels are growing in popularity due to the benefits they bring. Before you proceed with installing solar panels, you want to make sure your roof is in a suitable state. If a roof is damaged you might want to have it repaired before investing in a solar energy system.

For a rundown of whether your roof is suitable or not, keep reading.

Do I Need a New Roof Before Installing Solar Panels?

Solar Timeline

Roof solar panels are designed to last. Installing them on a roof takes professional technicians with specialized equipment. Once placed, having to carry out maintenance and repairs could prove difficult – luckily, very little is needed.

Solar panels require little care. Cleaning them around once a year is enough in most conditions. Companies generally offer long warranties on their solar installations, often as long as 25 years.

This is beneficial as a solar energy system will save you money each month on electricity bills, so the longer you have one the more savings it will generate. State solar incentives are also available in many areas.

Your Roof Condition

Before any solar panel installation, you want to make sure there is no major damage to your roof that could affect your solar energy system. There’s a range of things you should check for:

  • Loose or broken tiles, which are easily visible with the naked eye
  • Signs of wear (bare shingles, rust, shingle granules, etc.)
  • Cracks and punctures
  • Water damage
  • Standing water
  • Other structural damage

You may be able to see some of this damage with a visual inspection, but this isn’t always the case. Water damage can be hard to detect, especially in its early stages. It might not be visible at all externally and is sometimes first noticeable from water stains inside your home.

If you have any small issues from those listed above you’ll want to have some repair work done before installing solar panels. If the damage is quite severe then a roof replacement may be the best choice. A new roof and solar panels go well together, as you can be sure they will both be in good condition for a long time.

Roof Age

Sometimes an old roof might show no signs of any damage. This, however, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to install solar panels on it. No roof lasts forever, so even one with no major issues will degrade with time.

The materials it’s made from, the environment it’s in, and how well it’s cared for all affect the state of a roof. In good conditions, a roof made from clay or concrete tiles can last for up to 30 years. Wood stake roofs have an upper lifespan of about 25 years, and for asphalt shingles, it’s about 20 years.

If there’s not much life left in it, you may want to get a replacement before installing solar panels for your roof.

Should You Repair Your Roof Before Installing Solar Panels?

It’s always advisable to make sure a roof is in the best possible condition before installing solar panels. Depending on the state of your roof, this can range from small repairs to an entire roof replacement

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