Commercial Roofing Tips Residential Roofing Tips

What You Need to Know Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Solar panels have several benefits including lower electricity costs, helping the environment, and even tax savings, making them an attractive asset for a home or business. But, there are a few things you should know before you get them installed.

How Old is Your Roof?

If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life or if the life expectancy of your roof is less than the life expectancy of the solar panels then you’ll want to replace the roof before installing solar. Replacing or repairing your roof after solar panels are installed can be quite expensive as the solar panels will have to be removed. If you’re not sure of your roof’s age or condition, contact the Bond Roofing Team and we’ll take a look.

How Much Weight Your Roof Can Handle?

This is one of the first things you’ll want to determine before deciding on solar panels. If your current roof can’t handle the weight, you’ve got a bigger cost on your hands. On average, solar panels weigh 2-4 pounds per square foot which is usually within the acceptable limits of your roof. However, the weight is often concentrated as installers want to minimize the number of roof penetrations and these point loads can be significant. Make sure your solar mounting plan is engineered or speak with a structural engineer before adding too much to your roof structure.

How the Solar Panels Will be Mounted to the Roof?

Depending on your roof type, there are a variety of flashings and mounts. If your roof is very steep or if you have a special roof covering such as slate or tile, the installation can be quite expensive. Regardless of roof type, your installer will want to minimize the number of penetrations in order to minimize the potential for roof leaks. Most solar mounts for sloped roofs penetrate the roof and attach to the rafters or purlins below. Solar mounts for metal roofs usually do not penetrate the roof but rather clamp to the seams. Mounts for flat roofs might simply sit on top of the roof with a weighted rack.

Will Solar Panels Affect the Roof Warranty?

Yes, new penetrations will void the warranty of your roofing system, so make sure your installer provides their own warranty or enlists a third-party roofing company to either flash the new penetrations or inspect the installation.

Need help checking out your solar panel installation? Contact the Bond Roofing Team.

Residential Roofing Tips

What to Look for in a Roof When Buying a Home

As the weather warms and the school year comes to a close, many North Carolinians are in the market to purchase a new home. You inspect the appliances, electrical system, plumbing, yard space, and HVAC system vigorously before committing to a home, but let’s not forget about one of the most important structural aspects of the home: your roof! Buying a home with a dated and/ or damaged roof can cost you. Here’s what you should look for in a roof when you’re on the house hunt.

Roof Age

The first and most basic piece of information you’ll want to find out is the age of the roof. Ask the seller if they have records of when the roof was installed. If the roof isn’t very old, it might even be under warranty from the installer or manufacturer or both. Most manufacturer warranties are transferable once within the first 10 years and some enhanced warranties allow for transfer the first 20 years.

If the seller is unaware of the age of the roof, we recommend you have the roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor. You may pay a small inspection fee but it’s worth it.


How to Tell a Roof is Aging

One tell-tell sign of roof age is if you see black staining on the asphalt shingles. This staining occurs from blue-green algae growth on your roof. Most shingles today have an algae-resistant coating on the granules but that coating only lasts around 10 years. If you see significant staining on the shingles, it’s a safe bet the roof is at least 10 years old.


Some other signs of an aging roof:

  • Shingles are curling at the edges
  • Visible fiberglass (lighter, shiny shingle edges)
  • Significant granule loss on the ground where the downspout discharges
  • Missing shingles
  • Lifted flashings
  • Mismatched shingles, which may be an indicator of previous repairs


Some Other Areas to Inspect

Attic: If you have good attic access there’s no better place to spot signs of roof issues. Look for discolored sheathing or framing.

Ventilation: Proper ventilation is key to roof longevity. A good ventilation system will have intake vents at the soffit (underneath the overhangs) and an exhaust vent at or near the ridge. Exhaust vents can be ridge vent, power fans, turbine ventilators, or box vents.

Gutters: These are usually pretty easy to see from the ground. Are the gutters bent or dented or sagging? Look for signs of leakage at the miters (corners) or other seams.

Now that you’re ready to start the search, if you have any roofing-related questions, just give us a shout!