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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.