Let’s get straight to the point: don’t install solar panels on an old roof!
You don’t want to pay a roofer an additional $ 6,000-10,000 just to remove the solar panels and put them back up after the roof is replaced with a new roof.
Unfortunately, there are solar panel contractors out there who do not tell homeowners that their roofs need to be replaced before installing solar panels, even knowing that in just a few years, those homeowners will have problems with roofing removal and reinstallation. So it is your responsibility to make sure your roof has many years left before installing solar panels. If you’re not sure how old your roof is or how long your roof will last, paying for a roof inspection will save you trouble later.
How old is an old roof in Florida?
Many Florida home insurers typically do not renew homeowners insurance when the roof is 20 years old, even if there is no visible damage. So we can say that the roof is old when it approaches 20 years.
The deterioration of the roof really depends on the type of roof, the durability of the roof system and the quality of the installation. Six of the most popular roof types in South Florida are clay tiles, asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, metal or steel roofs, slate roofs, and wood shakes.
Manufacturers say that standard 3-tab shingle roofs can last 15 to 20 years and roofs with 25 years of architectural shingles can last 18 to 25 years. However, many homeowners find that their shingles need replacing a few years ago, 20 years or 25 year goals.
Here are 10 things you need to know before installing solar panels, according to roofers, solar panel installers, and homeowners who comment on solar panel posts online.
1. Make sure your HOA does not prohibit the installation of solar panels. Some HOAs do not allow energy saving devices to be installed on a property in their community.
2. Check your roof guarantee. If the solar panels are installed above the roof, the guarantee may be void.
3. See if your roof gets sunlight for most of the day. If your home is surrounded by lots of tall trees or a building is protecting your home from the sun, solar panels may not be worth the investment.
4th. Hire a reputable solar panel company that will agree to immediately repair or replace any part of your roof that was damaged during installation.
5. If your roof is already in need of replacement when you are considering installing solar panels, then you should hire a reliable company that will install both roofs and solar panels. You might be able to get a good price on the combined jobs, and in case corrections are needed later, you are only dealing with one company.
6th. If your roof is nearing the middle of its life and it is not practical to replace it before installing the solar module, find a solar module contractor who offers a one-time discounted removal and reinstallation of the solar modules to enable a roof replacement. You may find this offering at companies that install both roofs and solar panels.
7th. You will need to clean your solar panels from time to time so that they are in their most efficient state most of the time. To save time and effort, consider installing a faucet on the roof to make it easier for you to climb a ladder and hose down your panels cleanly.
8th. If your land area is large, or if you have outbuildings or large sheds, consider installing solar panels on those buildings or on the ground. This saves you roof-related costs.
9. Consider installing an expandable solar panel system where you start small and then build when you see savings on your electric bill.
10. One clue of a good solar panel contractor is their intention to inspect your roof first before proceeding to sell solar panels. You want to make sure that your roof is in perfect condition and that you won’t need to replace your roof for years to come.
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