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Prepare Your Roof for Solar Panel Installation in 3 Easy Steps

April 20, 2017

Image: Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has the nation's largest roof top solar array


If you’re planning a solar panel installation at your home or business, it’s important to make sure that your roof can support your sustainable energy goals.


By taking three simple steps prior to installing your new photovoltaic array, you can make sure your roof will be ready to support your solar panel installation.


Step 1: Schedule a Roof Inspection with a Licensed Roofing Contractor


Can your roof support the weight of a photovoltaic array? Solar panels are quite heavy — each weighs roughly 40 pounds, and that doesn’t include the mounting racks and hardware.

To provide enough power for your business or home, you may need dozens of solar panels. And your roof needs to have the right structural support in place to accommodate the weight of all that expensive equipment.

The best way to determine if you have enough structural support is to schedule a roof inspection. A licensed roofing contractor can assess your roof’s condition by inspecting the attic and checking the exterior structures for damage.


Step 2: Schedule Roof Repair Before Installing Solar Panels


If the roofing contractor determines that your roof has some wear and tear or obvious damage, the time for addressing those problems is now. It’s important that you have any necessary work done before installing a photovoltaic array.

Solar panels are designed to last at least 25 years, and most continue to provide power for much longer than that. Consequently, your roofing must be in good shape if you want it to last for the life span of your photovoltaic array.

Don’t be tempted to skip roof repair if the damage is slight. Small issues can easily grow into big problems over time. And if you need repairs in the future, it will be an expensive hassle to remove your photovoltaic array to fix the problem. Then you’ll have to pay to have the solar panels reinstalled.


Step 3: Address Roof Obstacles before Solar Panel Installation


Shading can significantly affect your photovoltaic array’s production. Roof penetrations like chimneys can result in unwanted shading, and they can also interfere with panel placement. To reap the most solar energy output, it’s important to address these issues now.

During your professional roof inspection, you can ask your contractor to determine if any of the roof fittings or penetrations is likely to affect your solar panels. Some, like antennas and satellite dishes, can usually be moved to a better position if necessary. Chimneys and vents can be more problematic, but relocation may be possible.


Contact us to schedule an inspection to be sure your roof is ready for solar panel installation.