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Do I Need to Replace My Roof to Add Solar Panels?

Solar power is an efficient, environmentally friendly form of power that more and more people are incorporating into their homes each year. By adding solar panels to your home, you can cut down on your power bills while doing your part for the earth. It’s an appealing prospect, but if you’re considering adding solar panels to your home, you should know the effort required.

The fact of the matter is, you’ll likely need to replace your roof before you add solar panels to it. Most solar panels are built to last for 20 to 25 years, and removing them to repair your roof after they’re installed can be a difficult and expensive process. Unless your roof is already new, it will likely need work done on it before it comes time to replace your solar panels. That’s why we recommend ripping the Band-Aid off and replacing your roof now. It may be a bigger ordeal than you were planning to embark on, but in the long run, you’ll be thankful you did.

Get the Help of an Expert

If you try to replace your roof and add solar panels on your own, you’ll just end up in a world of hurt. This kind of roofing work is well beyond the skill set of even the handiest homeowners, so call in professionals such as Interstate Roofing before you try to do anything on your own. It’s not just the extra helping hands you need either. What you really need is their expertise.

Not all roof damage is visible at a glance, so having someone who has the experience needed to spot any problems the untrained eye might miss will be invaluable. Have a conversation with your contractor about what you’re planning to do, and they’ll be able to assess what roofing work might be necessary to make your dreams a reality. Together with their help, you can devise a plan of action for how best to proceed.

Assess the Layout of Your Roof

First and foremost, you’ll need to take stock of what you’re working with. Measure the dimensions of your roof to get an idea of how to best situate the solar array. Take a look at the environment around you and determine if anything might block light from reaching the array. You don’t want to go through the trouble of installing solar panels only to have a tree branch or your neighbor’s house stop the sunlight from reaching them.

Do what you can to mitigate any shade, trimming branches if you need to. Check to see if there are any vents, antennas, or other protrusions that might need to be moved and make plans to adjust their positions. Keep in mind that if you need to move anything connected to your HVAC or plumbing system, you may need to get in touch with a contractor to relocate it.

Start Any Necessary Repairs

Removing a solar array to repair a roof can be a pain, so it’s best to take care of any problems sooner rather than later. After you and your expert help have taken the time to analyze the situation, determine what might need to be addressed before you replace your roof and install solar panels. If you find any weak spots or damaged sections of the roof, they will need to be repaired before even attempting installation. This goes for not just problems on the exterior of the roof, but for under it as well. Water damage, leaks, or damaged rafters will also pose a problem.

A single solar panel is heavy enough, but an entire array will add a massive amount of extra weight for your roof to support. That’s why we strongly recommend you replace your roof before you install solar panels. By taking the time to replace everything first, you can be sure to address any problems now, as well as steeply reduce the odds that you’ll need to remove the array for any future repairs.

How Will You Connect to the Grid?

Unless you’re planning to replace the roof and add solar panels to a cabin out in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to need to figure out how your new array will connect to the grid. Get in touch with your utility provider and see what they’ll need from you to smoothly integrate the solar panels into your home. Are there any fees required as part of the setup? How long will it take and involved is it to get the array connected? How will you be compensated for the energy you generate, and how often?

The financial question will likely be the trickiest, as different states set different reimbursement rates depending on their outlook on solar energy. In states where the reimbursement rate is lower, you’ll need more time to see a return on investment. Everyone’s situation is unique, so take the time you need to sort out the details.

Set Yourself a New Maintenance Schedule

Once you’ve taken the time to replace your roof and add solar panels, you can’t just let them sit up there for the next few decades. As with many aspects of home care, regular maintenance is key to keeping your solar array firing on all cylinders. You’ll still have all the standard roof maintenance, of course. Unfortunately, adding a solar array can make what would be standard roof repairs quite tricky. Again, this is why we highly recommend you have your roof redone before installation.

Then set up a regular inspection with a trusted roofing company, if you don’t already have one, so that you can regularly have expert eyes to spot problems early and nip them in the bud. Solar panels can make it harder to properly drain and ventilate your roof, with the array catching and collecting debris that would ordinarily slide off your roof, so staying on top of any blockages that form is crucial. For the same reason, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any critters that might use your solar panels as a shelter. With frequent inspections, you can stay one step ahead of damages, blockages, and unwelcome neighbors, leaving you to enjoy your green energy for years to come.

 

5 Facts About Adding Solar Panels to Your Vancouver WA Roof

As energy bills rise in Vancouver, WA, many people are considering getting solar panels installed on their roofs. With solar panels, your energy bill can decrease substantially, while the overall value of your home increases. So why hasn’t everyone had solar panels installed?

The cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be overwhelming, but the money you save with them will balance out the initial cost, and then some. It’s an investment that many people see the benefits in. And when you decide to make such a large investment in your home, you’ll want to make sure you’ve thought everything through.

Your roof plays a larger part in the process than you might initially think, and local roofing experts like Interstate Roofingwant to make sure you have the perfect foundation for your new investment to be installed on. Knowing some details about putting solar panels on roofs and the benefits that come along with it may help you make the choice to move forward with them. Here are five facts about adding solar panels to your roof in Vancouver, WA.

They Can Be Installed on Just About Any Roof

If you have an older home or an oddly shaped house, you may be wondering if solar panels will work well with your roof. The good news is that solar panels can be installed on nearly any roof. Most standard roofs are compatible or can become compatible with the help of the right local roofing professional. But still, some are more compatible than others, and this has to do with the size, shape, and location of the roof.

Large and mostly square roofs are the ideal surface to put solar panels on, as they make for an easier installation process. Having a roofing professional assess your roof for compatibility is a good first step to take when considering solar panels. Another aspect that makes some roofs better than others is the amount of sunlight they receive. Though they don’t necessarily need sunlight to function, the more sunlight they receive, the better. And if your roof is shaded by other buildings or trees that you’re not willing to prune back—or can’t if they’re in a neighbor’s yard—then you may not get as much out of solar panels as other people do.

Solar Panels Need a Sturdy Foundation

Your roof and your solar panels go hand in hand, as your roof will provide the foundation for your solar panels. A cracked or leaking foundation can be worsened by putting solar panels on top of it, can cause many problems for your solar panels in the future, and can even create issues within your home. When you’re thinking about having solar panels installed on your roof, you need to make sure that your roof is sturdy enough and in good condition to support them. It will also ensure the people installing the solar panels aren’t at risk.

Solar Panels Can Increase Home Value

Having solar panels on your roof is a great selling point should you ever need to sell your home. Buyers are more interested in homes with solar panels already installed, as it eliminates the need for them to do it later. Sure, you’ll want to get your use out of them to make the investment worth it, but if you plan to sell in the next few years, you could benefit from having solar panels installed.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, each $1 in energy savings from solar panels adds $20 to your home’s total value. And the more solar panels you have, the more you’ll save on your energy bill. Some states yield higher solar premiums than others, and Washington is one of the top five states to do so. With a 4.1 percent solar premium, your solar energy system can create a $15,916 profit. So aside from being a cost- and energy-effective option, adding solar panels to your roof in Vancouver, WA, can be a great way to increase the value of your home.

They Last a Long Time

Solar panels are known for their ability to last for quite a while, which is why so many people choose to invest in them. On average, solar panels can last for around 25 years before they begin to lose efficiency. And even after those initial 25 years, your solar panels will continue to work, just slightly less effectively. In addition, the warranty for your solar panels can last up to 30 years. If you’re considering making an investment in solar panels, keep this in mind. The price of the solar panels spread out over 25 years along with the lower energy bill may provide big savings in the long run.

Replacing or Repairing Your Roof Beforehand Can Yield Better Results

The fact that solar panels can have a warranty of up to 30 years can make you feel secure in your decision. But it doesn’t bring much comfort if you know you’ll have to replace your roof in just a year or two. The best time to make repairs or replacements to your roof is before solar panels are installed, not after.

A roofing specialist can assess your roof for you before your solar panels are installed. This inspection, when done by a professional, can save you money down the road that you’d have to spend on taking the solar panels off to repair the roof. In Vancouver, WA, Interstate Roofing can take care of all your roofing needs before solar panels are installed. Whether it’s a large repair, preventative maintenance, or a complete roof replacement, the professionals at Interstate Roofing can do the job.

When your roof is well taken care of, your solar panels are in a better position to do well. If you’re wondering if your roof is ready to have solar panels installed on them, we can provide the inspection to get you started. We can also give your roof a good cleaning in preparation for solar panel installation.