When you’re planning solar panel installation at your home or business, you must make sure that your roof can support your sustainable energy goals.
Take these three simple steps before installation of your new photovoltaic array, and you can rest assured that your roof will be ready to support your solar panel installation.
Step One: Contact a Licensed Roofing Contractor and Schedule a Free Roof Inspection
Do you know if roof can support the weight of a photovoltaic array? Solar panels are pretty heavy — each weighs about 40 pounds, not including the mounting racks and hardware.
To provide enough power for your building, you may need dozens of solar panels. And your roof must have the right structural support in place to bear the weight of all that equipment.
The best way to figure out if you have enough structural support is to schedule a roof inspection. A licensed roofing contractor can assess your roof’s condition.
Step Two: Get The Roof Repaired Before Installing Solar Panels
If during inspection the roofing contractor finds that your roof has some obvious damages, you need to address those problems now. It’s important that you have all repair work done before installing a photovoltaic array.
Solar panels last at least 25 years, and most continue to provide power for much longer than that. Therefore, your roof must be in good condition 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 problems can easily grow into big and costly problems over time. And if you need repairs in the future, it will be expensive to remove your photovoltaic array to address the problem. You’ll have to have the solar panels reinstalled, which will cost you even more.
Step Three: Address Roof Obstacles before Solar Panel Installation
Shading can largely affect your photovoltaic array’s output. Roof penetrations like chimneys can result in unwanted shading, and they can also interfere with panel placement. To reap the most solar energy production, it’s important to address these issues now rather than later.
During your roof inspection, ask your contractor to see if any of the roof fittings or penetrations are likely to affect your solar panels. Some, like antennas and satellite dishes, can usually be moved to a better position if needed. Chimneys and vents can be more difficult to move, but may be possible.
Contact us to schedule an inspection to be sure your roof is ready for solar panel installation.