It’s possible that you’ve never considered a roof inspection. In fact, you may not give your roof much thought at all unless it starts to leak or the tiles or shingles are cracked or damaged. However, if you’re thinking about installing solar panels, you must pay close attention to your roof.
Start with a Roof Inspection to Avoid Future Problems
Customers who opt to work with Big Solar should be especially vigilant about the condition of their roofs. Why? Because big-name solar companies focus on solar panels and solar panels only. They won’t necessarily start your project with an in-depth roof inspection.
Here’s the thing, though: Installing solar panels is a major undertaking. If you haven’t had a roof inspection and your roof is in bad shape when the solar panels are installed, you could wind up with a big problem later. The worst part is that you may think that your roof is perfectly fine…until those solar panels are installed.
Just because your roof didn’t leak last winter doesn’t mean it can withstand the solar panel installation process. When you have a lot of people walking around on your roof and adding heavy panels, previously unknown weaknesses can come to light. And if your roof springs a leak once solar panels are installed, at least some of the panels will have to be removed before the roof can be repaired. It’s a huge hassle—and a major additional expense—that could be avoided with a roof inspection ahead of time.
Many solar companies just don’t have the expertise necessary to conduct a roof inspection. If you’re faced with that situation, we recommend that you bring in a well-respected roofing company to inspect your roof and offer advice before you get started on your solar project. A roofing professional will be able to tell whether your roof is structurally sound or shows signs of weakness, dry rot, or leaks that should be repaired before the solar panels are installed.
Consider the Age of Your Roof
Here’s another important point to consider: Solar panels are expected to last 25 years or more. The life span of a roof ranges from 15 to 30 years, on average. So, it doesn’t make sense to install a solar panel system on a roof that’s 10 or 12 years old because the roof may be nearing the end of its useful life.
In San Diego County, we see mostly tile roofs and asphalt composition shingle roofs. If your roof doesn’t have proper insulation and ventilation, it can start to break down sooner.
Tile Roof Deterioration
Tile is meant to last a long time, but the moisture barrier under the tile won’t last forever. It’s usually not covered under warranty, either. Over time, the moisture barrier starts to dry out. It’s not the type of deterioration you’re likely to notice, unless you have four or five people walking around on your roof, installing solar panels. That sort of disturbance can cause the dried-out moisture barrier to tear, leading to leaks.
Asphalt Composition Shingle Roof Deterioration
The sun’s rays beat down on your roof continually. That’s why you’re installing solar panels, after all—to capture that energy. The sun also dries out asphalt composition shingles, making them brittle and flaky. They can crack easily, especially during the installation of solar panels. And once again, that leads to leaks.
How to Streamline Your Roofing Project
According to Consumer Reports, you should hire a roofer and a solar panel installer to collaborate on your project and ensure that your roof is in good shape before the solar panels go on. If your roof needs repairs or is showing signs of age, you can repair those sections before you add solar panels. To simplify the process even further, you can look for a solar panel installer that also has roofing expertise. That way, you only have to deal with one company for both projects.
Ideally, the company you choose will have extensive expertise in home energy efficiency and can provide advice on the best roof and solar panel system for your needs. At RC Energy Solutions, we have both roofing experts and solar panel experts to streamline the installation process and get you up and running as quickly as possible. We can repair any trouble spots on your roof before the panels go up. We offer bundle discounts when you work with us for more than one project. And we may event be able to help you save with additional tax benefits when you repair your roof and add solar panels at the same time.
Contact Us to Get Started
Contact us to learn how much you can save with a solar panel/roof repair package deal. We’ll go over all the details with you during our free, in-home consultation. We’ll even talk to you about all the possible tax benefits. Ready to get started?