How to Replace a Roof With Solar Panels

Solar energy is a rapidly growing market, having seen a dramatic price drop in recent years. As a result, more homeowners are interested in investing in solar to save money on their utilities while reducing their carbon footprint.

Some homeowners worry about installing rooftop solar panels, knowing they might need to get their roof repaired or replaced somewhere down the line. The good news is that replacing a roof with solar panels is more than a possibility. Learn more below about how your solar installer can help ensure your solar panels stay safe during a roof replacement.

Can You Replace a Roof Without Removing Solar Panels?

You might be wondering how do you replace your roof with solar panels? You can replace your roofing under solar panels, but you'll need to remove the panels before starting the process. While keeping the panels in place during the replacement process may seem more straightforward, it can make the job more challenging and cause unnecessary damage to your solar panels. You should contact your solar provider to remove your solar panels before you start any roof restoration projects.

Solar panels can last a significant amount of time and, depending on your roofing material, can outlast your roof, making a replacement inevitable in some cases. Replacing your roof before investing in solar can help reduce this risk, but you can't eliminate the possibility of damage resulting from severe storms and other weather-related events.

Regardless of when you decide to replace your roof, remember to remove any solar technology beforehand. You can learn more below about when you need a new roof and the steps involved in replacing a roof with solar panels.

How to Tell When You Need a New Roof

You should consider multiple factors when deciding if you need a new roof. Here are some typical indications that you need to replace roofing under solar panels.

  • Damage: One of the most telling indicators that you need to replace your roof is if there is any damage present. Damage can happen for many reasons, such as harsh winter weather, thunderstorms or a tree falling onto your home. Ice and wind can cause your shingles to become cracked or missing. Branches or other debris can harm your roofing materials, impacting your roof's structural integrity.
  • Age: Your roof's longevity depends on many factors, such as materials and age. Some materials will last longer than others, so you may need to replace your roof more often than your neighbor. Generally, if your roof is over 20 years old, schedule a professional inspection to determine if age has caused significant wear and tear to justify a replacement.
  • Condition: Your roof's condition can also indicate the need for a replacement. For example, water leaks or damage to your insulation could signify a roof in poor shape. Discolored shingles or decking can also point to the start of a degrading roof. A professional can safely and accurately evaluate your roof to help determine if you need a replacement.

Before installing solar panels, have your roof professionally assessed. Installing solar panels on an old or leaking roof means you'll likely need a replacement sooner rather than later. Getting your solar panel array uninstalled and reinstalled can be costly. A roofing professional can evaluate your roof to determine if a replacement is necessary, especially if your roof is several years old.

A quality roof can protect your home from the outside elements, such as debris, weather, mold buildup and leaks. Installing solar panels on a damaged roof can cause further structural integrity, impacting your roof's ability to perform its job. If you don't yet have solar panels, you should determine if you need to replace your roof before investing in the technology.

Steps to Roof Replacement With Solar Panels

If you're trying to replace a roof with solar panels, you should follow specific steps to ensure the entire process goes smoothly.

  1. Contact your solar provider: The company that installed your solar panels can guide you through replacing your roof and reinstalling your panel array.
  2. Remove and secure your panels: Trust your solar panel installer to oversee the removal process, since they have the proper knowledge and tools to ensure no damage occurs to your panels in the process. You'll also prevent voiding your warranty by using your solar provider.
  3. Remove your roofing material: Once your solar panels are off the roof, put them in a secure location. If you can, you should place them in an appropriate area away from your roof replacement project to protect them. If you have space in your garage or a nearby shed, these are often the best locations. Avoid leaving them outside on your lawn or porch, where they are more vulnerable to damage and theft.
  4. Replace the roof: Now that your solar panels are in a safe place, you can start your roof replacement. You'll want to work with a trusted roof installer with the expertise to correctly remove and replace your roofing materials. Your roof installer should also estimate how long the project will take, allowing you to determine how long you'll have to rely on the traditional electrical grid before you can start using solar energy again.
  5. Reinstall the panels: Now that you've got a new roof, you can get your panel array reinstalled. You should entrust the task to your solar installer, so they securely install each panel and connect it to the electrical grid. They'll ensure everything works as it did before the roof replacement process.

Trust S&H Solar During Your Roof Replacement

Whether you have existing solar panels or are looking to invest, S&H Solar is here to help. We can safely uninstall and reinstall solar panels during your roof replacement, protecting your investment. If you don't have solar panels yet, we can inspect your roof to determine if you might need to upgrade it first. Our solar experts can walk you through each step of the process, helping you maximize your solar investment.

Our mission is to help homes and businesses in small towns and rural areas get equipped with solar, allowing them to take control of their power rather than renting it from a utility company. Our solar services will help save you money and reduce your carbon emissions. Get a free quote for your solar system, or contact us today to learn more about how we can help!

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