Rooftop solar panels can help significantly cut down on your energy costs, but if you damage your roof in the process, you could be looking at roofing repair bills. You should have a professional install the panels, but if you are planning to do it yourself, here are some questions to ask yourself before the installation.
Can Your Roof Support Panels?
In the rush to save on energy costs, some homeowners fail to consider the considerable weight that can be placed on the roof by the solar panels. If your roof is not structurally sound, the panels could be damaging to the roof.
If your roof is not able to support the panels, you can choose to place the panels elsewhere or talk to a roofing contractor to find out what it will take to prepare your roof for the installation. If a new roof is required, the cost of the roofing could be offset by the savings from the solar panels. There are roofing choices that are inexpensive that you can rely on to improve your roof's structural integrity.
How Much Life Is Left in Your Roof?
Outside of considering the structural integrity of the roof, you also need to consider how much life is left in it. When you install the panels, removing them without damaging your roof can be challenging. The best way to avoid damage to the roofing is to find panels that have the same lifespan as your roofing.
For instance, if your roof has an estimated 15 years of life remaining, you need to find panels that offer the same span. If you are unsure of how much time is left on your roofing, a contractor can assess it and make a determination.
How Will Water Flow From the Roof?
Due to the placement of the solar panels, water can easily pool up on the roof. During the design and installation of the panels, you need to ensure that there is an outlet for the water to leave the roof. If not, the water can eventually penetrate the surface of the roof and lead to such problems as mold and rot.
There are various ways that the water can be pushed away from your roofing, including leaving space for the water to trickle down into the gutters. Your roofing contractor can assess the panel placement and determine the best way for creating an outlet for the water to leave.