do you need to renovate your roof before installing solar?

Do You Need To Renovate Your Roof Before Installing Solar?

May 12, 2022

Let’s talk about one of the most important parts of your home when going solar – your roof!

For almost all homes, solar panels are installed on the roof. This allows the panels to capture the most sunlight possible, operating at optimal efficiency. 

But not all roofs are created equal. Before you install solar panels, you’ll want to consider the condition of your roof and a few other key factors.

Continue reading to see how your roof impacts solar choices. We’ll also explore whether you should replace or renovate your roof before going solar.

solar panel installation on house

How Does My Roof Impact My Solar Choices?

As we know, there are a few essential factors to consider when deciding whether solar is right for your home. One of the most important factors, of course, is your home’s roof.

Below, you’ll find three main concepts that need to be taken into consideration when exploring your solar options.

Design

The first thing that we have to look at is the design of your roof. The pitch or slope can have a tremendous impact on your solar choices. Installing solar panels can be challenging if the slope/angle of your roof is extreme. The flatter the roof, the easier and more flexible the solar installation process.

Another aspect of roof design to consider is dormers. For those that don’t know, dormers are often vertical windows that project out from the roof’s sloop. An excess of these designs can make it more challenging to navigate and place panels – as they do take up valuable space.

There are also various penetrations to consider. Roof penetrations are holes in your roof made for installing equipment or additional windows, such as skylights, chimneys, vents, and fans. These can create obstacles that must be taken into account when installing solar panels.

Materials

Solar panels need to be securely fastened to the roof. At BlueSel, we utilize high-quality racking equipment to get the job done. However, it’s essential that the composition of the roof is strong enough to support the racking and the panels.

The preferred roofing material for solar installation is asphalt shingles using roll or built-up design. Metal and standing seam materials are typically accepted for panel installation after closer inspection by your solar expert. More fragile materials, such as slate, clay, and wood are not recommended.

Location

You will also want to consider the location of your roof (and home). Anything near or hanging over your roof can lessen the amount of sunlight captured by your panels. For many, this means trees, but it can also include any buildings or properties nearby.

But unlike buildings, trees are often easily managed. The shading cast by trees can usually be accounted for in your solar estimate and your custom solar design. If trees are a hindering factor throughout the seasons, we may recommend removal. And trimming is always an option if done regularly during the roof’s lifespan.

Should You Renovate Your Roof Before Installing Solar Panels?

bluesel home solar professionals at work

Ah, the golden question. Should you renovate or replace your roof before going solar? 

Well, it depends. 

The first factor that we want to consider is the roof’s current condition. As we have mentioned above, roofing material needs to be strong enough to withstand racking and the weight of solar panels. If your roof is in poor condition, you probably want to get that taken care of before looking into solar panels.

Another thing to consider is the age of your roof and its remaining lifespan. Although it’s not a hard rule, you generally would want your roof to have an estimated 10+ years of remaining life. It’s a lot more difficult to replace a roof after installing panels, so be sure to keep this in mind.

How Can BlueSel Home Solar Help?

sunpower panels on a roof

As you can see, determining your roof’s condition isn’t always easy. Luckily, our team here at SunPower by BlueSel Home Solar can help. Give us a call and we’ll schedule a solar consultation. During this consultation, our solar expert will inspect your roof (and other factors) to let you know whether solar is a good fit for your home.