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Do You Need a New Roof to Install Solar Panels?

Updated: May 2, 2019

If you’re planning to install solar panels, you need to consider the condition of your rooftop. Chances are, you won’t need a new roof – but you will need to take care of any necessary repairs before moving forward with your home PV system installation.

Even if you don’t see an obvious need for repairs, you may want to have a professional roofer check the stability of your roof deck. If the structural integrity isn’t up to par, mounting rooftop solar panels could be a risk.

Consider the Age of Your Roof

SunPower solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, and experts say they can produce energy for at least 40 years. So, the age of your roof matters.

If yours is relatively new, replacing it shouldn’t be necessary. If, on the other hand, your rooftop is pretty far past its prime, you may not want to install a home PV system on the surface. The roof may be in decent condition now, but you might need a replacement or serious repairs in a few short years – and either would require the rooftop solar panels to be removed and reinstalled. That would be quite costly, so you probably want to avoid that scenario altogether.

Consider the Structural Integrity of Your Roof

Here at PRVL Energy, we tell homeowners to have a professional roofer check the integrity and stability of their rooftop. We won’t mount solar panels on an obviously compromised roof, but we’re solar energy experts – not roofing contractors. So, we can’t guarantee the structure can handle a home PV system.

The weight of the solar array shouldn’t affect the structural integrity of your roof – unless you already have two or more layers of shingles. If that’s the case, the frame may not have the strength to support the PV system. The same is true if your roof sheathing or deck has significant damage.

What if Your Roof Can’t Handle Solar Panels?

In nearly every case, roof replacement isn’t a necessary precursor to installing a home PV system. But what if your rooftop is the exception to the rule? Are there any other options – besides putting out the money for a new roof?

Absolutely! You could choose to mount your solar panels on the rooftop of another structure on your property, such as a storage shed or carport. Or, you could invest in a ground-mounted home PV system and place it in an area that gets ample sun throughout the day.

If your rooftop has seen better days, the expert solar contractors at PRVL Energy can help you find an ideal solution. As a SunPower Elite Dealer, our team has the expertise to design a highly-efficient home PV system that’s ideally suited to your Utah property – we can definitely work around your roof situation.

PRVL Energy, a locally-owned and operated solar energy provider based in northern Utah, offers free, no-obligation consultations and estimates to homeowners and businesses throughout the state. If you’re ready to power your home with solar panels, contact us to explore your options today.

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