Even though you can lower your energy costs by installing rooftop solar panels, you could inadvertently damage your roof during the installation and end up with bigger problems. A damaged roof could mean having to remove the panels and get a complete replacement of the roof. To avoid this, you have to prepare your roof for the installation. Here are some tips on how to ensure your roof is solar ready.
Get an Inspection
Before you buy the solar panels, you need to have your roof inspected by a roofing contractor, such as JC Roofing & Insulating. There are a couple of reasons that an inspection is important.
The inspection is necessary to determine if your roof is structurally strong enough to support the solar panels. Even lightweight panels can add weight to the roof. If the roof is not sound, it could collapse or parts of it could fall off. Either way, a replacement could be in your future.
You also need an inspection to get an estimate of the roof's lifespan. When you buy the solar panels, it is best to find panels that have a guaranteed lifespan that matches closely to that of your roof. If the panels fail before the roof is done, you might have trouble removing them without damaging your roof. However, if the roof and panels deteriorate at a similar rate, you can replace both at the same time.
Establish a Construction Site
During the installation of the panels, it might seem logical to pile all of the equipment on the roof and move it across the surface of the roof as you need it. Unfortunately, this can be extremely damaging to your roof. Even if your roof is in good condition when you start, the back and forth with the panels and other equipment can start to wear it down.
To avoid this, you need to establish a construction site for the panels and installation equipment. Some homeowners rely on scaffolding to help store the equipment. You could even rely on helpers to pass the materials to you from the ground as they are needed. The setup you choose is up to you, but focus on narrowing the amount of stress put on your roof.
If you are installing the panels yourself, talk to the roofing contractor about other steps you can take to prepare the roofing. To guarantee there is no damage though, consider hiring the contractor to complete the installation.