The lifespan of solar panels stands at 20 to 25 years. Since the panels live on your roof, the roof must have 20 to 25 years left in it too. Winter Park solar companies inspect a client’s roof before installing the panels. If the roof lacks strength, it’s not a good idea to install solar investment on it. Other deficiencies disqualify a roof as a solar panel candidate. Winter Park,FL solar panel companies discuss your options with you.
Many homeowners don’t realize the role their roof plays in the success of their solar panel investment. If you have driven by a neighbor’s home that has panels installed, you know that the panels’ success depends on its proximity to the sun’s light. For optimal results, panels require a south-facing position. They’re likely to capture 90% of the sun’s rays.
All solar panels don’t live on a roof, but it’s a convenient place to house them. If they’re on the roof, they don’t require additional space on the ground. You don’t need to worry about giving up your lawn area or parking spot. Exceptions do exist.
Community solar programs designate open spaces for the panels. Community gardens follow the same logic. Since there’s not enough space for individual community members to plant a garden, the community finds an open space to share. Community solar programs don’t require a roof, just an open space that remains undisturbed.
These shared solar programs pose a great alternative for homeowners whose roof isn’t a good fit for solar panels. The programs require a membership. Thereafter all members enjoy the same benefits. It’s another way to achieve energy independence. Energy self-sufficiency comes in handy when a blackout or brownout threat exists. Since there are more electricity-dependent goods on the market, electricity maintains its status as a cherished energy resource.
Some states see problems developing in their lack of suitable electricity resources. Simultaneously, the demand placed on the electric grid outdoes the available supply. It’s worth looking into ways to supply your own electricity. Direct investment in your property works. So does the shared system of a community solar program.
Those who want to invest in the solar panel system on their property need to ensure that the roof is in good condition first.
The following are seven ways that Orange solar panel companies assess a roof’s condition before installing solar panels.
They Recommend Roof Maintenance First
To start, Winter Park,FL solar companies ask homeowners to complete professional roof maintenance before an installation begins. The roof’s health in solar panel installations is vital. Solar panel companies can’t ethically install the panels on a roof that isn’t in good shape.
Solar panels average weight of 40 pounds each. They add a weight of five pounds per square foot. Five pounds doesn’t sound significant, but imagine how you feel after holding five pounds after several minutes. In the first few minutes, the task is very doable. As the minutes progress, your arms become tired and weak. When you put the weight down, your arms feel like they’ve been through the wringer.
The average roof can handle 20 pounds per square foot, an important statistic to know in areas where it snows and rains consistently. Every regional market sells specific roof materials based on weather, climate, and region-specific outdoor elements. For example, most Florida roofs benefit from tile, slate, sand, and asphalt shingle materials. If you travel to the New England area, those roofs benefit from asphalt shingle or polycarbonate the most. These two materials hold up against snow the best.
Roof maintenance is a general inspection of the area. Professional roofers look for obvious signs of wear and tear. If you stick with one professional roofing company, they’ll have a history of your roof’s repairs, replacements, and inspections on hand, which is helpful.
When the professional knows the history and age of the roof, they can anticipate upcoming repairs and replacements. Tile roofs have a lifespan of 50 years. Slate roofs comfortably last 75 years. In some cases, a slate roof will outlast the homeowner. Asphalt shingle roofs have the shortest lifespan of these options, which is 15 to 25 years.
Scheduling annual roof maintenance is in a homeowner’s best interest. If you don’t enjoy climbing up on the roof to clean the gutters or mold, professionals do it for a fee. This is one of those times that the price of admission is worth the cost.
Professional roof maintenance includes an inspection. Professional roofers also repair loose shingles, clean the fascia, and take a look at the outdoor chimney areas. Their goal is to prevent leaks, broken shingles from getting worse, and the growth of more mold for the next year.
If you’re worried that roof inspection is going to uncover some deficiencies, it’s better to catch them sooner rather than later. Roof issues don’t get better over time, on their own. They require repair, replacement, and upgrades.
It’s more important for a roof to be in good health before a Winter Park,FL solar system installation. It ensures that the roof outlives the solar panels.
They Check for Missing Shingles
After the panel installation, there’s not much room for alterations to the roof surface underneath it. If there were missing shingles, they stay missing for the duration of the solar panel’s life. It’s not ideal.
The panel technically protects the roof surface under it. For example, that area receives less exposure to the sun. It doesn’t protect it from dust, mold, or rain. Missing shingles eventually turn into leaks. The roof material protected by the shingle absorbs moisture at a quick rate. Essentially, the water goes from the exterior to the interior more quickly.
In Florida, it doesn’t rain as frequently as it does in the Northwest. But you do receive sudden and harsh downpours. One of these storms is enough to cause a leak, even a small one. Once the leak becomes obvious, the roofing material surrounding becomes compromised.
It’s not a great situation to find yourself in at any time. A leak requires the removal of the panel first. Then the work to fix the issue begins. Once the work is complete, the panel is re-installed in its place.
The amount of work needed depends on the size of the leak.
They Check for Leaks
If your roof shows small signs of potential future leaks, Orange professional solar panel installers aim to catch them. Once installers secure the panels to your roof, roof maintenance poses a challenge. A professional roofer can’t readily see under the panels anymore. Thus if there was damage there, logic dictates that it’s going to grow.
Roof leaks are already inconvenient. If you have a solar panel on top of them, it adds to the time it takes to repair the roof. Professional installers need to remove the panel. Then the roofer starts the work. When the work is complete, a solar panel installer re-attaches the panel.
You may decide that you don’t want the panel re-attached to the roof. However, you need to consider how it impacts your investment. You paid for the panel and its installation. If you stop using it, it’s a lost investment.
Once you break even on your investment, everything else is downhill from the point. Some homeowners want to enjoy the financial perks that panels provide after breaking even.
They Check for Damage
Professional Orange solar companies cannot attach solar panels on top of damaged roof areas. Therefore, professional installers check for roof damage. The most common roof damage includes leaks, compromised flashing, missing shingles, and broken shingles. Clogged downspouts, pooling water, and tree damage are others.
It’s important to install solar panels on a roof free of damage, especially hidden damage. The panels help homeowners achieve a degree of energy self-sufficiency. In a state like the Sunshine State, where the sun’s rays stay abundant, there’s an opportunity to net a small profit from your panels’ production.
A roof that consists of damage is a surefire way to lose your investment break-even point. Plus it adds additional costs. If damage already exists, it impacts the roof’s ability to sustain the extra five pounds per square foot.
To optimize your roof and solar energy investment, the project must begin with a solid foundation.
They Test the Roof’s Strength
You can tell a lot about a roof’s strength by walking on it. Although Florida doesn’t receive a lot of rain in the winter, it does receive plenty of precipitation in short amounts of time. Your roof’s shingles absorb the moisture. Even though the sun peeks out again and brings its warmth, the excess moisture followed by heat stresses the shingles.
Florida roofing materials sustain the state’s elements. Some portions of the roof experience more stress than others. For example, beautifully architected roofs that consist of slopes and angles pool water. To prevent pools of water, roofers place appropriate add-ons that guide the water in specific directions. Even these techniques start to wear out.
Sudden storms create pools of water on roofs where they didn’t exist before. Since you don’t climb up on your roof often, there’s no way to spot the extra moisture. That’s why professionals recommend maintenance at least once a year.
It’s always unfortunate to realize that water was pooling after it’s too late. Roof leaks are inconvenient at best. At worst, they’re an expensive repair. Since solar panels add up to five pounds per square foot, the roof’s condition must withstand the extra weight for the following 20 to 25 years.
Removing the solar panels to repair the roof is possible. The issue is the cost you incur to remove the panels and re-attach them.
They Determine the Roof’s Age
A roof’s age is important before starting a solar panel installation Since asphalt shingle roofs last an average of 15 to 25 years, they must be fairly new. Solar panels have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years. To reap the most benefits from your investment, it’s best if the roof outlasts the panels.
If you require a roof replacement and the panels are still operating optimally, Orange solar panel companies remove the panels. Professional roofers complete the replacement. Thereafter solar professional panel installers re-attach the panels to the new roof. However, you run into a dilemma.
When your solar panels are nearing the end, does it make sense to replace the panels too?
Since there are several solar panel installation rebates, discounts, and incentives, the bulk of the cost you’re incurring for removing and reattaching is the labor fees. It’s a balance you’ll need to strike to streamline the cost. Solar panel technology continues to evolve.
In 20 years when you require a roof replacement, the solar panels are likely to be better and more efficient, among other improvements. In 20 years, it may be more cost-effective to replace the roof and panels simultaneously.
The cost becomes an issue when the replacement becomes necessary 10 years into the investment.
To avoid extra costs, professional installers take notes of their findings and explain their suggestions to you before starting the job.
Solar Energy Specialist assesses the health of every Winter Park,FL roof before installing solar panels as all Orange solar panel companies do. To schedule a Orange roof assessment for a solar panel installation, contact us at 866-407-2047. For more information about us, visit our website.