Installing solar panels and enjoying the benefit of free green energy is a common goal shared by many homeowners. Now that you have decided to finally move forward with this project, you may be eager to get the ball rolling. Some homeowners in your shoes have been dismayed to run into issues when installing solar panels that may have otherwise been prevented with forethought and planning. These are some of the more common solar panel installation problems that may affect your upcoming project.
A Weak Roof
Solar panels may look relatively light, but their appearance is misleading. The actual weight depends on the type of panels that you select, but many roofs have not been designed to withstand the weight of a full set of typical solar panels. You can avoid learning about this problem in the middle of a solar panel installation project by consulting with a roofing contractor ahead of time.
A Roof that Requires Replacement Soon
The solar panel installation process takes time, energy and money, so you understandably want to maximize the benefit of this effort. A typical asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of approximately 25 years, although there is a considerable variation to this based on weather conditions, maintenance, and many other factors. Installing new solar panels on an older roof that requires replacement soon is not wise. If your roof is close to the end of its life, it makes sense to replace it before installing new panels.
Not Planning for Water Flow
When your roof was constructed, its purpose was to protect the home from exposure to the elements by creating an impermeable barrier. Its design is based on the concept that water will flow downward without hindrance. Solar panels create blockages that your roof was not designed for initially. Consulting with a roofer will help you to determine if any additional steps need to be taken to ensure the integrity of your roof.
As beneficial as solar panel installation can be for the environment and for your budget, it is not without challenges. These are a few common problems that you may run into, and you can see that they pertain to the roof. Because solar panels are mounted to the roof, it makes sense to ensure that your roof is in good condition and can tolerate this installation before beginning the project. Now is a great time to contact a licensed roofer for more information about preparatory steps that may be needed.