Solar and roofing go hand-in-hand. After all, your roof provides the sturdy foundation that attaches your solar panels to your house, while ensuring ideal sun exposure . This close connection between roof and panels is essential, unless you want to build a totally unique support structure for you panels, which is a costly alternative. But mounting panels to your roof can also pose a challenge if the roof itself needs work. If you need a new roof, or even a minor repair under your solar panels, you'll have to remove and reinstall your solar panels.
The removal and reinstallation process generally requires the help of a licensed solar installer, and their services come at a cost. As such, many homeowners have questions about this process and how they might be able to save some money. We've put together a few tips to help you be as economical as possible on your solar removal and reinstallation, along with your roofing work.
1. Replace or Repair Your Roof Before Getting Solar
When you're evaluating solar as an option for your home, a reputable and trustworthy solar installer will ask many questions about the age of your roof. They may even order a professional inspection. This is important because solar panels must be removed to facilitate a re-roof or roofing repair near their mounting area. This removal and reinstallation service must be conducted by a licensed solar installer at extra cost to the homeowner.
A good roofer, or roofing-qualified solar installer, will be able to estimate the remaining lifespan of your underlayment and roof surface before the panels are installed. Most solar panels are warrantied for 25-30 years, with production typically extending well beyond that. Potential solar buyers must align that production lifespan with the remaining lifespan of their roof. This pre-emptive evaluation could save thousands in unnecessary solar removal and reinstallation costs down the road.
2. Choose Durable Roofing Materials
If you're getting a new roof before installing solar panels, try to choose the most durable and lasting materials that will fit your budget. For example, clay tiles have the longest lifespan under our harsh Arizona sun, up to 50 years. Clay tiles also absorb less heat than other roof materials, creating a cooler foundation for your solar panels to operate more efficiently.
Whatever the material, prioritizing lifespan will not only save money by avoiding a pre-mature reroof, but you'll establish a lasting foundation that could help improve production while dramatically reducing the potential for unwelcome panel removal/reinstallation charges.
Read our blog that goes over what roofing materials last longest in Arizona for more information on popular roofing materials.
If you're considering switching roofing material, but already have solar, be sure to check with your solar installer first. Changing roofing material often requires new mounting hardware, which can further increase costs. Double checking with your solar installer will help you identify these not-so-obvious costs and make informed decisions.
3. Pick a Roofer With The Right Connections
Choosing a roofing company that has experience with solar—or direct access to solar expertise—can save you money while simplifying the process at the same time. For example, Azul Roofing Solutions shares a warehouse and fleet yard with Sun Valley Solar Solutions (SVSS). This allows for significant efficiencies in staging and coordination of going projects. While we're always happy to work with any solar company, choosing Azul and SVSS together will qualify you for a 5% discount on roofing work, and $20 off per solar panel. You'll also enjoy one point of contact and more savings potential.
If you're in need of roof work and have solar panels already installed on your home, we'd love to help. Estimates are free and, our friends at Sun Valley Solar Solutions can help with the panels too.