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Everything You Need to Know about Roof Repair with Solar Panels

February 11, 2021

solar panel on house

In early 2019, the U.S. surpassed the installation of two million solar panel system installations. While this alone may seem like an impressive feat, it’s even more impressive when you consider that this happened only 3 years after reaching 1 million solar panel installations.

Here’s why that’s so noteworthy:

It took forty years to install the first million. And only 3 years for the second million. 

What’s more, it’s estimated that by 2023, the total number of installed solar panel systems will reach 4 million. 

Solar energy is the fastest-growing form of energy across the globe. It’s strong enough to power planes to fly all the way around the world, so why not engage this energy to power your home? 

Since homeowners can recoup the costs of their solar panel investment in an average of three years thanks to the energy savings they enjoy, more homeowners than ever are considering installing solar panels on their roofs. 

If you’re planning to install solar panels atop your home’s roof, what should you know about roof repairs? In this article, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at how solar panels affect your roof repair and vice versa.

The Cost of Removing Solar Panels & Tiles for Repairs

A single solar panel system can last you as long as 30 to 35 years, but if the roof underneath needs maintenance before the end of the life expectancy of your solar panels, you may have to remove some or all of the solar panels on your roof to accommodate this work. 

What all goes into removing solar panels?

Removal and Reinstallation by a Professional

Solar panels can withstand harsh weather, but that doesn’t mean they’re infallible. Removing solar panels isn’t something you should try to do yourself; you’ll need to hire a professional to do it. 

Solar panels have to be disconnected from the breaker, then separated from any kind of interconnection between the panels, then the individual panels need to be disconnected and removed. After the repairs to your roof have concluded, it’s time to have a professional reinstall your solar panels again. To remove and then reinstall your solar panels, it typically costs around $2,000 to $3,000 to remove 14 to 16 solar panels from a 1,500 square foot roof and then ensure they are securely back in place after repairs are completed.

Additional Costs of Solar Roofs

When you have to remove solar panels to repair your roof, the mounting hardware also has to be removed, which can cost around $800. Also, because solar panels are sensitive and can be damaged if not handled properly, they will need to be safely stored while your roof is being repaired. To ship and store your solar panels, you can expect to pay around $250.

This is the time when some homeowners also opt to have their solar panels professionally cleaned. The average cost to clean a system of 20 solar panels is approximately $300 to $430.

One important thing to note? This doesn’t include the cost to repair your roof.

It’s important to find ways to extend the life of your roof and keep it in good condition so you don’t have to pay these steep charges to remove and reinstall your solar panels.

When is it Time to Replace Your Roof?

Because solar panels need to be removed, stored, and reinstalled for roof repairs and replacements to happen, many homeowners opt to replace their roof first before installing solar panels. At the very least, it’s a good idea to consider the current condition of your roof, as well as the number of serviceable years left it has:

  • It’s recommended that if your roof has 15 years of life left in it, you should be good to install solar panels on your existing roof.
  • If your roof has 5 years of life left (or less), you’ll want to replace your roof before installing solar panels to avoid having to pay to remove and reinstall your panels.
  • If your roof has between 5 and 15 years left, your decision becomes a bit harder. It’s best to weigh the cost of your initial solar panel investment, plus the cost of removing and reinstalling your panels down the road. What is your payback period? In other words, how long will you pay back your initial investment in the system through energy savings?

Solar Panels Help Protect Your Roof

Solar panels act as a protectant for your roof. They shield it from UV rays that bleach out your shingles, drying them off. These solar panels also keep your roof safe from falling debris, and inclement weather like snow, ice, and hail that can do a number on your roof, which can actually extend the life of your roof. But they can only protect what’s already there; your roof needs to be in decent shape before installing solar panels.

Yes, if you are having a new roof installed, or need to make repairs, you will need to remove the solar panels to do so. But with solar panels and a system in place to revitalize your roof in place, it’s a lot less likely that you’ll need to make so many repairs in the first place. 

Extending Your Investment (And the Life of Your Solar Roof)

It can be expensive to remove and reinstall new solar panels. Without proper planning, you could be spending nearly $4,500 or more just to remove and reinstall solar panels. Instead of having to pay these heavy fees plus the cost of roof repairs, why not restore your roof to peak condition before you install your solar panels, to keep your roof in tip-top shape for years to come.

It’s hard to enjoy the energy savings and cost savings of solar panels if you’re worried about having to pay for repairs and reinstallation. At Roof Maxx, our applications can add as much as 15 years to the total life expectancy of your roof by adding back flexibility to your shingles and keeping them from drying out, which can lead to curling, cracking, or missing shingles and roof damage. It also improves your shingles’ waterproofing capabilities to keep water outside where it belongs. 

Roof Maxx’s processes are safe, easy, and proven to work. It’s a much more affordable alternative to costly repairs when you have solar panels.

Before you install solar panels, you need to do what you can to avoid costly labor fees by restoring your roof to its former glory so that it’s ready to keep your family shielded from the elements. Want to learn more? Contact us today!

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