Things To Bear In Mind Before Installing Solar Panels On Your Roof
Throughout the nation, an increasing number of homeowners are choosing to invest in solar energy panels. They are furnishing their roofs with solar units and we can’t find a fault in this. Solar energy systems have been proven to be very beneficial investments over the past few years as they lead to significant cost and energy savings. The installation of solar energy systems is also a great way to create more electrical power for your house or business together with the grid, without leaving a harsh environmental footprint.
However, it would be wise to bear a few things in mind first before you decide to begin with their installation. Acknowledging all the several aspects involved in a job like this is vital. You should also check out some common installation misconceptions.
To help you make a thoughtful decision on whether solar energy is a suitable option for your home or commercial building, we have collected an array of the topmost important considerations before applying solar panels on your roof.
1. Does your roof need fixes?
Before you even think about getting a solar system, consider how old your roof is. If you need a roof replacement soon or a significant area of your roof is damaged, it’s not the wisest decision to install solar systems. If possible, have an expert do all the necessary fixes before the installation. This way, you won’t have to spare extra money to cancel the installation and start all over again.
Another important consideration is your roof’s warranty against that of solar panels. If you get solar panels that will last you for two decades and roofs that will go through 10 years at best, the cost for maintenance will be higher. Make sure that both warranties last the same or nearly the same so you can save some time, effort, and money in costly maintenance work.
2. How is your roof shaped?
Roofs are available in all sorts of forms and sizes. Before you proceed with the installation, ensure that your roof has sufficient space to accommodate the solar units. If there is not sufficient space, you’ll most probably fail to get a return on your investment.
3. Which is the orientation of your roof’s slopes?
Solar systems need precise positioning to be able to yield the max. level of energy. Most experts suggest that the best positioning is to make sure that the panels are oriented to the south while others suggest to the west. Nonetheless, this consideration is important before you proceed with the installation.
4. How much burden can your roof tolerate?
Installing solar panels will raise the burden on the skeleton of your roof. If the weight of solar panels is too high for your roof to tolerate, this is a chance of a roof collapse. This of course is quite hazardous for several reasons and it’s costly as well. To prevent such mishaps, it’s vital to hire an expert roofing contractor to check the state of your roof and gauge if any extra support is needed to carry out the installation.
5. Where will the water run?
During rainfall, water will flow down the roof through the gutters and outside of your house. During the installation of solar panels, tools like racking and wire fasteners can stop the proper water circulation. In some situations, solar tools may orient the water to a separate place and likely result in leakage. These issues demand immediate repair and that calls for the removal of the solar panels.
To prevent these problems, make sure that you express your concerns to a qualified roofer. They will devise a plan as a validation that the installation of solar panels will not affect your water circulation whatsoever.
6. What about other random weather strikes?
An important aspect of keeping your solar energy panels intact is addressing heavy weather settings such as hail storms, lightning storms, winds, and hurricanes. There is a probability for some solar energy components to break off during these settings. While some insurance companies are willing to cover these scenarios, this is something to keep in mind, especially if you reside in a region that is often exposed to such weather conditions.
7. How do you link to the grid?
In addition to the skeleton and form of your roof, you also need to consider the way you are going to link your solar panels to the grid. When you are establishing a connection with a local provider, there are many things you should consider such as:
- How long will it take you to connect?
- If there are any costs involved
- How and when will you be compensated for the electrical power generated?
8. Did you look around well?
Before complying with a roofer, ensure that you’ve done proper research. Going for the first roofing provider that comes your way may appear to be a fast and easy solution that will save you money in the short run–but, this isn’t the case. If you don’t want to encounter a sloppy job, look around and get several quotes from different roofers. Search the reputation of these providers and make sure they have a good name for themselves and their past clients are happy.
Once you contact a few roofers, you’ll be happy you did. You may compare different offers, customer opinions, and other relevant details that will help you make a sound decision.
9. Signing a Deal
When it’s time to sign a new contract, there are some things to check in the deal. Some of these aspects feature:
- Funding expectations
- Owner expectations
- Performance expectations
- Authorities that may gather data on your electrical energy expenditure
If all these aspects are not explicitly found in the written agreement, you may wish to ask the roofer for some clarification, Avoid signing any contract you are not sure what it covers.
10. Can Your Roof Be Trusted?
The installation of a solar power system is both a home investment and an electrical task. Hence, when you look for the most suitable contractor, make sure that they have all the proper qualifications such as a validation from the N. American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
Going for a roofer that you can tell will stick around for long is also another important consideration. While there is minimal maintenance needed, in case something doesn’t work anymore, you want a roofer that will be there to repair it within the warranty.
11. Did you make the most affordable choices?
Less costly solar panels rarely if ever indicate better quality solar systems. While the cost of the technology involved in the making has shrunk remarkably, going for the cheapest solar panels you can find may prove to be a poor decision. Low-end solar panels are often made in a manner that limits their durability. When they become less durable, your ROI potential and value will drop. Cheaper systems may also lead to serious safety risks. You certainly don’t want your roof to catch fire because of its poor design and ability to control excess heat.
As a serious buyer, it’s best to spare the time and money to get high-quality solar panels. They are much better investments in the long run.
12. Warranty Aspects
Warranties ate a crucial aspect of the integrity of your solar systems and other relevant components. In case something bad damages your solar panels, keeping a warranty will hold the manufacturer responsible for covering the costs of repair. You can also find some incentive schemes in some states that demand having a warranty for your solar components. Not having one will make them reject your application.
Some forms of warranties are there for solar panels, their tools, and their installation process. These include.
Solar Panel Warranty
A type of warranty that covers your solar systems for up to 30 years is the solar panel warranty. If it covers less than 25 years, you should acknowledge that is below the common industry’s expectation. This warranty type will cover a min, power yield over the warranty duration of the solar panel. Field standards determine that you should obtain a min. 80% of energy output for the course of time the panels are backed up by the warranty.
This type of warranty is for cases where the solar panels and their relevant components have not been installed properly. Installation warranties typically last up to 10 years. Many of these cover stuff like the work and components needed to fix or replace units of the panel, roof incisions, shipping costs, and replacement of faulty components among others. For additional info, ask your roofer what type of warranties they offer.
Inverter warranties are different from one company to another.
With that in mind, there are some industry standards that will help you learn more about the scope of given warranties. Typical “string inverters” which use energy from the string of the units often come with a warranty duration of 5 to 10 years. General “micro-inverters” which cling to separate units come with warranties that last 20-25 years. Inverter warranty types usually cover the material costs or fabrication faults and defects. However, they don’t cover the cost of poor installation work and typical wear-and-tear damaged by weather conditions or even poor maintenance.
12. Do you have the proper insurance?
Owning the proper instance to back up both your home and yourself through the installation process is a vital consideration. Several issues may emerge during the installation of the solar systems that you may not notice but they can be damaging on your roof afterward. Additionally, before the project can start many development standards, rebate requirements and legal aspects and accreditations have to be insured. The exact regulations differ from one state to another and thus it’s important to check with your state’s rules before the installation takes place.
13. Did you make use of tax rebates?
The cost involved in the installation of a solar panel unit can reach anywhere between $10K-30K. Fortunately, several states and regions across the nation offer tax rebates for the installation of solar energy systems on your roofing. Before the start of your work, ask your roofer what choices they have and if they don’t have, they should at least know about the relevant local rebates.
Generally speaking, the government really encourages citizens to invest in solar energy and the Department of Energy alone grants up to 30% in savings through credits and tax rebates. Your local energy provider may also offer some rebates.
14. Can You Really Do The Work Yourself?
Solar panel application is a matter that’s best left to the hands of experts. Many random things could turn sour if you are not properly skilled to install a new roof. Some things that can go wrong include:
Wiring Issues. This is a task that demands working with electrical components. Failure to connect this properly can create electrical power out surges that are dangerous for you and your home. Always talk to a qualified electrician for any electrical task.
Leaky Roofs. The installation of solar panels may demand the drilling of some holes to mount the panels. If these are not drilled correctly, you will damage your roof and lead to leakage.
Security Standards & Regulations Compliance: Most solar panel warranties demand installation by a qualified contractor. If you go DIY, the warranties will become null. If there is any sort of damage as a result of poor installation or if there is a manufacturing issue, you won’t get any reimbursement.
Additionally, building permissions and other relevant regulations are challenging to follow if you don’t know them. All documentation should be submitted properly or otherwise, the project may be denied.
15. Don’t Ignore Maintenance Work
Keeping your solar panels in working condition has to do with the application of the right maintenance tasks. It’s generally a wise idea to find out from our roofer what these maintenance tasks involve before installation. If you fail to comply with these maintenance requirements, there is a solid chance your components won’t last as long as you expect.