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How To Replace A Roof with Solar Panels: A Comprehensive Guide

roof shingles being replaced

Are you wondering how to replace a roof with solar panels? Every year, millions of homeowners discover they need a roof replacement, whether they decide to go solar or not. About 2.3 million homes per year will need a roof replacement over the next decade. Harsh weather conditions, regular wear and tear, and so many other factors could lead to this decision. However, a solar installation might prompt homeowners to be proactive with repairs or a replacement for their roofs.

Newsflash: roof and solar go hand in hand. It’s one of the reasons we’re a one-stop shop for roofing and rooftop solar installation through our sister company, Buildpro. While it’s generally recommended that you replace your roof before installing solar panels, sometimes you just can’t help the order of things. Still wondering how to replace a roof with solar panels? We’ve got a few tips to help you along on your roof and solar journey.

How Do You Know When You Need A New Roof?

Deciding whether or not you actually need to replace your roof to get solar panels depends on a lot of factors. For instance, what kind of roofing you have, how heavy it is, the condition of your roof, etc, all play a part in the need for a replacement. Your best bet would be consulting one of our Solar Energy Specialists, who will take the time to assess your roof during your free solar consultation. For more information, here’s what to expect from your consultation. Until then, let’s explore some of the most common signs that will point you in the direction of a new roof.

damaged roof

Damage from Winter Storms

The most obvious reason you might need to replace your roof is damage. The Big Freeze in Texas brought on a lot more than icy roads and high electricity bills. But regardless of where you reside, there’s simply just no escaping the aftermath of harsh weather. Here are a few scenarios:

  • Water in its different forms could be a major hindrance to your roof. When freezing temperatures cause rain to freeze, ice could damage your shingles and even put cracks in your roof. Moreover, the weight of fallen snow could push your roof’s capacity to its limit. Additionally, water could erode your roof and cause leaks.
  • Winds are one of the top culprits of missing shingles. If you live in an area prone to high winds, your tiles or shingles could simply be blown off your roof. But also, nearby branches or other debris could be picked up and add damage to your roof.
  • Granule Loss is a common result of weathering. Over time, the topmost layer of your shingles become worn from harsh winter conditions, like hail and wind.

For more information on how cold weather can affect your roof, check out this blog.

What’s Your Roof Age Estimate?

While the length of time you can expect a roof to last varies, a good estimate is about 20 years or longer. Asphalt is the most common roofing material because of its affordability. This material has the potential to last up to 30 years. If you want to know how to replace a roof with solar panels, you’ve got to make an educated roof age estimate.

Ultimately, a newer roof (under 10 years) with no structural or superficial damage is an ideal candidate for solar installation. This isn’t necessarily the case for an older roof (20 or more years old).

damaged roof shingles

Evaluating Roof Condition

As mentioned above, damage is a clear indicator that a roof needs to be replaced. However, the best way to know if you’ll need a roof replacement is through an official roof inspection from either your Solar Energy Specialist.

Here are a few things we’ll check for when evaluating the condition of your roof:

  • Quality and color of insulation
  • Discolored roof decking
  • Damaged shingles, vents, or other areas
  • Leaking and other possible water damage in the interior

If we find any of that indication of some kind of roofing damage, we’ll let you know it’s time for a roof replacement prior to a solar panel installation. For a fuller picture of what takes place during a roofing inspection, take a look at this guide.

6 Easy Steps to Replace Your Roof with Solar Panels

As a good rule of thumb, try to replace your roof before you install solar panels. However, if this isn’t possible, don’t fret. This is actually a common occurrence. The lifetime of solar panels is usually 20-25 years. However, solar panels can last much longer than that– sometimes, outliving the roof they were originally installed on! In fact, many people have even moved and brought their solar panels along with them. The point is, regardless of your situation, learning how to replace a roof with solar panels is valuable knowledge with an answer that’s simpler than you might think.

replace roof

Step One: Contact Your Rooftop Solar Installer

If you’ve purchased your solar panel system from ADT Solar then you don’t have to figure out your roof replacement alone. Call us up and your Solar Energy Specialist will take it from there. If another company installed your panels, we’ll also help you through the procedures you may need for removal.

Step Two: Removing Your Solar Panels

Once you’ve called your Solar Energy Specialist, we handle the removal. It’s best to have the original solar installation company handle your solar panels. That way you will avoid accidentally damaging them, or voiding any warranties. However, if your original solar installers are not an option, we can handle any procedures needed for this.

Step Three: Securing Your Solar Panels

Once your solar panels are removed, they should be placed in a secure spot. Ideally, this new location will be a safe distance from your roof replacement. A garage or shed is usually acceptable. Make sure not to leave them outside on your porch or front lawn.

roofer inspecting roof shingles

Step Four: Remove Roofing Material

After the solar panels are secured, your trusted roof installers will begin the process of removing your old roof. Roof removal causes a lot of debris, so take cover! Luckily, you’ve placed your solar panels in a safe location away from all the action.

Step Five: Replacing Your Roof

Once your old roof is removed, the installers will begin the re-roofing process. Duration will vary, depending on the size of your roof as well as the roofing materials used. Your roofing company will be able to tell you how long it should take.

Step Six: Re-installing Your Solar Panels

When the roof replacement work is done, your solar installers will complete the re-installation process on your new roof. This service also includes reconnecting your solar panels up to the utility grid and solar batteries, if you have them.

solar panels on a home

How to Replace A Roof with Solar Panels

As previously stated, it is best to replace your roof before going solar. That way, you can easily avoid having to install, uninstall, and then reinstall your solar panels. A roofing inspection can save time and proves to be more cost-efficient. Luckily, ADT Solar and Buildpro offer free roof inspections. We offer the best warranties and certifications in the industry. We work together to provide the absolute best products, installation, and services from start to finish.

At ADT Solar, we’ve got the dream team ready to go. From premier solar installation to trustworthy roof replacement, ADT Solar and Buildpro have got you covered…literally. Stop worrying about how to replace a roof with solar panels and give us a call today!

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