Between 2020 and 2021, residential solar power installations rose from 2.9 gigawatts to 3.9 gigawatts– an increase of 34%. Here in Georgia, it’s estimated that a household with a 5kW system can save more than $1,000 annually on their electric bill and have an average solar payback period of 7.5 years.
There are many compelling reasons why you might want to install solar panels on your home, such as reducing or even eliminating your electric bills, earning tax credits and rebates, and helping to reduce dependence on nonrenewable resources.
On the other hand, putting solar panels on your roof means you must remove and reinstall them when you need to replace your roof. Can roofing companies do this for you, or will you have to bring a solar company back out to have work done on your roof?
In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about solar panels and getting your roof repaired or replaced. Whether you already have solar panels or are considering installing a system, it can be useful to understand your options for getting roof work done when you have a solar system.
If you already have a solar panel system installed on your roof and you realize it’s time to replace your roof, you might be wondering whether any old roofing company will be able to remove the solar panels and how this will impact the total cost.
In most cases, installing solar panels on a roof is done by specially trained technicians. These individuals are well-versed in all of the factors and complexities that comprise the installation of a rooftop solar panel system.
Solar panel installation isn’t just a matter of how panels are fastened to a roof but also all of the electrical connections between panels and the home’s system. Beyond that, in areas that are known for high winds and heavy storms, it’s particularly important for the initial installation to be done properly.
All that being said, experienced and professional roofing contractors might be able to remove an installed solar panel before beginning a roof replacement project. The mounting system is fairly straightforward, and you can therefore expect that most reputable roofing companies will be able to handle this part of the process. Beyond that, detaching all of the cables is fairly simple.
It is typically going to be cheaper to have your roofing company remove your solar panels as a part of your roof replacement rather than bringing in another contractor, if possible. That being said, there will be additional costs as it will take time and additional work for roofing pros to remove your solar panels.
Before hiring a roofing contractor to remove your solar panels, make sure you ask them if they have experience with the type and size of the job.
In some places, permits are required to remove and reinstall solar panels. Depending on your state, contractors might need specific licenses to apply for this permit.
If this is the case in your location, you will likely need to hire a company that specializes in installing solar panels to remove and replace your panels before and after the roof replacement.
If you only need a roof repair rather than a full replacement, you’ll want an experienced roofing company to evaluate the situation. They’ll be able to let you know your options for repairing your roof while also letting you know whether any of the solar panels will need to be removed to perform the necessary repairs.
Roofing contractors might be able to work around solar panels in some circumstances. Qualified roofers should have the skills required to remove solar panels if the job requires it.
As stated above, some states require permits for removing and replacing solar panels, and only contractors with specific licenses are even eligible to apply for these permits.
Removing your own solar panels or reinstalling them yourself is generally not recommended.
This is because the process requires specific skills and tools and could potentially void your warranties to attempt a DIY removal and replacement.
Installing solar panels isn’t the only thing you can do to help keep your energy costs down. If you’re interested in reducing the cost of cooling your home during the hot summer months, you can learn more about energy-efficient roofing here. Proper ventilation is also key for reducing energy costs– this post goes over the best ways to ventilate your roof.
Whether a roofing company can reinstall solar panels after you replace your roof depends on a number of factors.
One important consideration is your location and whether there are any rules or regulations that govern the licenses and permits required for working on rooftop solar systems. In some states, only contractors with certain licenses can apply for permits to work on residential solar panels.
As solar power becomes more popular, it’s increasingly common for roofing companies to have the skills and tools necessary to reinstall solar panels after working on a roof.
Of course, removing and reinstalling solar panels is going to add some additional time to your roofing project. You can learn more about the factors that influence how long it takes to replace a roof in this article.
The cost of removing and reinstalling solar panels before and after a roof replacement will vary depending on your location, the size of your system, and several additional factors.
On average, it typically costs between $27 and $40 to uninstall and disconnect panels per panel. Uninstalling the mounting hardware can cost up to $40 per panel, and reinstalling can cost between $27 and $50 per panel.
This means that the average cost of removing and reinstalling solar panels for a 15-panel system is going to cost between $1,410 and $1,950.
Some companies also choose to charge per watt rather than per panel. It’s a good idea to get a few different quotes when deciding who will remove and reinstall your solar panels– you might find that there is a significant enough difference between estimates that you can save a substantial amount of money by shopping around.
Some additional factors that can influence the cost of the project include:
- You could incur additional costs if any of the hardware or panels are damaged upon removal.
- You might consider upgrading your solar energy system at the same time you’re replacing your roof, depending on how old your current system is. Of course, this will increase the cost significantly– it will typically cost five to ten times more to install a new system than to put your old system back on your roof.
- Having your roofing contractor remove and replace your solar panels might save you a bit of money, but you’ll want to make sure they have the skills necessary for the job to be done right.
Are you replacing your roof in the Peach State, and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the roofing system options? Make sure you check out our recent post about the best shingles for Georgia.
As you can see, removing and replacing your solar panels isn’t the cheapest project. When you add that to the reality that a roof replacement is a significant expense for most homeowners, the bill for the entire project can be a significant investment.
For this reason, many homeowners wonder whether they should replace their roof before they install a new solar system. The answer to this question depends on how old your roof is, your roofing system material, the quality of the installation, the state that it’s in, the climate, and more.
Deciding whether or not to replace your roof before a solar system installation can be pretty tricky. On the one hand, it’s a shame to take on the additional expense of removing and reinstalling panels in just a few years. On the other hand, it’s also a shame to replace your roof sooner than you have to and essentially throw away years of service life.
While opinions on this matter vary, and only you can decide what makes sense in your particular circumstance, a common rule of thumb is that you want to have at least fifteen years of life in your roof before installing solar panels.
This logic is because most solar installers won’t recommend a solar system if it takes longer than fifteen years for the system to pay for itself. If your roof has at least fifteen years left and your solar system pays for itself before then, you can know that the remaining service life of the panels should be a net financial benefit.
The lifespan of a new roof is going to depend on a number of different factors, including the roofing material you choose. If you want to make sure you don’t have to worry about replacing your roof for decades to come, check out our post on the top five roof materials for a roof replacement.
Every year, millions of homeowners in the U.S. consider replacing the roof of their home. According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, installing solar panels while replacing your roof can help you save money on the entire project. One of the reasons for this is that it isn’t uncommon for solar installers and roofers to have partnerships that can end up benefiting you as a homeowner.
While the average cost of installing a solar array is $19,000 in the U.S, and the average cost of a roof replacement is roughly $10,000, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the average homeowner can save $4,000 by installing both a new roof and a solar array at the same time.
Beyond that, solar panels and roofs (depending on the material, of course) have a roughly similar lifespan of 25 to 30 years. By installing them at the same time, you can avoid the issue of having to remove and reinstall your solar panels halfway through the lifespan of the panels. As you might imagine, this can mean saving a lot of money.
If you’re worried about the costs of a roof replacement and solar panel installation at the same time, it’s worth noting that there are a number of options that allow you to install a solar system without having to pay the entire cost upfront:
- Signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a solar company in your area (this means that the company owns the solar panels and sells the power they generate back to you at a fixed rate that’s often lower than the retail rate of electricity.)
- Leasing solar panels.
- Taking out a traditional loan to purchase your own system.
Of course, you’ll want to do the math and determine what makes sense for your budget. Installing solar panels can increase your home value and make you eligible for the federal tax credit for solar photovoltaics and other incentives.
Whether you are considering getting solar panels or already have a system installed, Colony Roofers would love to repair or replace your roof. Our team has been hand-selected for their work ethic, integrity, and experience; our customer service is the best in the business. We know that getting work done on your roof– whether a small repair or a full replacement– can be incredibly stressful, and we do everything in our power to make the process seamless, stress-free, and simple for our customers.
Colony Roofers is a locally owned and operated business in the Atlanta area. Specializing in offering the highest quality roofs for the lowest prices, we are the company to call if you’re looking for quality service and professionalism.
Whether you have a question about our roofing services or you’d like to schedule an estimate, feel free to contact us today!