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Do I Need a New Roof Before Installing Solar?

Our solar power roofing professionals often encounter consumers who are desperate to install solar in their homes. They want to save money and to protect the environment, but they’re resistant to the idea of putting in a new roof first.

Bay Area solar roofThis hesitation makes sense. After all, it can cost a lot to install or upgrade a roof, particularly one that needs to be strong enough (and warrantied long enough) to make the investment in solar technology worthwhile. Plus, your roof may be “doing fine” right now. So why not just defer making any modifications, until you really need to get them done?

Why Modifying Or Replacing Your Roof Still Makes Sense

First of all, before you add a solar system, do due diligence:

  • Your roof must be strong enough to support it;
  • The system should be south facing and should collect enough sun during daylight hours to generate significant power;
  • The system shouldn’t violate building ordinances, condo regulations, etc.

If your roof meets these basic criteria, you must tackle the more delicate question of whether to install a new roof or tweak your existing one. Here’s the reality: solar roofing systems can last a long time – generally much longer than roofing, with a few exceptions, such as certain metal roofing systems. Odds are that your solar system will outlive the roof below it.

This means that, at some point, you will need to decommission the system, take it down, replace the roof underneath, and then rebuild everything. That whole process can cost a ton of time and money and disruption. One school of thought is: “Well, that may be a huge future cost, but if I can defer it for 5 to 10 years, by then, I will have enough money to pay for it easily.” This philosophy is similar to the balloon mortgage concept. It could work out for you.

In general, however, it makes more sense to strengthen/replace the roof now.

How the Process Works

Your roofing contractor will first take a look at the structure of your roof to make sure that it can handle the weight of the system. He or she will also recommend recovering the roof, repairing it, or re-roofing entirely; help install key structural elements; and protect those elements against weathering and other dangers.

For help with all aspects of this process — and to get a free, ethical, thorough estimate — connect with the Century Roof & Solar team today. We’re licensed, bonded and respected professionals. We will make sure that your roof is secure and that your solar investment is protected.

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