Taking Advantage of Solar: Is Your Home Ready?
With federal tax credits starting to decline for new solar customers, now is the time to go solar if you want to be able to recoup as much of your investment as possible with them. But before you take the plunge, you should find out if your home’s roof is an ideal candidate for solar because not every roof out there is.
In this guide, you will learn the five most important things to look for in your roof to determine if you have everything you need to go solar.
If your roof is nearing the point that it will need to be replaced soon, then you may want to postpone your solar installation until after your new roof is installed. While it is true that solar panels can add a layer of protection to a roof, they will not extend the life of a roof that is already in poor shape. In fact, installing solar on an old and worn roof increases the chance of damage occurring to an old roof during the installation process. Plus, if you install solar and then choose to replace your roof later, the cost of removing the panels and reinstalling them can be significant. Therefore, before you go solar, have your roof inspected by a professional to ensure it will not need to be replaced for at least another 10 to 15 years.
Roof Slant Direction
To get the best results from your solar system, your roof needs to receive abundant sunlight all day long. This means your solar panels need to be installed on the part or parts of the roof where the sun hits most. So, pay close attention to where the sun is positioned in the sky as it moves throughout the day. Is your roof slanted in the direction the sun is facing? If it is not, then you may get better energy production from a ground installation.
A residential rooftop solar installation requires a lot of uninterrupted roof space. This is important because it gives installers the flexibility they need to install the appropriate number of panels in an organized and efficient way. When it comes to going solar, the more roof space you have available makes for an easier, cleaner, and more effective installation.
Type of Roofing Material
Solar panels can be installed on just about any type of roofing material, but some types are better suited than others. For instance, asphalt shingles are more accommodating because there is no risk of them cracking or breaking during installation like there is with slate shingles, wood shakes, clay tiles, and other “hard” materials. These latter roof types can still accommodate a solar installation; however they require a more delicate installation process and this can result in increased installation costs.
Roof Load Rating
Depending on a variety of factors, your roof may or may not be able to handle the weight of a solar installation without additional supports. The typical solar panel weighs between two and four pounds per square foot with the mounting structures. For most roofs, this falls within the acceptable load rating limits, but it is essential to have your roof inspected to ensure it can handle the weight. Failure to do so could literally result in your roof collapsing.
Going solar will provide your home with money saving benefits and reduce your reliance on the nation’s aging electrical grid. But before you schedule your installation, take the time necessary to make sure your home is optimized to take advantage of all of solar’s benefits by ensuring your roof is primed and ready and a suitable candidate for solar.