Should you restore your roof before or after solar installation?
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home and is responsible for keeping you and your family safe through all weather conditions – especially during our notorious summer storms here in Queensland. A roof restoration is key every 10 – 15 years to maintain the ridge capping and protective coating on your tiles, not just adding years to the life of your roof, but adding tremendous value to your home.
However, if you have solar panels, or you’re thinking of having them installed in the near feature there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is what you need to know if you already have solar panels on your roof, or are considering having them installed before your roof restoration.
Before You Have Solar Panels Installed
Before installing solar panels, it is essential to have your roof inspected and any repair work carried out. If you have not had your roof restored recently, or are experiencing any leaks instantly solar panels may exacerbate the issue. Solar panels are designed to stay on your roof for many years to come. You do not want to have the additional cost of removing a reinstalling the solar panels to correct a broken tile in the future.
Sometimes it is a hairline crack in a tile that can cause a future leak. Roof tiles with hairline cracks can go easily missed to the untrained eye. During your roof restoration, our team will replace all broken tiles to prevent any further leaks. Painting your roof will also extend the life of your tiles, recoating them with a protective coating. Over time the protective coating breaks down, leaving bare concrete. Bare concrete will eventually start to break down – resulting in a costly reroof.
Often during installation, the solar installers will break tiles. This can be rectified by leaving additional tiles at the end of your restoration for the solar installed to replace any breaks during their installation.
Do I have to restore my roof before having solar panels installed?
Whether or not your roof needs to be restored prior to your solar panels comes down to four factors: age, condition, leaks and finances.
The age of your roof
- If your roof is over 15 years old it will need to be inspected prior to your solar panel installation.
- In saying this, if your last roof restoration was over 10 years ago again it would be ideal to have your roof inspected prior to installing your solar.
The condition of your roof
- If you have maintained your roof and had roof restorations every 10-15 years over the life of your roof this will prolong the protective coating on your tile.
- If your tiles are bare and the protective coating had broken down, they will begin to break down over time. If left too long without recoating they will become brittle – ultimately needing a re-roof.
- Installing solar panels over brittle, bare tiles will create future issues and should be avoided.
Is your roof leaking?
- Covering leaking tiles with solar panels will not make the leaks disappear, it will just make them harder to fix. Water will travel down your roof to find an entry point, even if it is under your solar panels.
- Water stains on your ceiling or cornice boards, or the sound of water dripping in your walls during rain is a sign of a leaking roof. This must be addressed before installing your solar panels.
- Once the solar panels are on you will be faced with the additional cost of removing the solar panels to correct the leak, making addressing any leaks top priority!
Does it make financial sense to restore your roof prior to your solar installation?
- That depends on the condition of your roof. As mentioned above, if your roof is in a condition where a restoration will be required in the next few years I highly recommend delaying your solar installation until you can afford your roof restoration first.
- Not restoring your roof before hand will leave you with the additional cost of removing and reinstalling your solar panels, depending on the number of solar panels, this can add upwards of a thousand dollars to the cost of your roof restoration.
- It is a big financial hit to both restore your roof and install solar to your home. To buffer the blow many companies offer interest free payment plans for both. Ask us about our payment plans when you call to get a quote.
What to tell your roofing company if you plan to restore your roof before solar
When you decide to go with a roofing company and restore your roof prior to your solar panel installation, inform the roofing company that you are getting solar installed so you can work the days to coincide with your solar company.
Prior to your roof restoration, the solar company will need to install the solar bracks to your roof. This is when it is most likely for broken tiles to occur, allowing the roofing company to come in and replace and breaks on your roof. The roof will need 7-14 days to fully cure before the solar company installs the panels.
What if you already have solar installed? You have two options.
Option One: Leave the solar panels on
The solar panels will be masked and covered to prevent overspray on your panels. The restoration will carry out as normal and the roof under the solar panels will remain as is. This option is fine if you do not have any existing issues or leaks that may be coming from the area.
Option Two: Remove the solar panels
We can have your solar panels removed and replaced by our electrician for $60/panel. This includes rewiring the solar panels when they are replaced. This is a great option to ensure your roof is in a consistent condition any any issues are rectified.