Solar Panels & Roofing FAQ

Solar panels are more popular than ever, but many homeowners still have questions about how this addition will affect their roofing.  Although we’re not in the market of solar energy, we’ve been repairing and replacing roofs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region for more than four decades.  Today, we’ll share some frequently-asked questions (or FAQ) that we’ve gotten on this subject.

Will Solar Panels Damage My Roofing?

Honestly, they shouldn’t.  If your roof is already in good condition and you’re working with professional installers, then solar panels can be easily incorporated.  Because your roofing is designed to handle more weight than you might think, the additional pressure generally isn’t a problem.  Leaks can occur from a poor installation—particularly because they may have to drill holes to secure the panels. 

Though adding holes to your roofing doesn’t sound great, industrial-strength bolt fixtures with form-fitting flashing should prevent any unwanted moisture.  Not to mention, many experienced installers will add extra sealants, like tar, for protection.  When combined with a sloping installation the encourages water to run off, rather than collect on your roof.  You shouldn’t experience any unexpected damage to your home’s exterior.

Will I Need to Repair or Replace My Roof First?

Well, that really depends on the current shape of your roofing.  With a newer roof, you shouldn’t need to make any special adjustments to prepare for solar panels.  The installers should take care of everything for you!  Keep in mind, though, that these fixtures have a lifespan of 30-35 years.  Once they’re on, taking them off to make roof repairs isn’t the easiest process in the world.  While it’s not impossible, it’s not desirable either. 

If you’re considering installing solar panels, we recommend having a professional roof inspection first.  At Schaefer Exteriors, our team can evaluate your home’s exterior before you make a big decision either way.  Our service area includes Maryland, Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, Delaware, and Eastern West Virginia, so we can come to you!  Let us inspect your current structure and make knowledgeable suggestions for repairs and/or replacement. 

Don’t forget to research your local options for solar panels extensively.  Be sure to check out online reviews, ask friends/neighbors for their recommendations, and look for companies that guarantee their installation, as well as their products.  If you have any other frequently-asked questions on the roofing side, please contact our team anytime!   

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