Installing solar panels on your roof can be a very financially rewarding investment and on average can save you about $50 a month off your electricity bill depending where you live. While this may be appealing at first glance, but not installing solar panels properly or on to an old roof could end up costing you more than you wanted. Before installing your solar panels, you should be aware of these five things to ensure your investment is a smart one.
- How Old is Your Roof?
Typically, solar panels generate power for 20 years, and your financing or power purchase agreement may be just as long. With an investment that can last 20 years, you should make sure you roof has a life span of that long as well. It is best to get your roof examine before installing your solar panels, if not you could see your investment fall right through your ceiling.
- Install your Panels With Drainage in Mind
One of the main purposes of your roof is to shed water or snow from the rooftop and direct it away from your home. Occasionally, solar panels are installed without this in mind, and wiring and racks often interrupt the flow of water and prevent it from properly draining off the roof. This backup of water can eventually build up and result in a leak. Make sure your solar panels are installed properly so that there is no future leakage.
- The Elements
Solar panels are built to withstand the elements, but homeowners should know that sometimes the elements can be unpredictable. The first issue that homeowner should be aware of is the amount of snow that can pile on your solar panels. Solar panels typically weigh around 50 pounds, however because of the racking and surface, solar panels tend to accumulate snow during winter storms. The combined load of the snow and the solar panels can weaken the structure support of the house and in some cases causes your roof to collapse. Be prepare by knowing the amount of load your roof can withstand and maintain the structure of the roof through the winter.
Solar panels produce direct current of electric for you to use, which is different than the electricity that runs through your home, alternating current. Not all Solar panel installers are licensed electricians and therefore not allowed to work on electricity inside your home. Make sure to ask your solar panel installer if he is a licensed electrician before allowing any electrical work done on your home.
- Have a Maintenance Plan
You should already a maintenance and inspection plan set up for your roof, if you don’t then you should plan to have one after your solar panels are installed. Inspecting your regularly is recommend to prevent a small issue becoming an expensive one in the future.
If you need your roof inspected or repaired before installing your solar panels, contact Robbins Roofing & Contracting today at 781-246-3634