The condition of your roof itself is an important consideration which should be evaluated before installing solar photovoltaic panels. If your roof is fairly new, you probably won’t need to worry about replacing it before the installation. On the other hand, if your roof is 15 years old or more, you may want to think about replacing it before your solar photovoltaic panel installation takes place. Most roofing materials only last 25 to 30 years, whereas your solar energy system won’t need replacement for about 20 or more years. With an older roof, those materials won’t outlive your system and will require replacement down the road, which means your solar energy system must be taken down and reinstalled after your roof replacement.
It is also crucial that your roof can withstand the weight of the solar photovoltaic panels. They don’t weigh as much as you may think- only 3 to 5 pounds per square foot- but they can add up because multiple panels will be used. We take precautions to determine the maximum load your roof system can bear to ensure your roof and building structure will not be damaged by the weight of the solar photovoltaic panels.
Your roof can be the perfect size, have the ideal exposure, and be in excellent condition, but it won’t matter at all if the solar photovoltaic panels will be shaded! Shading from other buildings, trees, chimneys, and other rooftop equipment can reduce the performance of the solar energy system. We use special software to estimate the amount of shading your roof receives each day of the year to make sure it isn’t enough to hinder your system performance.
When planning a solar photovoltaic panel installation, we don’t just come out and begin throwing panels up on your roof. We take the time and do the leg work to ensure your roof is the right location for panel installation. Smith Sustainable Design wants to maximize the performance of your solar photovoltaic panels, and these roof check areas are the first step in doing so.