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Solar Panel Removal And Reinstalling Tips

Solar roof

Solar energy is a great source of free and clean electricity for homeowners and companies, but if you install a new solar panel system on a roof that after a while will require some repairs, you will have to take down the panels to have access to the roof.

Solar panels work two to three decades, requiring little maintenance, which means that the solar PV system installed on the roof will stay there at least three decades, so what you can do if you need to replace the roof after going solar?

How To Replace Your Roof After Going Solar?

Taking down the solar PV system, reroofing, and reinstalling the PV system back on the new roof, will involve some costs.

The costs of such operation will depend on the size of the PV system (larger PV systems will cost more), but will be much smaller compared to the costs paid when you first installed the solar PV system on your roof.

There are solar installers that remove and reinstall solar panels for free

Some solar installers will even do it free of charge because they do roofing work themselves, so if you call them, they will come, will remove the PV system from the roof, will put the new roof on, and the solar PV system back on the new roof, and you will pay only for roofing and not for removing and reinstalling the PV system.

Keeping your workmanship warranty intact

If you want to keep the workmanship warranty on your solar panel system, you have to hire the same solar company back to take the PV system off from the roof.

Until your workmanship warranty is active you have to use the same solar company, because if you use a different company, you may lose the warranty.

Solar installers provide a 10 to 25 year workmanship warranty, so to keep that warranty intact, you have to use their service when removing and reinstalling the solar PV system.

Do the roof before installing solar

The ideal situation in this case is to have your roof done before installing the PV system.

The solar company hired to install solar on your roof, will come out to make a site evaluation, so they will also verify the integrity of the roof.

If they notice that your roof is not in a good shape, they will refuse the installation because they know that they can’t provide a 10 to 25 year workmanship warranty on a roof that’s in a bad shape.

Do the roof using a solar installer not a roofer

The solar contractor will give you its honest opinion on whether or not you should replace the roof before installing a PV system.

However, if you already installed solar on the roof, but you have to replace the roof after a couple of years, you better hire a solar installer than a roofer.

You have to use a solar company that does solar panel removal and reinstallation.

Roofers work with roofs every day, and their primary revenue source is produced by this activity, so they will tell you that you have to replace the roof right away.

The main revenue of a solar installer doesn’t come only from roofing (if it deals with roofing), so the installer will tell you to replace the roof only if it’s actually needed (which can save you money).

Using the 26% Tax Credit

All solar installs made in 2020 qualify for a 26% credit level, which will go down to 22% in 2021.

Whatever improvements you’re making that are needed for solar, you are eligible for the 26% solar tax credit.

Consult your tax professional on this matter because you are eligible to request tax credit only for the roof plane used for solar (and not for the entire roof).

However, you can get the 26% tax credit if you do the roof to install solar on it.

If you have a roof that is not old but not new either and you want to go solar

Let’s say that your roof will resist for another 5 to 10 years, you should go solar now or wait until you replace the roof?

Well, if you wait another 5 to 10 years, the 26% (or 22% in 2021) tax credit will no longer be here, so you will miss the opportunity to make your roof using the tax credit.

In 5 to 10 years from now on, solar will become 10 to 20% cheaper, but you forget the fact that the price paid on your monthly electricity bill increases every year (because we are producing energy mainly from fossil fuels).

How much money you can save in the next 5 to 10 years if you install solar this year?

You can still use the tax credit to do the roof and install solar, so why to wait another decade just because you have to pay about $10,000 to do the roof in 2030.

If you decide not to install solar due to the roof, you will lose much more money in a period of 5 to 10 years than the price paid to do the roof.

Conclusion

How do you see yourself in 2030?

Without solar and without the tax credit, but with high electricity bills and with a roof that needs to be replaced?

Or you go solar this year (using the tax credit), and by 2030 you pay off the PV system, and all the energy produced after that is only yours for at least another two decades.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

2 Comments

  1. Afton Jackson

    Thank you for the tip about roofing and how it’s much more advisable to re-do a roof before installing solar panels. Renovating my house to be able to enjoy lower electricity bills has opened me up to many possibilities and solar power was one of them.

    The tips you provided can definitely assist me in getting a proper grid going, so I’ll look for any roofers who can help me replace our old one with a new and more durable one so they can also install some solar panels on it.

  2. Steward Levis

    Solar power is more affordable, accessible, and prevalent in the United States today much more than ever before.

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