Roof replacements are a necessary process during the lifespan of most roofs. This process can be complicated by previously installed solar systems, which require experience to remove and reinstall. There’s a detailed process to successfully replace your roof after going solar. Our expert guide gives you the information needed to navigate the process.
1. Consult With Your Solar Installer:
Before beginning work on your roof, you should consult with your solar installer. They can provide a quote for the removal and reinstallation of your panels. The work should always be performed by a contractor that is licensed to handle electrical equipment and warranties.
2. Check for All-In-One Solutions
The best way to save money and prevent damage during roof replacement is to find an all-in-one provider. Check to see if there’s a solar company specifically trained to replace roofs. It is easier for solar companies to offer roofing services than roofers to offer solar services due to the complexity and electrical skill sets necessary for solar work. This simplifies the process and helps prevent the likelihood of damage to your solar system
3. Hire Contractors to Do the Work
You’ll want the help of roofing professionals trained in how to prepare your roof for solar reinstall and solar professionals trained in roofing. Not only can this work present safety concerns, but these projects may also inadvertently void your roof or solar warranties.
4. Contractor(s) Steps:
Once you’ve enlisted the help of a qualified roofing contractor trained in solar systems and a solar contractor trained in roofing, here are the steps they’ll take:
1. Disconnect the Solar Panels:
The contractor’s first step should be to disconnect your solar panels from the electrical system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This should only be done by a licensed electrician to avoid electrical hazards.
2. Remove the Solar Panels:
Next, your solar panels will be carefully removed from the racking system on the roof. Then, the racking and wiring are removed for the roofers to do their work. Solar experts should complete the removal to ensure panels aren’t damaged during this step.
3. Remove Old Roofing Materials:
The old roofing materials will be removed next, including the existing shingles, underlayment, and any flashing. This will expose the roof deck and allow your roofers to inspect for any damage or defects.
4. Replace Any Damaged Roof Decking:
If the roof deck is damaged, your contractor will replace it with new materials. This ensures a sturdy foundation is laid for new roofing materials and protects roofing warranties.
5. Install New Underlayment
New underlayment will now be set down over the roof deck. This is a membrane that goes under the shingles to help prevent water from seeping into the roof deck. For superior performance, request both synthetic underlayment and a waterproof membrane called an ice and water shield. This will protect the areas on your roof that are most vulnerable to leaks.
6. Install the New Roofing Materials:
Your contractor will install the new roofing materials according to the manufacturer’s specifications. You’ll want to request the inclusion of a drip edge, starting strip, architectural shingles, new flashing, proper ventilation, and underlayments. Review your contract ahead of time to ensure all of these items are included in the material list.
7. Allow Time for Your New Roof to Seal
It is crucial you allow a minimum of two weeks for your new roof to seal. If the roof does not properly seal before solar reinstall, the solar company can cause damage to the roof while reinstalling your panels. This is a common error when using contractors who are not versed in both roofing and solar industries. Many solar companies do not know to wait because they are not roofing experts.
8. Clean Up the Site
It is the responsibility of your roofing company to clean any debris or leftover materials from the project. This includes those that may have fallen onto neighboring properties.
9. Reinstall the Solar Panels:
Your panels will need to be properly reinstalled without damaging your new roof. This should only be done by a contractor trained to handle solar systems. Require the contractor to use new penetrations and flashing. Cheap prices for solar removal and reinstallation may indicate reusing penetrations which can cause leaks and void warranties
10. Recommission the Solar Panels:
Your solar array will need to be reconnected to the electrical grid to begin functioning again. A team with electrical training is required to ensure the process is completed without issue.
It’s important to hire experienced professionals to replace your roof and handle the solar panel removal and installation. This ensures the work is done without causing damage to your roof or your solar system.
To avoid the pitfalls and headaches of two contractors working in the same space, reach out to Fusion Solar Services today. Fill out the form in the link below to learn how one contractor can save you time, money, and headaches when you replace your roof after going solar.