A solar photovoltaic (PV) system can give you significant savings on your monthly utility costs. As it’s typically installed on roofs, one of the questions often asked by homeowners is whether or not they should have their roof replaced.
In this blog, the residential and commercial roofing contractors at JTI Roofing examine whether you need to have your roof replaced before having a solar PV system installed.
Life Span Differences
One of the major considerations of getting a solar PV system installed is the differences in its life span and that of your roof. Solar panels are expected to last 25 to 30 years. In contrast, a typical asphalt shingle roof lasts 20 years, while laminate or “architectural” shingles last longer. Standard standing seam metal roofs are expected to last 50 years, while tile and slate last for much longer.
Considering these facts, timing your solar PV system installation is important. If your roof is up for replacement in the next three to five years, we recommend holding off on the solar installation until after roof replacement and incorporate solar PV installation into your re-roofing plans. Doing so otherwise means you will have to shoulder the cost of tearing off and reinstalling the solar panels.
Certain types of residential roofing systems are more suitable for solar roof installation than others. Metal roofing systems are deemed to be more suitable because of their low maintenance requirements, low heat retention and long life span. It is worth considering switching to a metal roof if a roof replacement is part of your plans.
While it is possible to have solar panels installed on an existing asphalt shingle or tile roof, the support structure must be strong enough to carry the additional weight. The underlayment should also be free of punctures or damage, as part of it may need to be exposed during installation.
Putting these factors into consideration, the best-case scenario would be to have your solar PV system installed at or around the same time as a new roof. In any situation, advance planning can help you get the best results, and keep it within budget.