More and more people are starting to invest in solar power systems. Solar power technology has advanced dramatically in recent years. Many of these improvements have helped to reduce the cost of the equipment needed. Installing solar panels on your roof is also a wonderful way to generate electricity for your home and business, as well as the grid, without increasing your impact on the environment. To help you decide whether or not solar power is the right option for you, here are some important considerations before installing rooftop solar panels.
Important considerations before installing rooftop solar panels
The state of your roof
Before you even consider installing solar panels assess the state and condition of your roof. If you know that you will need a new roof soon, or that a part of your roof is damaged, it probably isn’t the best idea to install solar panels. If you can, take care of any roof repairs before the installation. That way, you won’t need to pay extra to dismantle the work and then put it up again.
The shape of your roof
Roofs come in many different shapes and sizes. Before you go ahead with any installation, make sure that your roof has enough space for the solar panels. If there isn’t enough room, you likely will not get the return you expect on your investment.
The direction the slopes of your roof face
Solar panels require a specific placement to generate the maximum amount of power. Most professionals say that the best placement is to have the panels face south while others say west. Regardless, this information is important for you to determine before the installation starts.
The weight your roof can handle
Installing solar panels will increase the weight on the structure of your roof. If the weight of these solar panels is too much for your roof to handle, there is a potential that it will collapse. This is very dangerous for many reasons, not to mention costly. To avoid both situations, it is critical to have a professional evaluate your roof to determine if additional support is required to complete the installation.
Where will the water go?
When it rains, water runs down the roof, into the gutters and out and away from your home. When installing solar panels, equipment like racking and wire harnesses can prevent the water from flowing and draining properly. In some cases, solar equipment can move the water in a different direction, which can create leaks and other problems. These problems will need repair, which means the solar panels will need to be removed. To avoid all of these issues, make sure that you inform your contractor of these concerns. They will be able to present a plan to you to prove that the installation will not impact the water runoff in any way.
How do you connect to the grid?
In addition to the structure and shape of your roof, you also need to consider how you are going to connect your solar power system to the grid. When connecting with a local utility, there are many things that you need to determine. As such, do your research so you can make an informed decision.
Choosing a contractor
Installing a solar power system is both a home improvement and an electrical project. This is why when you start your search for the right contractor, you validate that they have the correct credentials. Choosing a contractor that you feel will also be around for the long term is also an important factor to consider. While there is little maintenance that is required, if something stops working, you want your contractor available to fix it.
Warranties are an important aspect of protecting your solar panels and other related equipment. If anything happens to your solar panels, having a warranty helps you to keep the manufacturer accountable without any additional cost to you.
Having the right insurance to cover both yourself and any damage to your home during installation is something you need to consider. Many problems can arise during the installation of your solar panels that you might not even think about until it happens. In addition, before the work can even begin many building codes, requirements for rebates, legal regulations and certifications require insurance.
Keeping your solar panels working and your roof in good condition is all about establishing proper maintenance procedures. It’s a good idea to find out from your contractor what those maintenance procedures are before the installation begins. If you are unable to meet those maintenance requirements, there is a good chance your equipment will not last as long as you want it to.