You’re Ready To Go Solar, But Is Your Roof
6 Ways To Know If Your Houston, TX Roof
Is Solar Ready
Going solar is a dream for many Houston, TX homeowners. You may be drawn to the idea of being less energy-dependent, more environmentally responsible, or seeing reduced energy bills.
However, before you jump in headfirst and have solar panels installed on your roof, it is vital to question whether your roof is ready for solar or not!
If you want to go solar-powered, the roof is the most common area to install solar panels. Not only are people installing panels on the tops of their homes, but also on barns, sheds, and garages.
Installing solar panels on any roof (versus on the ground) allows for the most sun exposure, which helps to produce the most energy possible for your home.
1. The Age Of Your Roof Matters
Your roof needs to be relatively new for solar panels to be installed on the roof. Roofs older than ten years are considered too risky to install solar panels on your own without a professional inspection.
Many people who opt to go solar end up getting a new roof with solar panel installation (to avoid the expense of removing the panels to replace the roof later).
The average lifespan of solar panels is 25 years. Since many roofs are expected to last at least that long, simultaneously replacing the roof and installing solar panels is worth considering.
2. Strong Structure
Solar panels can be installed on just about any roofing material. However, can the structure of your home handle the weight of these solar panels?
A typical residential solar panel weighs around 40 pounds per panel. More than one panel will be installed on your roof, so solar panels can easily add thousands of pounds to your home’s structure.
3. Size Of Your Roof
The actual size of your roof will matter when it comes time to go solar. For a roof small in size, installing panels could affect building codes. There needs to be a clear pathway open on a roof for access and ventilation in the event of a fire; solar panels cannot interfere with the pathway.
If your roof does not have adequate space when the solar panels are installed, then the roof is not a viable candidate for solar panels. In these cases, installing solar panels on sheds or garages can be an alternative to consider.
4. Roof Slope
The slope of your roof will affect whether solar panels can be installed correctly and safely.
The general agreement is that a roof must be sloped between 15 and 40 degrees to help solar panels work correctly. Of course, the solar panels can be angled somewhat to help get the best slope. On flat roofs, the frame for your solar panels is angled to achieve the needed slope.
However, when your roof naturally slopes, it makes installation easier. It ensures the solar panels are going to work correctly.
In addition, solar panels are typically installed on a slope that faces the South. North-facing slopes are avoided as they tend to get less sun to power the solar panel.
5. Weight Of Your Current Roof
As stated before, solar panels add a few extra hundred pounds up to thousands depending on how many panels are installed on your roof. This is why the current weight of your roof is taken into consideration.
Unfortunately, many homeowners run into the issue of their new roof being built on top of their old roof. When roofing contractors cut corners, layering the roof is often done to save time. Houston Roofing & Construction never roofs over an existing roof system.
When double layers are the case, adding solar panels can become treacherous to your home. A new roofing contractor can remove both layers of roofing and replace the roof, as it should have been done the first time.
6. Are You Ready For The Work Of Solar Panels?
Solar panels are not an item you can install and forget about. General maintenance will be needed to ensure your solar panels work for the long haul. Along with knowing whether your roof is ready for solar panels, you must also ensure you are ready.
Solar panels need to be cleaned two to four times per year, but a quick spray with your water hose is often enough to do the trick.
Snow is not a worry for Houston, TX homeowners. However, you must monitor solar panels’ health after a hurricane or storm passes through the area. Luckily, various apps can tune into your solar panels to give you information on the performance.
You should also note that purchasing solar panels is a huge upfront investment. On average, installing solar panels will range from $15,000 to $45,000.
However, solar panels can save a homeowner an estimated $1000 per year in electrical costs, making the system pay for itself in approximately 15 years. In addition, there are state and federal tax incentives for going solar, helping to make solar panels worth the investment.
Determining If Your Roof Is Ready For Solar Panels
While you may be ready for solar panels, it is just as crucial that your roof is ready for the challenge. Having a professional inspection performed on your roof can determine for sure whether your Houston, TX roof is prepared or not.
Here at Houston Roofing & Construction, we offer free inspections and will gladly help you decide whether your roof is ready for solar panels.