man on roof installing solar panels

Is your roof ready for solar panel installation?

We can help you plan for the future of your roof while using renewable energy.

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September 18, 2023

Sunshine covers the state of Arizona like a blanket of renewable energy, and for that reason, solar panels are more than just a trend; they're a smart investment. As homeowners increasingly turn to solar energy, questions about the interplay between solar panels and roof replacements have become common. 

With 21 years in business and over 1,400 solar installations in our portfolio, Energy Solutions Providers has everything you need to know about roof replacement with solar panels before you commit to a greener, brighter future for the electricity you use to power your home. 

Should You Replace Your Roof Before Installing Solar Panels?

Replacing the roofing material under residential solar panels is not an easy task and in the vast majority of cases will require temporarily removing and reinstalling the solar panels. So how can you know if you should re-roof before solar installation? It will depend on the status of your roof, and how long solar panels last.  

The lifespan of solar panels typically ranges from 25 to 30 years. Given this longevity, it's crucial to ensure that the roof underneath them can withstand the test of time as well. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, it's a wise decision to replace it before installing solar panels or at the same time your solar panels are installed. 

Here are some common roofing materials used in homes from Tucson to Phoenix, and everywhere in between, along with some basic estimates for how long they last: 

Tile Roofing: ~10-20 years

Shingle Roofing: ~20-25 years

Foam Roofing: ~20 years

Metal Roofing: ~40-70 years

Built-Up Roofing: ~20-30 years

If you have at least 25 years left on your roof, you probably don’t need to replace your roof before you install solar panels. However, expected life of tile roof underlayment is 20 years even though tiles may last longer. The most common reason for roof replacement  is tile roof underlayment replacement. We recommend underlayment replacement on tile roofs more then ten years old even if it is just for area covered by solar panels.

Iif your roof is close to the end of its life, it’s a good idea to replace it before you go solar so you don’t have to worry about removing your solar panels to replace your roof a few years after they’re installed.

Do Solar Panels Protect Your Roof?

Another factor to consider when you are thinking about replacing your roof with solar panels installed is the added protection that solar panels can provide to your roofing materials. This extra protection will only apply to the roofing underneath your panels, so results will vary. But solar panels do cover your roof and shield parts of it from the elements, potentially extending the time you have before needing to replace it. 

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels for Roof Replacement?

The cost of removing and reinstalling solar panels depends on the size and complexity of the system, the contractor's rates, and any potential upgrades or modifications you choose to make during the process. On average, homeowners in Arizona can expect to pay an extra $1,500 to $6,000 for this service, on top of the cost of installing a new roof. Our solar panel maintenance services include panel removal and re-installation

Do Solar Installation Warranties Cover the Roof?

Solar installation warranties cover the panels themselves and the inverter, ensuring they function correctly and efficiently, and will not cover your roof replacement costs.

Is Your Roof Not Right for Solar? Try Ground Mounting!

Mounting solar panels on the roof is not the only option, especially if you have adequate space on unused land throughout your lot. Ground mounting your solar panels is another way to harness the power of the sun, without having to pay extra for solar panel removal when it comes time to replace your roof.

Comprehensive Solar Solutions Designed for Your Future

It's essential to consider the state of your roof before solar panel installation and to consult with a solar installation expert who has experience in your local climate and housing stock. By addressing potential roofing issues upfront with Energy Solution Providers, you can save time and money. If you're considering a transition to solar or need guidance on roof replacements with existing panels, call Energy Solution Providers today!

Do you have questions about how solar-ready your roof is? Call Energy Solution Providers at 520-868-0700 or contact us online.