There has been a rise in the last few years in the popularity of “going green”. There have even been tax incentives for certain products and actions, one of these is solar panel installation. While this can be an excellent decision for long term cost savings there are some very important things to consider when installing solar panels or anything for that matter to your roof. If not done correctly and in the appropriate conditions they could actually lead to roof damage.
Have your roof inspected
The first step to take and at first may seem unrelated to the solar panels, is to have a roofing company come and do a full roof inspection. Especially where flat roofs are the norm in a place like Queens, NY, it is very important to have an inspection at least once every 2 years. Solar panels can add stress and weight to a roof that might not be able to handle it. It is important to consider how old your roof is and when it will be due for a replacement. If the replacement it approaching soon it might be worth it to replace the roof before installing the panels, since that will add more costs and time after they are installed. Also, it can risk damaging the solar panels and the roof. If your roof is fairly new it is worth checking the warranty documents to see if there are any clauses for adding panels and ensure it won't void any warranty on the roofing materials.
Weight of the panels
Solar panels come in various different styles, and sizes. With the panels themselves and equipment which holds them in place, it can add extra weight to your roof. By having the inspection first, your local roofing company will be able to tell you where the best location is based on the structure of your roof and what is the maximum weight your roof can hold.
Preventing potential leaks
When solar panels are installed on a roof they are bolted into a track frame which elevates them just slightly above the roof, to help with ventilation and heat. These tracks, as you can probably imagine, must be strong. Strong enough to withstand heavy winds, snow, ice, rain, all of the elements. When the solar panels are installed it should only be done by a company that knows how to do this correctly and is certified. If the bolts and installation equipment are screwed into the roof in the wrong angle, or the wrong location it can break the water seal of the roof which is so important. It won't take much just a small gap for water to enter and this can lead to problems of mold, weaker decks and infrastructure, and a damaged roof.
Getting solar panels or any other modification to your roof can be a great decision for some homeowners. The ultimate goal is to save money down the road. Many experienced local roofing companies in Queens are able to make inspections to determine if the installation of solar panels will help or harm your roof. With such a large investment it is always worth taking the necessary precautions and preemptively taking the actions you are able to take.
Royal Renovators is one of the top-rated flat roofing experts in Queens. If you need a roof inspection or have experienced any damage from solar panels contact us at: Royal Renovators Inc.118-35 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375. 718-414-6067 https://www.nycrenovators.com/