Installing Solar Panels On A Warrantied Roof: What You Need To Know

by Grace Motley

Installing solar panels on your roof can be a great way to save money on electricity and help reduce your carbon footprint. However, if your roof is under warranty, you need to be careful about how the panels are installed and cared for. If you're worried that solar panels may void your roof warranty, here are some things you should know.

1. Always check with your roofer before installing anything on your roof. Your roofer will be able to give you more detailed information about warranty coverage and rules for retrofitting. Some roofing companies will want to perform the solar panel installation themselves, while others may have specific contractors they work with. These stipulations ensure that the work is done correctly and the integrity of the roof is not compromised.

Also, don't forget that you likely have two separate warranties--one on the labor, and one on the product (often called a manufacturer's warranty). You will need to verify that your plan for solar panel installation keeps both warranties in place. Whenever possible, your solar contractor should collaborate with your roofing contractor and manufacturer throughout the installation process.

2. Ensure that flashing is properly installed to prevent water damage. Objects attached to or protruding from roofs need flashing installed around them to prevent water from seeping underneath the shingles and damaging the roof. After your solar panels are installed, be sure to check for flashing around the attachment points. If you decide to install the panels yourself, don't skip this important step.

3. Regularly clean any debris underneath the panels. The shaded area between the panels and your roof provides a welcoming home for birds, insects, and small animals to build their homes. It can also collect leaves and other debris that come in contact with your roof. Every time you clean your gutters, clean out the space between your solar panels and roof to prevent damage to your shingles. This will keep your roofing warranty in place.

4. Ask your solar contractor about additional warranties. Some solar contractors may offer additional warranty coverage in case your roof does fail as a result of their work. This could help cover the cost of future repairs if your roof warranty is voided.

Just because your roof is under warranty does not mean that you can't use it to your advantage and reap the benefits of solar power. If you and/or your solar contractor take the time to follow the advice discussed here, you can have the best of both worlds--a sturdy, long-lasting roof and a significantly reduced power bill. To speak to a roofing contractor in your area, contact Darnell Construction & Lawncare.