Reroofing later on
While it’s best to make sure your roof is in prime condition before you go solar, reroofing later on is not out of the question just because you have a solar array mounted to it. The process requires removal of the solar array in order to replace the roof.
The basic process
If you plan to remove the panels yourself, or if you’re simply just curious about what the process entails, here are some of the basics to reroofing with a solar array. First, the circuit of your solar system needs to be disconnected from the main line so that they panels aren’t generating electricity while being removed. This work will require a journeyman electrician and needs to be performed by a certified electrical contractor. Then the panels themselves have to be removed from the racking, followed by removal of the racking and mounts that have probably been drilled into the home’s rafters.
Depending on how the system was mounted on the roof, you may need to use some temporary sealant and flashing around the bolt holes to prevent water damage from occurring while you reroof. But other than that, once the panels are removed, you’re all set to move on to your reroofing project. Once the roof has been replaced, the panels can be remounted the same way they were mounted originally; however, you may need to use a different mounting method if you changed roofing material.
Hire a professional
Some solar homeowners take pride in their ability to make it a do-it-yourself project. Removing a solar array is relatively difficult and the underbelly of the technology is incredibly fragile. Hiring a professional to remove your panels while you reroof is likely to go faster, be safer, and guarantee that your panels are ready to go when your new roof is on. Additionally, hiring a professional has the perk of service insurance that covers any accidental damage to your home or solar array during the process.
Reroofing with a solar array is totally possible and professionals in the solar industry deal with it all the time. But, the process can be expensive and tedious. It’s worth it to do any necessary roof repair before you go solar to avoid dismounting your panels to reroof later on. Or, if you plan to reroof soon, consider putting a solar array on hold until after the roofing project.