Do You Need To Prepare Your Roof Before Installing Solar Panels? – What You May Not Have Known

by Editor on May 29, 2013


Common sense should tell you that before you install solar panels on your roof, there are certain things you need to know and do to prepare your roof for the panels. Most often companies that sell you the solar panels don’t disclose these things or wait until you’ve actually signed the contract and made the purchase before disclosing certain things.

These types of companies know that if they disclose these things, you may incur additional costs and not be able to afford the actual solar panels. So here are some things that you may not have known to better prepare you before purchasing solar panels.


One of the first things to keep in mind before purchasing solar panels is whether the panels will be putting stress on the roof, the weight of the panels and if the roof is capable of handling the weight. There is a way of actually calculating this using a special formula but you would actually have to measure the pitch of the roof along with the length and width of it.

Based on the formula and after plugging in these numbers, you’re able to actually see how much weight and stress the roof will hold.


At this point it’s probably a good idea to call a professional roofing company to come out and inspect the entire roof for cracks or any damages that can potentially cause leaks in the near future. The roofer will be able to tell if it’s repairable or if you might need to replace the entire roof.

Imagine putting in new solar panels to later discover that your roof has a leak. Average solar panels last from 20 to 30 years so if your roof is old then it wouldn’t make sense to put solar panels on an old roof.


You’re probably wondering what trees have to do with solar panels. Depending on which part of the roof the solar panels would go on, trees can actually be in the way. If you have trees that are hanging over the roof and depending on the size of the tree, you also might be incurring another cost of hiring someone to trim or remove the tree.

If you don’t take these measures first before purchasing solar panels consider what the cost would be if you discovered a
problem with the roof after the panels were installed. Ask the solar panel company what it would cost if they had to come out and remove the panels in order to fix the roof or install a new one when the time comes.

Then decide whether you should fix the roof now or wait it out till the need arises. However, whether you are installing solar panels or ETFE panels always consult with a reputable company.

Now that you are aware of what to expect, obtain several estimates from reputable solar companies and make sure they disclose what the work entails and don’t forget to ask questions. If they don’t discuss or mention the condition of your existing roof then you might consider looking elsewhere.

About the Author

Aaron is an architect that specializes in the new green and solar industry. He has done extensive research on ETFE panels and their benefits. In fact, he specializes in installing most ETFE panels in the commercial building industry.

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