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Does Removing Solar Panels Damage Roof?

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: August 9, 2022

Solar energy is popular among homeowners who want to reduce their energy costs, lessen their carbon footprint, or go “off the grid.” Although solar panels have many advantages, not every home is a suitable candidate for them for a variety of reasons. But does removing solar panels damage the roof?

The removal of solar panels shouldn’t damage a roof when done by trained professionals. Don’t remove solar panels yourself without the proper equipment and tools. Besides, DIY solar panel projects will void your warranties.

Table of Contents

Can Solar Panel Installation Damage Your Roof?

The possibility of roof damage worries homeowners the most about rooftop solar panels.

Inadequately mounted solar panels can weaken the structure of the roof, reduce its resistance to the elements, and reduce its capacity to support the required weight, which increases the danger of water leaks and fires.

A roof’s warranty may be void if solar panels weaken or cause harm to it.

Drilling holes in the roof to attach the roof mount, which will fasten the solar panels to the roof, is the most popular, effective, and economical method of installing solar panels.

Professional solar panel installers who hold the licenses will know how to drill and fill these holes correctly and take all required steps to prevent damaging the roof during installation.

If damage occurs, it frequently stems from a previous roof problem that was not remedied.

Although there is little chance that installing solar panels would harm your roof, holes that are drilled or filled incorrectly could let water seep in.

Besides, the weight of solar panels increased might further strain and undermine a roof that is already weakened.

Why Would Someone Need to Remove Solar Panels from the Roof?

When leasing your roof to a solar company, installing rooftop solar panels is a long-term commitment that frequently calls for a 20-year contract.

Solar panels can last up to 30 years or even more if you put them on your roof to reduce your energy costs.

Occasionally, homeowners might need to have their solar panels taken down.

The most frequent causes of solar panel removal are relocation and significant roof repairs or replacement.

Here’s a warning: the removal of your solar panels will be expensive if you have a contract with a solar firm that owns the solar panels on your roof.

What Happens When Removing Solar Panels from the Roof?

When removing solar panels from a roof, solar professionals

  • disconnect the solar circuit from the breakers and electrical grid
  • they separate each panel from its inverter
  • take each panel off its mounting
  • remove the mounting
  • remove cables and wires
  • fill and repair holes the roof mount left behind
  • replace missing shingles

When performed improperly, the removal of solar panels can damage roofs, which will cause void roof warranties.

When Should You Remove and Reinstall Solar Panels?

You might need to remove and reinstall solar panels for two main reasons: mending your roof and fixing your solar power system.

Even little roof repairs may require removing and reinstalling part or all of your solar panels.

Despite the inconvenience, removing your solar energy system makes fixing your roof simpler and doesn’t harm your panels.

Hiring a solar professional to remove solar panels to replace a piece of your roof will help the project run more smoothly.

Be careful, as roofers rarely receive training in both installing and maintaining solar power installations.

It is always better to have your solar panel system removed by qualified solar technicians who have the knowledge and tools.

While it is possible to repair many components of your solar power system from the roof, it is frequently far safer to carry out this work after they have taken down the panels.

For instance, you might need to remove solar panels to replace the mounts if they are loose or damaged.

Another reason someone would have to remove solar panels is when working on an HVAC system, attic, satellite dishes, electrical lines, or trees.

Also, when moving to a new home and moving your system, solar removal and reinstallation may also be required.

Regardless of the reasons one would think about removing solar panels from the roof, a trained professional should complete the job, so they do it securely and safely to safeguard your investment.

How Long Does It Take to Remove Solar Panels?

It should take a day to remove the panels and a second day to replace them unless you have large or unique solar arrays on your roof.

After that, you must account for the time required to repair your roof and solar panel installation.

The minimal time required to do the job is three days.

On the first day, you will have your solar panels removed, on the second day your roof repaired and, on the third day, solar installers can replace your solar panels or put them back.

Of course, if there are any significant repairs, the whole task will take longer.

Can I Take Down and Reinstall My Own Solar Panels?

Solar panel removal and installation may be something you feel comfortable doing on your own, but doing so without the proper equipment or training can be dangerous for yourself, your panels, and the roof.

You need specialized tools for this task, which is pricy for the typical homeowner to get.

Besides, DIY solar panel projects might also void your warranties and contracts.

Only solar professionals should manage a solar panel system because a solar panel system is a significant investment and a complex power plant with electrical connections.

A certified solar installer is the best person to handle the difficult permitting process involved in removing and reinstalling solar panels because your solar panel system is tied to the electricity grid.

Many roofing businesses claim they can manage the complete roof project, including the removal and reinstallation of solar panels, but in reality, they lack the essential skills to do so consistently.

You should consult a reliable solar provider for expert advice on any solar panel project.

Final Thoughts

When done by professionals, your roof shouldn’t suffer any damage.

Don’t work on your solar panels yourself, unless you have all the tools and training, and you are certain you won’t lose any warranties.

By damaging your installation, the cost of the whole undertaking can rise tenfold.

Also, you should know that the cost to remove and reinstall solar panels depends on the solar company, so ask for a quote of the base price for the work and don’t forget to count in all the repairs or customized roofing materials.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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