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Before installing solar, how’s your roof?

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Solar power has quickly become a trend in San Diego for both residential homes and commercial buildings. The only difference is; this trend is going to stick. According to gosolarcalifornia.org, California leads the nation for total solar projects and total megawatts installed. Homeowners and building owners are quickly pulling the trigger on solar, but often pay little attention to what condition their roof is in prior to the installation. This can be a very expensive mistake to make.

What owners don’t always know:

*Putting solar on their existing roof can possibly void any roof warranty.

Depending on the type of roof and system you install, your warranty may be at risk. The rule of thumb is that if you penetrate the roofing materials, you must flash and waterproof to code to avoid voiding your roofing warranty. It is recommended that you contact your roofing contractor to get specific details on your warranty.

*The roof may be unstable to hold the weight of solar panels.

A solar panel installation adds two to five pounds of load per square foot, on average. Before you have solar installed, be sure to have a licensed roofing contractor inspect the roof to ensure that all PV solar installations can be completed safely and without causing any damage.

*Pressure cleaning the roof may be required before solar panels can be installed.

Solar panel installations require extensive amounts of silicone to be used. Silicone will only bond correctly with a debris-free surface. Pressure cleaning the tile surface prior to the solar installation will ensure that all brackets and siliconed areas will form a good bond and have maximum water proofing efficiency.

*Sometimes you can keep your old roof system and still install solar.

If you cannot afford a new roof and install solar, you may be a candidate for a roof restoration. If one is considering a roof restoration and a solar panel installation, it makes sense to complete the roof restoration first, but just be aware that it’s likely not to hold up as long as a new roof. This brings us to the next point:

* The life of a solar system is about 30 years.

This is something to seriously consider before installing solar. The roof you are mounting the solar panels on should have a 30-year or greater life expectancy. The costs associated with having to take up a solar system down the road in order to re-roof and then reconnect the solar will reduce the economic benefit of going solar in the first place.

If you are unsure of how to go about organizing roof repairs or roof restorations prior to your solar panel installations, you should contact your local roofing contractor. Not all solar contractors know roofing, and it’s important that you protect one of the biggest investments on your building.

Any comments, questions or concerns, feel free to contact RSI Roofing at 858-278-7200 or visit the website at ThinkRSI.com.

Submitted by RSI Roofing

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