Getting solar panels installed can be a complex process, and most of the work will come before your panels are even installed. Getting a thorough roof inspection, repairs, and replacements, and planning ahead for possible obstructions will help your roof stay stable and secure for years to come.

Have a Thorough Roof Inspection

Solar panels add a lot of weight to your roof, so before they're installed, it's important to make sure your roof can handle it. A professional roofer can give your roof a thorough inspection, looking at your roofing material for signs of damage, but also checking the stability of your roof's underlying structure. Some problems can be hard to spot, such as wet wood rot from water leaks, but these can easily weaken your roof. A thorough inspection will let you be absolutely sure that your roof is in good shape when it's time for installation.

Get Repairs or Replacements Done Before Installation

Adding solar panels to your roof makes it more difficult to conduct repairs. For example, if your roof needs repair or replacing, the panels will need to be removed and then reinstalled. For this reason, it's imperative to have any necessary repairs done before your solar panels are installed.

Depending on the age of your roof, a roof replacement might be a good idea even if your roof isn't currently damaged or experiencing any issues. Because of how difficult it is to do roof work with solar panels installed, if your roof will need replacing within the next few years, it may be advantageous to get that done first. When your roof is inspected, make sure they know when the roof was last replaced and ask for their recommendation.

Remove or Plan Around Potential Obstructions

To get the most out of your solar panels, they need to get as much sunlight as possible for as long as possible. Some things can get in the way of direct sunlight and lower your solar panels' efficiency. For example, if you have large trees nearby, they could potentially cast shade on your panels for up to hours at a time. Some of these obstructions, such as tree branches, can be removed. Trimming your trees is a great way to prepare for your solar panel installation.

If there are other obstructions that can't be removed, you can plan around these as well. Your solar installer may recommend moving panels to different areas or potentially adding more panels to make up for the loss of efficiency. Many factors can influence this, such as the direction the panels face, the movements of the sun during different seasons, and the amount of sunlight your area typically receives.