Installing Solar? Be careful!
Monday, June 29, 2015
by: RSI Roofing

Section: Trends and Tips

Installing solar on your home or building has become the latest trend and “boom” in Southern California. With the 30% tax rebate and the ability to zero out your increasing energy bill, why wouldn’t you consider solar right now? Solar contractors are arriving at dangerous speeds – taking full advantage of all of the business right now. Why wouldn’t they? It’s a very easy installation and process. Anyone with a license can sell solar to you with a list of references and a great price to make you feel good about the purchase.

What’s constantly overlooked is the roof that you’re putting those expensive solar panels on.
Solar contractors do not know about roofing. They don’t have the license, experience or knowledge that is imperative before you penetrate the roof and install solar. Listed below are the potential dangers of hiring a solar contractor without consulting a roofing contractor first:
  1. If you put solar on an old roof and your roof needs to be replaced, prematurely taking off the solar to re-roof years down the road, can void all the financial benefits gained by installing solar in the first place.
  2. Installing solar on your existing roof can void your roofing warranty.
  3. Roofing and Solar warranties typically last 20-25 years and should be installed at the same time.
  4. Improper roofing penetrations done by a solar contractor can lead to damage, potential leaks and decreased lifespan of your roof.
  5. Solar contractors can hire “in-house” or unlicensed roofing contractors to perform the work putting you at risk!

Roofing is a technical trade and most solar contractors are overlooking this. Their primary goal is to sell you solar and the idea of re-roofing your home first is a huge road block and potential “deal killer” for them- so most will avoid it at all costs. Don’t fall into this trap. Make sure you have a licensed roofing contractor look at your roof before putting solar on it. Ideally, hire a licensed roofing & solar contractor to perform all of the work and take advantage of the large discounts associated with packaging the two together. Not only will this allow the manufacturers warranties coincide but it will also allow the roofing and solar be covered under the same contractors labor/workmanship warranties. Installing the roofing and solar together can also possibly increase the amount of your tax benefits!

Ultimately, it will give you peace of mind that the brand new solar system you just put on is on a proper roof, and that there isn’t any financial pitfall waiting for you down the road…

RSI Roofing is a licensed Roofing & Solar Contractor based out of San Diego.

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