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Is Your Roof Right for Solar Power?

Most people have a fit of good intentions in the early parts of the year. Some homeowners even plan improvements to their homes to increase living greener. Solar power can help their goal. Due to the increasing usage of solar power as a clean and green power source, prices have decreased each year. In 2018, homeowners can expect to pay $2.71 to $3.57 per watt to install solar panels. Keeping in mind the tax credits from power companies and the government, homeowners should prepare to pay $9,000 to $12,000 for solar panels. Before going in on this investment, though, homeowners need to first check if solar panels are safe and compatible for their type of roof.

grid of solar panels absorbing sunlight

Initial Inspection

The condition of the roof is important to the installation of a solar array. If the roof needs replacement, it's a good idea to replace now before installation. Otherwise, the array would have to be dismantled and reinstalled around replacing your roof. Save some time, aggravation, and money by making sure your roof is in good condition first.

Outside Governance

Homeowner associations (HOAs) govern much of what homeowners may and may not do to their homes. If solar panels not allowed as part of the HOAs’ rules and regulations, your plans for new panels are shot.

Roof Tilt or Slope

A flat, rectangular surface on an incline is ideal for solar power panels. Most homes have dormers, skylights, or chimneys on the roof. Solar panels may be installed among these, but an uninterrupted surface is best. The slope of the roof is also important. A slope that's almost flat will allow too much moisture accumulation, while a roof that is too steep won't allow much sun to shine in. A slope of 20 to 30 degrees is best for a solar array.

Roof Direction

It is generally accepted that the more southerly the direction your home roof faces, the more solar power is collected. Ideally, the roof should be pointing 40 degrees south for optimal solar collection.

Roof Shading

Homeowners should evaluate the shading of their roof before installing a solar array. Look for trees or surrounding buildings that may potentially block sunlight. Homeowners should balance their desire for trees with the need for solar power.

Installing solar panels on roofs is a growing trend and has plenty of benefits, if done properly. Just be sure your roof and home can accommodate this technology. Contact us to learn more or to request a free roof inspection and estimate before you take on such a project.

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