How Do You Replace a Roof with Solar Panels? [Your Florida Residency Guide]



How Do You Replace a Roof with Solar Panels? [Your Florida Residency Guide]

A top view of solar panels that are about to be replaced on a roof.

With an average of 237 sunny days per year, the Sunshine State certainly lives up to its nickname. Moreover, Florida ranks as one of the top US states for generating solar energy. Recent advancements in solar panel technology, increased investments, and state incentives for renewable energy are driving the adoption of solar energy in the state.

With these encouraging trends, an increasing number of Floridians are considering installing solar panels to take advantage of cleaner, cheaper energy sources. However, before starting the project, many people naturally have roof-related questions. If you’re looking ahead, asking how you replace a roof with solar panels makes sense. Let’s take a closer look.

Does Your Roof Really Need to Be Replaced?

The process of replacing a roof, especially one with solar panels, takes a lot of time, effort, and money. So before you decide to take on this project, it’s worth determining whether you need a total roof replacement or merely repairs. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age: Asphalt shingle roofs older than 15–20 years are likely to need replacement sooner rather than later, so it’s unlikely they’d outlast the solar panels.
  • Damage: Major damage—such as cracks, leaks, missing shingles, or sagging spots—can compromise the foundation of solar panels once installed.
  • Roof Compatibility: If your roof is made of incompatible materials such as slate and wood or has a very steep or shallow pitch, you might need a full replacement to ensure the optimal efficiency of your solar system.

Some homeowners may have a roof in good condition, but they might want to install more durable roofing materials or update their home’s exterior look.

4 Steps to Replacing a Roof with Solar Panels

While a solar installation provides benefits such as reduced energy bills and increased property value, some Florida homeowners still hesitate to make the switch. One of the reasons behind this hesitation is the perceived challenge of replacing or repairing a roof that already has solar panels. Fortunately, this task is manageable and not as stressful as you might expect.

Here’s a guide to key steps for replacing a roof with solar panels.

Contact Your Solar Company

When deciding how to replace a roof with solar panels, you must work closely with your chosen roofing and solar company. First, you’ll need to contact your solar company to inform them of the roof replacement. Your trusted solar professionals will remove the system to allow roofing work to be done. This step typically includes disconnecting the system’s electrical connection and detaching the panels from the roof mounts. You may also need the roof mounts detached from the roof.

Choosing professionals for the job is crucial, as it will ensure that your solar panels will be removed safely and that no warranties are voided in the process. Coordination between the solar company and the roofers is crucial—you don’t want delays on one side or the other.

Secure Your Solar Panels

Solar panels take up a fair amount of space, so you’ll need to consider their storage while the roof work is going on. Work with your solar company to find the best solution. They may provide mounting brackets to temporarily hold the panels in place. Wherever you store them, you need to find a place that’s dry, safe, and far enough from the construction zone to avoid any debris or damage to the panels.

Replace Your Roof

With the solar panels out of the way, the roofing operation can proceed as usual. This entire process can take anywhere from one to 12 days, depending on several factors, such as the new roofing materials chosen, the accessibility of the roof, the size of your property, and weather conditions. Make sure you select a roofing material that suits solar panels, such as asphalt, tile, or metal.

Keep in mind that roofing materials such as wood and slate are not suitable for solar panels. These materials are brittle and easily damaged, so solar panel installers can’t walk on top of them during the installation. As a result, the project becomes more challenging and likely more expensive. If you choose these materials, you may need to install the panels in a separate area of your property, which could take up valuable yard space.

Reinstall Solar Panels

After the roof replacement is complete, your trusted solar company will reinstall the solar panels on your new roof. This step will also include reconnecting your system to the utility grid and your solar battery (if you have one). Your solar company will thoroughly inspect and evaluate the solar panel system after reinstalling it to ensure it works optimally.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels Before a Roof Replacement?

Expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 per panel when they need to be removed for your roof replacement. That should include removal, reinstallation, and all the connection changes that need to be made.

Some of the main factors that can affect the overall cost include:

  • Number of solar panels installed
  • Roof type, pitch, and height
  • Age and condition of the solar panels
  • The complexity of wiring and electrical components

Should I Replace My Roof Before Installing Solar Panels?

A roof that needs repaid after years of wear and tear as well as a natural disaster.

If you haven’t made the switch to solar yet, it makes sense to look at your roof before taking the plunge. While a roof replacement is not required for solar installation, scheduling a roof inspection beforehand is critical to determine whether your roof can withstand the installation.

Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 years and are designed to withstand varying weather conditions. Your solar power system requires a stable foundation for longevity and optimal performance. Professionals recommend replacing a roof that has significant damage or is nearing the end of its useful life.

While a roof replacement and solar installation require a costly upfront investment, it’s a smart financial decision in the long run. With a new roof, it’s unlikely you will need to reroof and schedule significant repairs during the lifespan of your solar system, reducing the costs associated with removing and reinstalling your solar panels.

Go Solar with Current Home

Switching to solar energy can seem overwhelming. However, Current Home makes this process seamless and easy for Florida residents. Our team of experts will answer all your questions, design a customized solar system that matches your needs, and guide you through the installation process. Request a quote today!