Residential Solar Pre-Install Considerations

If you are ready to make the leap to solar energy, then a residential installation on the roof may be the perfect solution. The following are a few things you may need to do to make sure your home is ready.

Installation Site

The first decision is the ideal installation site. Rooftop installations are popular for several reasons. First and foremost, the panels are off the ground and out of the way, so they do not take up any excess room on your property. Further, they may be less exposed to damage, depending on your area and lifestyle. Your roof may also be the ideal place for optimum sun exposure and solar collection.

Not all roofs are suitable, though, as your home may not receive sufficient sun. There are other reasons a ground-based arrangement may make more sense, as well. Roof repairs are more difficult and often more costly if you have rooftop solar panels. Maintenance of the panels may also be more problematic, depending on your roof.

Roof Preparation

If you opt for rooftop installation, then you will need to make sure the roof is ready for installation. A full structural inspection is the best starting point. The inspector will make sure that the trusses and supports are in great condition and up to the task of holding the extra weight of the panels. They will also make sure that the roof has no damages and will last for at least a couple of decades.

If your roof will need to be replaced soon, it is best to do it before installation. Metal and clay tile roofs are popular options for homes with solar panels. Unlike asphalt shingles, metal and clay roofs require very little maintenance and have low repair needs. Further, they can last many decades longer, which is ideal when you have solar panels.

Permits and Grid Concerns

You will likely need to have permits in place before the solar panel installation can proceed. Your installer should be able to help you navigate the municipal permitting process, but you may need to check with your own homeowner's association for permission requirements.

There is also the decision of what to do with extra power. A popular option is to wire it into the grid so you can sell excess power to the local utility. If you opt for this route, then you must arrange with the power company to install a meter. The other option is to have your own battery bank so you can save power for your own use.

For more assistance with both planning and the final install, contact a residential solar panel installation service, like Harmon Solar.