Before Going Solar

Published on: 7/27/2023

5 mins read

The decision to install solar panels is a fantastic step towards renewable energy and reducing your carbon footprint. However, before jumping into solar panel installation, it's crucial to assess the condition of your existing asphalt shingle roof. In many cases, replacing the roof before installing solar panels is a wise and necessary choice. This article explores the key reasons why replacing your asphalt shingle roof before going solar is beneficial for the long-term performance and cost-effectiveness of your solar energy system.

Roof Lifespan and Compatibility

The lifespan of asphalt shingle roofs typically ranges from 20 to 30 years, depending on various factors like climate, maintenance, and installation quality. If your roof is already nearing the end of its lifespan, it's better to replace it before installing solar panels. Solar panels are designed to last for several decades, often outliving the shingles they are installed over. Replacing the roof first ensures that your solar panels have a sturdy and long-lasting foundation, reducing the need for dismantling and reinstallation in the future.

Avoiding Disruption and Additional Costs

Installing solar panels requires attaching mounting hardware to the roof, and doing so on a deteriorating roof can lead to complications. If your roof is showing signs of wear or damage, such as curling shingles, leaks, or weak spots, adding the extra weight of solar panels and mounting hardware could exacerbate existing issues. This may lead to water intrusion, structural damage, and costly repairs down the line. Replacing the roof before installing solar panels minimizes potential disruptions and additional expenses associated with fixing roof problems after the solar installation.

Maximizing Solar Energy Efficiency

Solar panels work most efficiently when installed on a smooth and level surface. If your existing asphalt shingle roof has irregularities or undulations due to wear and tear, the solar panel installation process may be more complicated and less effective. By replacing the roof first, you create an ideal foundation for the solar panels, optimizing their efficiency and maximizing the amount of clean energy they can produce.

Protecting Your Solar Investment

Solar panel installations are sizeable investments, and you want to ensure they are protected for the long term. A damaged or aging roof could pose risks to your solar investment, potentially leading to malfunctions, leaks, and unnecessary maintenance costs. By installing solar panels on a new, durable roof, you can have peace of mind knowing that your solar energy system is secure and well-protected for years to come.

Streamlined Installation Process

Replacing the roof before installing solar panels streamlines the installation process. Roof replacements can be time-consuming, and adding solar panel installation on top of it can lead to extended project timelines and disruptions to your daily life. By addressing the roof replacement first, you create a clean slate for the solar panel installation, making the entire process smoother and more efficient.

Taking Advantage of Incentives

Various financial incentives, tax credits, and rebates are available to homeowners who invest in solar energy. Some of these incentives have specific eligibility requirements, and one common criterion is that the solar panels must be installed on a new roof or a roof with a certain remaining lifespan. Replacing the roof before installing solar panels ensures that you can take full advantage of available incentives, potentially reducing the overall cost of your solar energy system.


In conclusion, replacing your asphalt shingle roof before installing solar panels is a smart decision that offers numerous benefits. It ensures compatibility, provides a solid and long-lasting foundation for the solar panels, and helps avoid costly disruptions and additional expenses. By maximizing solar energy efficiency and protecting your solar investment, you can enjoy the full benefits of renewable energy while ensuring the longevity and performance of your solar energy system. Consider consulting with a reputable roofing contractor and solar panel installer to determine the best course of action for your home's energy needs and sustainability goals.