Should I Replace My Roof Before Installing Solar?

February 5, 2024 | Reading Time: 6 minutes

Wondering if it’s necessary to replace your roof before going solar? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Lifespan of Your Roof vs. Your Solar Panels

Many people are contemplate if it’s worth it to replace their roof before starting their solar installation.

It’s important to remember that the average lifespan of a solar panel is 25 years. To maximize your investment, roof replacements are recommended when your home could not sustain at least half of the solar panels’ lifespan or return on investment.

Here is a general reference of roof ages and the need to replace before adding solar panels:

Less than 5 years oldGood shape, 20+ years life left in roofDo not need to replace
Between 5 and 15 years oldModerate shape, at least 10 years of life left in roofMight need to replace
More than 20 years oldBad shape, less than 10 years of life left in roofReplace

Roofs Less Than Five Years Old

Roofs less than five years old do not need to be replaced before getting solar installed on them. As long as there is no concern over damage or leaks, then your roof should be ready for solar.

Roofs Between 5 and 15 Years Old

The condition of roofs in this age bracket can range greatly depending on the type of roof you have, weather in your area, and the structure of your home.

It’s important to consider your projected energy savings with the minimum amount of time you have left with your roof. If the savings are worth more than the cost of roof replacement, then it may be in your best financial interest to install your panels now and replace your roof in the future.

Roofs More Than 20 Years Old

There is rarely a case where solar panels should be installed on an asphalt roof more than 20 years old.

Given the 25 year lifespan of solar panels and an average 30 year lifespan of an asphalt shingled roof, you’d lose at least 10 years of energy savings by not replacing your roof before installing solar.

At Isaksen Solar, we always evaluate your specific situation and take into consideration the condition of your roof and the cost for its replacement but typically, we do not recommend installing new solar panels on an aged roof.

Types of Roofs and Their Lifespans

Roof TypeAverage Lifespan
Asphalt Shingles22 years
Wood Shingles27 years
Metal Roofing55 years
Clay and Concrete Tiles75 years
Slate125 years

Removal and Reinstallation Fees

If solar panels are already installed on a roof that needs to be replaced, panel removal and reinstallation can be expensive.

To avoid this, it’s best to replace your roof before installing the panels. That way, you’ll just have to pay for the roofing service and installation costs. If you wait until your panels are already on your home, you’ll not only have to pay for the roofing service and the reinstallation costs, but also for the panels removal before replacement can occur.

If you’re debating on whether a roof replacement is necessary, it’s almost always better to replace it beforehand. You’ll get the most life out of your panels and save money in the long-run.

I think I need to replace my roof, what are the next steps?

Reach out to your solar installer before choosing a roofing company. The installer may have connections to local, well-reputable companies who may offer you a discount for their services.

Once your roof is replaced, you’ll be ready for solar. The best news is that your solar panels will actually protect your roof, elongating its lifespan even more.

Find Out If Your Roof Is Fit For Solar

If you have any questions about solar, the installation process, or roof replacement options, we’d be happy to provide you with any information.

Our phenomenal customer service team at Isaksen Solar is highly experienced and ready to assist you. Whether you’re looking to take the initial step or are navigating the decision making process, we’re ready to help.

Contact us today. Give us a call, (508) 717-3820, or get started with your free quote.