Do I Need a New Roof to Go Solar?

Going solar is trendy nowadays. There are so many advantages of going solar that make the upfront investment worth it. However, one question a lot of homeowners have is, “do you need a new roof to go solar?” This is a very good question that merits a discussion.

Do You Need A New Roof If You Are Getting A Solar Installation Done?

Not necessarily. If your roof is in good condition, you can get solar installed without a problem. Solar panels should be installed on a roof that is in good condition. Therefore, if your roof is exhibiting a lot of signs of wear and tear, you may need to get the roof repaired or replaced before going solar. However, if your home has been repaired or installed recently and it doesn’t have signs of damage – you should be good to get solar installed.

How To Decide What To Do With Your Roof When Going Solar:

1. Age Of Your Roof

One of the things that you need to consider when you are looking at installing solar panels on your existing roof would be the age of your current roof. You want to figure out whether or not it’s advantageous to do it on your existing roof not only over the short term but also in the long term.

The last thing you want is to have to redo your roof and the solar panels that were installed shortly after. If your roof is over 10 years old, it may be a good idea to consider replacing your roof before or during the solar panel installation. This can keep you from having to deal with the added hassle and extra cost of having to do it down the road. The expected lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15 to 30 years. The expected lifespan of a roof with wood shingles is up to 30 years. The expected lifespan of a clay tile roof is 50 years or more.

2. The Condition Of Your Roof

If your roof is damaged, you’ll need to get it replaced before installing solar panels. However, if your roof is in good condition, you don’t necessarily have to. While you do want to factor in the age of your roof and the expected lifespan of the roofing materials, you should be good for installation as long as your roof is in good condition.

3. Supporting The Weight

Another thing that you have to consider when you are getting a solar panel system installed is whether or not your existing roof can handle the added weight from it. On average, the panels and the mounting equipment can add around 2 to 4 pounds per square foot. Therefore, you can expect the average residential solar panel system to add a good 40 pounds or so to your roof.

Solar Installation on tile roof

As you can see, you don’t necessarily need to get a brand-new roof to invest in solar technology. While having a new roof can help you get even more life out of the installation, if your roof is in good condition you shouldn’t feel the need to do so. Your roof just needs to be in good shape and be able to support the weight of the solar panel system.


  1. Bobvilla 
  2. Forbes