A roof is one of the most structurally important parts of a home or commercial building. It provides protection from the elements, and insulates your property so it remains a comfortable space to live or work. If you’re considering solar, your roof’s shape, size, and condition will determine the orientation and maximum size of your solar system.
If you just recently bought a new roof, or you know that your roof is still under warranty, you are probably wondering if a roof-mounted solar system will interfere with your roof’s warranty. It’s an important question: if something goes wrong with your roof, you want the roof installer or manufacturer to cover the repairs. It might not be worth it to buy solar if you are stuck paying for any and all roof repairs which would normally be covered under warranty.
The good news is that a properly installed roof-mounted solar system should not void your roof’s warranty.
A roof typically comes with two types of warranties—a workmanship warranty from the installation company and a material warranty from the manufacturer.
A workmanship warranty comes from the roof installer. This covers any roof installation problems, such as issues with shingle alignment, improper underlayment, flashing mistakes, or damage to the roof caused by heavy foot traffic during installation. These problems can cause leaks and/or poor insulation.
A manufacturer warranty covers defective roofing materials. If your shingles, tiles, or other materials are no good, then the manufacturer will cover the cost of replacement. Your roof installer should consider whether the roof material is a threat to the structure of your home. This can be something like improper material coating or cracked shingles. The material defect might not be caught until after installation. If the material is found to be defective, the manufacturer will cover the cost of replacement.
It’s important to stay on top of roof maintenance by periodically inspecting your roof. If you notice any issues, be sure to reach out to your roof installer.
Solar installations are backed by several warranties. Just like a roof, they generally come with a workmanship and manufacturer warranty, as well as a power production warranty in some cases.
Solar systems also come with warranties. Many solar companies back their installations with workmanship warranties. If they are installed incorrectly, the solar company will cover the cost of repair. The same goes for manufacturer warranties. The solar manufacturer will cover the cost of replacement parts if the panels or components are proven defective.
Another warranty that your system might have is a power production warranty. Solar system energy production degrades over time. Many manufacturers guarantee their panels will still produce a certain amount of energy over a specific period of time, such as 25 or 30 years. The manufacturer will cover the cost of replacement parts should your panels degrade at a quicker rate than is guaranteed.
Solar installations require drilling mounting infrastructure right into the roof. While that might sound like a risky proposition, experienced solar installers can complete the job without causing damage to your roof. Be sure to research in order to avoid less qualified solar installers, who might be less diligent about installing the system properly.
Does a roof-mounted solar system void your roof’s warranty?
In most cases, solar panels and the racking upon which they rest should not void your roof’s warranty. But your roof’s warranty can be in question if the solar panels are not installed to manufacturer’s specifications—which is why it is so important to hire a reputable solar installer.
Here are some common ways that a solar installation might void your roof’s warranty:
- Damage to the roof caused by foot traffic or while moving equipment.
- Incorrect installation methods or installation equipment.
- Incorrect installation of flashings, which can cause structural damage to the roof.
Roof manufacturers and installers set strict guidelines as to how a roof is installed. That’s why roofs are usually backed by a long-term warranty: the installation and materials are expected to last. If a solar installer damages the roof, the roofing company might claim that the damage was caused by a third party, and they are not responsible for covering repairs.
The same goes for a solar system warranty. In most cases, only the company which installed the solar system can perform repairs to the system. If another solar company attempts a repair and damages the system, the original warranty will most likely be void. Solar and roof warranties cover installation issues and material defects, but most likely will not cover damage caused by outside contractors.
As discussed, to avoid any trouble, be sure to hire a reputable solar installer. At Ilum Solar, our expert solar installation crews have a great track record. This is largely thanks to the fact that our company was founded and is still managed by a team of engineers. While some solar companies only care about quick installations and offer little in the way of customer support, Ilum Solar provides quality and detailed workmanship. We work closely with you from the time you hire us through the end of installation.
Your roof’s warranty covers you in the event that damage to your roof occurs. If you’re in the market for solar, you want to be sure that roof-mounted panels won’t void your roof’s warranty. The good news is that, in most cases, a solar installation will not interfere with your roof’s warranty. As long as the solar panels are installed correctly, you can still fall back on your warranty should anything happen to your roof.
Interested in a home or business solar system? Contact Ilum Solar! We are expert solar installers, and we back every installation with a 25-year warranty.