Solar panels provide a great opportunity to reduce reliance on fossil fuels but before adding a system to your roof, be sure to look into if solar panels void your roof warranty. While the standard roof rack systems are commonplace, there are other options for homeowners that do not want a system on their roof.

Can Solar Panels Void a Fully Warranted Roof?

Getting a new roof installed on your roof isn’t cheap so it’s critical to have an open conversation between your roofing company and your solar installer. 

Depending on your warranty, properly installed solar panels will not void your roof warranty. Improperly installed panels can void your warranty. The work you will need to do is connect with your roofer and acquire a copy of your roof warranty. It will be beneficial to have your roofer and solar company meet and discuss the installation process and requirements from the warrant side of things. 

Putting solar panels on the roof of your home requires numerous holes to be drilled to attach the rack. Additionally, the rack system with the panels adds a substantial amount of weight to your roof. There are things to keep in mind before signing up for a roof array.

First, secure a copy of your roof warranty. Your warranty is the most important piece of the puzzle and the basis of conversations you will have between your roofer and solar company.

Second, not sure who installed it or if it’s been a long time since you’ve replaced your roof? Schedule an appointment with a roofer to check out the condition of your roof. Solar panels don’t replace your roof and you will want to have a solid foundation for the array to attach to. Be sure to get an understanding of how much life your roof has left. If a roof replacement needs to happen after solar is installed, the solar company has to remove the panels and reattach them once the roof has been replaced.

Third, be sure to dig into the reviews of your solar company. Look for reviews that specifically mention installation on sites like the BBB, Angi, or Google. If you see any recent negative experiences regarding installation problems, seek a second estimate. 

What Exactly Does My Roof Warranty Say About Solar Panels?

Depending on the installers, roof warranties may have two parts; installation and materials.  The installation warranty will protect you from improper roof installation. The materials will protect you against material defects. No two warranties may be the same so it is imperative to acquire a copy of your warranty before solar panel installation begins. 

The warranty your roof has may be voided if 

  1. There was damage to the roof during the solar panel installation

  2. Failure to complete waterproofing during or after installation

  3. Poor installation of the rack system

  4. Incorrect fasteners were used to install the rack


What Solar Panels Will Not Void My Roof Warranty?

Roof rack mount solar panels are not the end all be all option. There are other options to help you generate clean green energy that will not void your roof warranty. 

Ground Mount Solar Arrays

Ground mount solar arrays will take up a chunk of your yard. Instead of mounting to the roof, a racking system is constructed in your yard and will point in the direction of the sun. An important consideration of a ground mount system is to look out for trees, neighboring buildings, and structures that may restrict the amount of direct sunlight. 


Solar Shingles

There are several solar shingle manufacturers. Many solar shingles act as roof replacements so if you are in the market for a new roof, solar shingles may be an option. In some cases, the solar shingles carry two warranties- one as a shingle and the other as solar. The solar shingle is meant to protect your roof and harness green energy all while resting flat on your roof. 


Solar Shingles vs. Roof Mount Solar Panels vs. Ground Mount Solar Panels


Innovation breeds more widespread adoption and that’s no different with the solar panel industry. HOA’s, yard space, tree cover, and more may affect which solar product you choose for your home or business. 


Roof Mount Solar Panels

  • May void roof warranty

  • Do not replace your roof

  • It May look unsightly from the street

  • Difficult to access if there is a roof problem


Ground Mount Solar Panels

  • Take up potentially valuable yard space

  • Easy to access

  • Will not void roof warranty

  • Since they are mounted lower, tree cover and buildings may obscure direct sunlight


Solar Shingles

  • Replace the roof on your home

  • Typically are mounted to roof decking

  • Not as noticeable and less weight

Schedule a Roof Inspection With Kearns Brothers Before Installing Solar 

Kearns Brothers is an award-winning roofing company covering southeast Michigan. If you need a roof inspection before solar installation, our team of expert roofing specialists would be happy to deliver an assessment of your roof system. Contact us today!