System Removal & Re-Installation
Solar system removals and re-installations (called R&Rs in the industry) are required when major roof repairs need to be done or the roofing material needs to be replaced. Blackline Power has completed many R&Rs, both for our own clients and for those who had their system installed by other companies. Typically we provide a labour quote up front and then inform you of any additional material costs after the system is removed. While we do our best to remove all materials carefully, sometimes parts/wires need to be replaced. This is particularly true for flashing on asphalt roofs. See the adjacent picture. The role of flashing is to provide a waterproof seal and it is installed at points where the solar racking attaches to the roof. A metal plate is slid underneath the shingles to redirect any water flow away from the roof penetration. A 10 kW solar system could have ~70-100 pieces of flashing and unfortunately, it does not stand up well to removal. Solar systems on steel roofs tend to be less expensive to remove and re-install as there is simply a gasket seal on the footing that attaches to the roof, or there are no penetrations at all if it is standing seam. In over 10 years of installing solar, we have never had a roof leak. When you choose a contractor for your initial solar installation or for an R&R, ensure that they are highly experienced and don’t cut corners when it comes to protecting your roof!
- Before installing a solar system, evaluate your roof. If the shingles are near the end of their life expectancy, it’s likely best to replace them first. If they are midway, you have a decision to make. Do you feel that the benefits of having solar now outweigh the costs of an R&R in ~10 years? How long do you expect to live at the property? Keep in mind that solar systems tend to prolong the life of the roof by protecting it from sun, wind and snow so the roof may last longer than anticipated.
- If you decide to replace your roof, we highly recommend you consider steel. Like solar systems, steel roofs should last for over 30 years, and unlike asphalt, steel is 100% recyclable. We prefer traditional sheet steel such as VicWest or standing seam. If you like a fancier steel product, contact us first to confirm that we can install on it properly and that the roof attachments will be in your price range.
- Once you choose a roofing contractor, we should discuss the timing of the job with them to ensure both our schedules can be accommodated and that the roof isn’t exposed for any length of time.
Contact us to discuss your solar options and request an estimate.
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