Solar panels are great for you if you are looking to save your pocket as well as your planet. They last for 25-plus years and are easy to use. However, you can come across times when solar panel removal and reinstallation become necessary. This happens mostly when you need to perform maintenance on your roof or on other equipment located in that area. If you are facing this very scenario right now that we are here to explain this entire process to you. In this article, you will learn about the tools required for solar panel removal and reinstall process, solar panel removal cost, etc.
What is Solar Panel Removal and Reinstall Process?
After you have hired a professional solar panel removal company, solar panel removal and reinstall process is pretty straightforward. This is a description of what happens during this process-
1. Visiting Home Site
This is the first step in the process of solar panel removal as well as reinstallation.
Solar experts visit your home site and analyze its situation. They try to get a good understanding of your needs and then give you a solar panel removal cost. They also inform you about the time frame required to complete the roofing work. You can coordinate these details with the roofing expert you are going to hire.
Your work will be even easier if the solar company you hired helps you hire a roofing company as well. Once you are ok with the various timeframes for the project, you should sign the necessary paperwork with both roofing and solar companies. Pay special attention while signing anything that may void your warranties and current contract in the future.
2. Removal and Storage
To remove solar panels from your roof, the solar company sends out some experienced technicians. If the project is expected to take a longer time to complete, storage of your solar panels is very necessary.
After the solar experts remove the removed including the mounting hardware, they will conduct a thorough assessment of the condition of the roof, solar panel, and hardware. During this step, you’ll learn if your panels and mounting hardware needs repair or replacement.
Depending on the condition of your solar panels, roof, and mounting hardware, the experts may need to revise the initial cost, timelines, plans, and other terms and conditions agreed to when signing the paperwork.
Additionally, this is the best time for the roofing company to assess the condition of your roof. If the roofing company sees some unidentified problem, they can provide an updated recommendation on the extent of repair needed.
The relocation needs of your panels depend on the details of your project. If you are moving homes and want to bring your solar power system with you, the overall time required to complete the project will be more. You’ll need more time to remove, store, transport, and reinstall the panels.
You’ll most likely need to use new hardware after relocating your solar panels because each solar power installation is customized to the unique shape and design of your roof. This is also why it’s essential to stay in regular communication with your solar installer and the company working on your roof. It makes everyone coordinated and aligned during the project.
4. Repair Work
During this step, any solar panel or roofing issue is fixed. The time frame of this process depends on the level of preparedness of the companies you picked, the extent of repairs needed, and the current weather conditions.
This work can include-
- Replacement or repair of the old roof.
- Replacement or repair of your solar panels.
- Replacement of damaged hardware.
- Confirm if the repairs are successful.
- Reinstallation and Review
Your solar panels will be placed in their right positions on the roof when the roof is back in condition or when the panel has been repaired. They can be placed in their previous location. However, if the solar installer feels further improvements can be made they may also recommend another design or upgraded equipment.
Often, reinstalling solar panels involve having brand-new flashing installed. This is to ensure that you enjoy the maximum possible lifespan for your system. This also prevents additional repair needs in the future.
The system will be reviewed once your solar panels are on the roof. This is to guarantee that everything works properly. Make sure to check that nothing was missed during the reinstallation. Especially, check your solar panel system’s capability to generate electricity, and if you have any excess generation to battery storage, islanding, and more. To ensure that your system is connected properly to the electricity grid, the solar company will also consult with your local utility company.
Also Read: How to Check If Solar Panel is Charging Battery?
What is Solar Panel Removal Cost?
Before the solar panel removal and reinstall process, it’s very necessary to get an overall estimation of solar panel removal cost so that the whole project doesn’t burn holes in your pocket. The solar panel removal cost depends on these two points-
- If You Are Leasing the Solar Panel: In such a case, you might be charged with a penalty for removing panels before the end of your contract. According to LandGate Resources, a lease is usually for 25 years and the solar developer is responsible for doing the actual removal if the lease is up or terminated early.
- If You Own the Solar Panels: In such a case, solar panel removal will cost you around $300 to $500. However, if the panels or their glass needs repairing, be ready to pay an additional amount. Depending on the extent of damage, the amount can be anywhere between $200 to $1000.
This table here offers the breakdown of costs for removing solar panels. The average home has 20 to 25 panels-
|Task||Cost||When Does It Apply|
|Shipping panels to a new location||$150 to $400||It applies only when you are moving the panels to a new house. The final amount depends on the number of solar panels and how far they need to be moved.|
|Roof replacement||$10,000 to $20,000||It applies only when the roof has been badly damaged or reached the end of its lifespan.|
|Roof Repair||$150 to $1,500 for minor repairs, up to $7,000 for major repairs||It applies only when your roof has been damaged.|
|Reinstallation and reactivation||$50 to $75 per panel||It applies only if you are planning on replacing or relocating your solar panels.|
|Remove mounting hardware||$25 per panel||It applies whenever you are fully removing solar panels.|
|Uninstall and disconnect panels||$50 to $75 per panel||It applies whenever you are fully removing solar panels.|
When is Solar Panel Removal Necessary?
There are visible warning signs that tell you that your panels have failed, are failing, or need to be removed. Here are some points you need to keep an eye on-
- If your panels are not creating as much energy as they used to or if your electricity bill is going up, it’s a sign that your panels are not working as efficiently as they used to.
- If your community has experienced a major storm, make sure to check if the panels have been damaged. If they have, you should think about replacing them. However, this doesn’t mean that the entire system needs replacement.
- If you see strange discoloration on the panels, they may be a sign of uneven temperature distribution on the panel. This uneven temperature distribution can happen due to corrosion of the panels. After this, let’s see-does removing solar panels damage roof.
Also See: How to Test a Solar Panel With a Multimeter?
Does Removing Solar Panels Damage Roof?
Yes, removing solar panels can be dangerous and cause roof damage. However, it only causes roof damage when it’s not performed by properly licensed professionals. Keep in mind that damage to the panels and improper repair of holes left by the mounting can void roof warranties. This should have perfectly answered does removing solar panels damages the roof.
Can I Remove and Reinstall My Solar Panels Myself?
Well, if you have a feeling that you can remove and reinstall solar panels, think about it again. Doing such a project on your own without proper expertise and tools can be very risky. Solar panel removal and reinstall process require the use of special equipment and such equipment can be very expensive for any average homeowner. Additionally, performing DIY solar panel projects can void your contracts and warranties.
Any solar panel system is a complex and intricate power plant with electrical connections that can only be handled by solar experts. A solar panel system is a large investment and considering that you should only let experienced solar installers handle your solar panels and perform solar panel removal service.
Moreover, to remove and reinstall solar panels you’ll need to go through a complicated reinstalling process that’s best navigated by a qualified solar installer. As your solar panel system is connected to the electrical grid, such permits are mandatory. It’s best to go for licensed installers as they help to expedite those permits. Using a professional solar company will ensure that your solar panel removal as well as reinstallation is successful.
Always engage a reputable solar company for your solar panel removal and reinstall project. There are many companies in the market that claim that they can handle the entire roof project, including solar panel removal as well as reinstallation, however, these companies lack the basic expertise to remove and reinstall solar panels correctly every time. So, always choose wisely.
Also Read: 100 Watt Solar Panel Output on Cloudy Day
How Long Can the Project Take?
Without large solar arrays on your roof, it will take a day to remove the solar panels and another day to reinstall them. You also have to take into account the time needed to do the repairs, whether it’s the solar panel system, your roof, or whatever else you might need. Typically, it takes close to three days to complete such a project. One day is spent removing the panels, the next day is for completing the project, and on the last day, solar panels are reinstalled.
Major repair work can obviously stretch the typical 3-day time frame. Have transparent and clear communication with the companies involved to get a perfect estimate of when the project will be complete. This will also help you be aware of the potential changes in the project timeline. After this, let’s learn how to find an experienced solar panel removal company.
Also Read: How Long Do Solar Generators Last?
How to Find an Experienced Solar Panel Removal Company?
The process of choosing a good solar panel removal company is the same as choosing your installer. Make sure that the solar company has proven experience and a good reputation. Along with the right expertise for this type of project, their team should also understand the importance of reinstalling your system so that it’s producing energy as quickly as possible. They should ensure that you miss as little production time as possible.
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