Solar panels are a great way to save money and protect the environment by saving 1.3-1.6 tons of carbon per year, but what happens when they need to be removed? Solar panel removal isn’t as simple as just taking them off, is it?
Many steps are involved in removing solar panels from your roof safely and efficiently. This guide will walk you through the process step by step.
- 1 Can I Remove Solar Panels Myself?
- 2 How Does the Process Work?
- 3 How Long Does Solar Panel Removal Take?
- 4 How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels?
- 5 Does Removing Solar Panels Damage the Roof?
- 6 The Bottom Line
Can I Remove Solar Panels Myself?
First things first, you’re probably thinking about whether or not you can remove solar panels yourself. The answer is yes if you’re familiar with how solar panels work in terms of installation and removal and have the necessary equipment, but this isn’t something to be taken lightly.
The average homeowner should hire a professional to remove their solar panels because of the dangers that come with climbing onto your roof and working at dangerous heights. Also, not only is there a risk of personal injury, but also damage to the roof and panels (which could cost you your warranty). If anything were to happen, you wouldn’t want to be held liable.
Instead, professionals are trained for these jobs and know how to handle them safely.
How Does the Process Work?
So, when you decide to hire someone, you might have some questions about the process. Here’s an overview of the steps that it entails:
1. Home Site Visit
The first thing a solar panel removal company will do is come to your home and inspect the location of the panels. They’ll want to know how many you have, what type of roof they’re installed on, and where special equipment might need to be placed. This is also when the company will talk about costs and plans for removal based on how much work needs to be done.
They’ll examine the roof before anything else, looking for potential dangers. They’ll also want to inspect how easy it is to access the roof so that they can get in there quickly during the job.
But it’s not just that – they’ll also assess the solar panel in terms of condition, how old it is, and how much work will be involved in the removal process.
After they’ve assessed all of this, they’ll provide:
- An estimate or quote on what the job will entail.
- Their rate for it.
- A timeframe of when they can do it.
2. Solar Panel Disassembly and Removal
Once the company’s technicians begin work, they’ll basically disassemble the solar panel from the roof’s surface without damaging it or the roof itself. Then, they’ll move it to their workshop or facility safely. If not, storage on the site is an option.
The removal includes the panels, mounts, wiring, and inverters. Once that’s completed, the second round of assessment will take place. This time, the panel company will take another look at the roof to make sure there aren’t any potential problems if they put new panels up and that the roof is still in good condition.
Also, the existing panel itself is examined to determine what kind of condition it’s in and whether it can be resold, reused, or recycled. Some panels are sold to other companies, while others are entirely recycled.
After that, the company will work with you to determine if any repairs or replacements are needed on the roof before setting up new panels for maximum energy production and efficiency. That’s assuming you still want to go solar. If not, the whole process is over.
Repairs include anything from skylight replacements to insulation work. They could also be for the solar panels themselves if you’re keen on keeping the same ones and not opting for new ones.
But if you decide to go for new solar panels, the company may be providing new solar panels with their services, in which case they’ll also handle all of the installation procedures.
4. Solar Panel Installation/Re-Installation
If you want to continue with solar power, then it’s time to install the new panels or put the old ones back up!
The technicians will set up all of your pre-determined hardware on the roof and reinstall everything that was removed earlier. This includes wiring, inverters, mounts, and other components. Then, they’ll inspect the entire system to make sure it’s working properly and that everything is in its right place.
Finally, the panels will be hooked up to your existing system for electricity generation. Then, you’ll just need to set up your account with the company if it’s not already done so to set up the monitoring for billing, energy usage, and so on (you know the drill!).
In contrast, if you’re merely reinstalling existing panels, the only difference is that the technicians will probably install new flashing to ensure the longevity of the roof and panels. The panels will also probably be hooked up to your current system instead of setting up a new one. But other than that, it’s really no different.
How Long Does Solar Panel Removal Take?
Typically, solar panel removal takes about three days in total. More specifically, though, it varies based on whether you’re having the entire process done (removal-repair-installation) or just the removal part.
The removal part can take anywhere from a single day to a couple of days, depending on what’s involved and how much work it is. But usually, a single day is enough. The other two days allow for any potential repairs to be completed and give the company time to set up the new panels that will go on after they’re removed.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels?
The cost of solar panel removal can vary quite a bit depending on what you’re having done and where. But the base rate typically starts anywhere from £500 to £650, along with £100 to disconnect the panel safely from your electric system.
Of course, you’ll have to factor in any other fees or potential charges – such as if any roof repairs need to be done first – and the cost will vary from company to company. Some companies include all fees in their base rate while others may not, so just be sure you’re aware of all charges ahead of time.
Does Removing Solar Panels Damage the Roof?
The short answer is no; removing solar panels generally won’t damage your roof. Yet, the actual work needs to be done by professionals who know what they’re doing. These professionals use special tools and techniques that will make the process as safe and painless as possible for both you and your roof.
If you don’t hire someone to remove and replace solar panels and attempt it on your own, there’s a good chance you’ll damage the roof, yes.
The Bottom Line
Solar panel removal isn’t difficult, but it does require expertise and special equipment. With that being so, you might want to hire a solar panel removal company instead of attempting to do it yourself. That way, you can rest assured that you’re getting the job done right.
After all, a solar installation is a long-term investment. You don’t want to cut corners or make mistakes that could decrease your energy output, increase your monthly power bills, or even damage the equipment!
So, if you want to remove solar panels from your rooftop or commercial installation, be sure to look into a professional company—so you can enjoy cost savings without worrying about costly mistakes!