Voided Roof Warranty From Solar | How to Protect Yourself

November 11, 2022
How Solar Can Void Warranties on your Roof

You may have heard the mattress commercial that says that one-third of your life is spent in bed, so investing in a good mattress would improve your life one-third of the time. Now, let us think about your roof for a minute. Your roof helps keep you warm (or cool), dry, and secure all around the clock. It protects the structure of your house itself, as well as any and all of your home's valuables, including those of your loved ones.

New roofs and solar systems are big investments, so you want to know how to protect them. In particular, it is useful to know how roofing contractors may affect solar warranties, as well as solar power, may affect roof warranties.

The Crew has installed tens of thousands of roofs on homeowners throughout California, as well as thousands of solar systems. Unfortunately, we have seen many roofs and solar systems that were unnecessarily damaged, often resulting in homeowners losing lots of frustration and money. Here's what we learned through the years, along with a few tips on how to keep your home and investments safe.

Workmanship Warranties

A workmanship warranty protects homeowners from damages incurred due to the contractor's errors. This type of warranty typically covers incidents happening within several years after the project has been completed. Nonetheless, all contractors don't offer this same level of coverage; some have more or fewer specifics in order to claim it. To be sure of what you're entitled to, read the details in the fine print before signing anything.

Materials Warranty

A materials warranty comes from the manufacturer of your tiles, shingles, or other roofing products, not the contractor. If a product is found to be faulty, it is replaced without any charge to the homeowner, provided that it was installed properly by the roofing contractor. The duration of a materials warranty will vary. Homeowners frequently purchase an extended warranty from a roofing manufacturer in order to give them peace of mind and increase their home's resale value. If your roofing contractor is certified to sell top-quality roofing products and offers extended warranties through manufacturers, you can more likely trust that your roofing contractor is capable.

High-quality roofing product manufacturers will only certify roof installers they trust for their work. They do not want to place their names, reputations, and money behind substandard workmanship that does not last. The more confidence they put into the roofing contractor, the better warranties that the roofing contractor can provide to its customers. Some manufacturers will even periodically inspect the job their roofer is doing.

Material warranties are provided by manufacturers of equipment - solar panels, inverters, rack systems, and so forth - that make up the solar electrical system. Also called equipment warranties, they protect you from defects in their products, and they can be as long as 25 years.

Power Production Warranties

It is common that the output of a solar panel will drop a little bit over time. Most solar panel manufacturers offer a warranty that guarantees the output of your panels will remain at a certain level over years. It is common for the output of a solar panel to drop a little bit over time, but this warranty ensures that your panels will continue to produce at an acceptable level. The length of the warranty varies depending on the manufacturer, but it is typically around 25 years. This warranty is an important part of solar panel ownership, as it gives you peace of mind that your investment will continue to pay off for years to come.

In most cases, installing solar panels requires drilling dozens of holes in the roof to allow for racking systems and panels to attach correctly. We know that sounds risky, but leaks do not happen when a skilled, seasoned company does the installation, using industry-leading techniques and cladding to seal the holes. Just ask the tens of thousands who are enjoying solar power today without any damage at all to their homes. We can help find these companies for you.

Even the best companies, though, can get it wrong. That is where a warranty comes into play. They protect you from unanticipated damages caused by a solar installer. And if you are unsure of the experience or qualifications of the installer, the protection of warranties is crucial.

In most cases, solar power systems do not have to violate the roof warranties as long as they are installed by a qualifying solar installer that follows the manufacturer's specifications. In fact, solar panels may actually increase the lifespan of your roof - at least, the portion below. The panels absorb the brunt of the heat, wind, rain, and possibly even snow that batters roof tiles or shingles all year long, protecting the rooftop beneath.

However, if a solar panel company does not follow the manufacturer's specifications - either because they are untrained or they are negligent - then your rooftop warranty could well be null and void. We have seen far too many roofs damaged by solar companies that are either ignorant or unconcerned with just how delicate roofing materials are.

Solar installers use improper installation methods or equipment. Incorrectly installing flashing over the penetrations in the roof by the solar installer.

It is heartbreaking to see the damage that can happen when the solar contractor does not respect the roof and work with the roofing contractor. You wouldn't find a contractor scraping the wood flooring you just installed and getting away with it. Maybe they figure that because the roof is mostly out of sight, any damage doesn't really matter, or at least won't be noticed.

But a lot of contractors don't bother. In the end, it is homeowners who end up paying, sometimes finding that 25- or 50-year rooftop warranties are invalidated because the solar installers were negligent.

Read on for tips to better protect yourself, your roof, and your roof warranty once solar is installed.

The possibility of your roofing contractor damaging your solar power system is not as likely as your solar contractors damaging your roof, but it can happen and does. Beware that many solar installers will prohibit anyone - homeowners or other contractors - from removing, fixing, or otherwise touching solar hardware on your roof. If this happens, it is highly possible your solar workmanship warranty will be void.

The Solar Workmanship Warranty puts the Solar Company's money on the line. But if somebody else screws up their work, they'll have no idea what they messed up - they may have moved, disconnected, scratched, etc. And this means that they can no longer guarantee the integrity of your solar power system, nor will provide a workmanship warranty approval.

Read on to learn simple ways you can protect yourself from having a roofer mess up your solar power system. NoMoreLightBills has been connecting people to the right solar companies for years. One of the reasons we got into solar was because of the poor work we saw from many solar companies. If you are looking to install solar, whether it is on or off of a new roof, you will want to strongly consider hiring a company that does both solar and roofing.

Even if you do not want a roof, you can be sure your solar company knows how to work in your house without harming the roof. And should anything -- scuffed shingles or cracked tiles -- come up, there won't be any squabbling between the two contractors because you'll just have one. One roofing company and a solar energy company will easily fix any roof damage.

If down the line you do need to do some roofing repairs, once you install your solar, you do not need to worry that your roof crew ruined the solar warranty while working around panels and wires. Finally, by working with a single contractor, you'll have one company backing the warranties on both your roof and your solar, providing you with the complete protection you need to protect your investment in your home.

Here are a few tips for protecting yourself and getting the most from your roof and solar warranties.

  1. Choose a roofing contractor who offers long-term labor warranties.
  2. Find a roofer who offers a longer warranty on materials from manufacturers.
  3. Get and read a warranty before signing the contract. Find out whether or not the warranty covers the work.
  4. Ask about the impact that solar could have on your roof warranty, just in case you decide to go solar later. Consider hiring a company that does both solar and roofing.
  5. Call your roofer or your manufacturer's shingles or tiles manufacturer to find out whether or not solar can invalidate the roof's warranty.
  6. Get and read your solar warranties before signing your agreement. Find out whether or not the solar warranties cover the cost of the work.
  7. Ask the solar installer how they sealed the holes they made on the roof. They should be using proper weather stripping and weather sealing.

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