How to Prepare Your Roof for Solar Panels

There are a few bits of basic preparation that might be required on your home or building ahead of solar panel installation, and your roof is one of the most common examples. Roof-mounted solar panel systems are by far the most common type used today, and there may be just a few ways in which your roof needs to be prepped ahead of solar panel installation.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to offer a huge range of commercial and residential solar panel installation and other solar power services to clients across Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho, plus nearby areas. We'll walk you through every important part of installation for your solar panels, including basic roof prep - which we're happy to assist with in any ways necessary. Whether on your own or with our help wherever necessary, here are some basics on the kinds of roof prep that need to be done before solar panel installation.

Basic Inspection

First and foremost, a thorough roof inspection is necessary before any solar panel installation. This will ensure that the roof is structurally sound enough to support the weight of the panels and that there are no existing damages or issues that could cause problems during or after installation. Any necessary repairs or reinforcements can be taken care of during this time.

Additionally, the inspection will also help determine the best location for solar panel placement on your roof. Factors such as shading, orientation, and pitch should all be considered during this process.


Next, it's important to make sure the roof is clean before installation. This means removing any debris or buildup that could affect the panels or their performance. This can include leaves, branches, and dirt, as well as any moss or algae that may be growing on the roof. A clean surface will ensure a secure and efficient installation.

An unclean surface, on the other hand, can cause issues with the mounting of the panels and even lead to damage over time. It's also important to regularly clean your roof after installation to maintain its efficiency.


In some cases, additional reinforcements may be needed to support the weight of solar panels on the roof. This is particularly common for older roofs or those that have sustained damage in the past. Reinforcements such as extra framing or support beams can be added to ensure the roof is strong enough to hold the panels securely in place.

Age and Condition

Another important factor to consider is the age and condition of your roof. While solar panels can last for decades, they are typically installed on roofs with a remaining lifespan of at least 10-15 years. If your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it may be more cost-effective to replace it before installing solar panels.

Permits and Regulations

It's also important to check with your local government for any permits or regulations that may be required for solar panel installation. Depending on the size and type of system you're installing, there may be specific codes and guidelines that need to be followed.

Ensuring Access

From a practical standpoint, it's important to make sure there is easy access to the roof for installation and future maintenance. This may involve trimming back trees or moving obstacles that could impede access.

This could also include ensuring proper roof access through attic or crawl space hatches. Any necessary modifications should be made before installation begins.

Informing All Occupants

While this may sound obvious to some, it's important to inform all occupants of the building before installing solar panels. This includes both residents and any workers or tenants who may be affected by the installation process. Clear communication is key to minimizing disruptions and ensuring a smooth installation process.

This is particularly important for multi-family buildings or commercial properties where there may be multiple tenants with different schedules and needs.

Confirm Timing

Finally, it's important to confirm the timing of the installation with your solar panel contractor. This will ensure that all necessary preparations have been made and that everyone is on the same page for when installation will take place.

It's also a good idea to plan for potential weather delays or other unexpected circumstances, so that you can be prepared in case of any changes to the timeline.

Overall, proper roof prep is essential for a successful and long-lasting solar panel installation. By following these basic steps and working with a trusted solar panel company, you can ensure that your panels are installed securely and efficiently on your roof. And once the panels are in place, you can enjoy the numerous benefits of clean, renewable energy for many years to come.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we are committed to providing our clients in SLC, Utah and Boise, Idaho with the highest quality solar panel installation services and helping them achieve their energy goals. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you make the switch to solar power!

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