Existing Roof and New Solar Panels

I'm looking at getting solar panels installed on my home which is around 35 years old by my guess. I got the drone out to take a close look and the roof appears to be in reasonable condition with the occasional chipped tile.

Any thoughts on if it is worth getting the roof restored or repaired? I figured I'd ask the solar installers to do anything minor themselves.


  • I would assume you should get someone to look at it, I personally can't see it from here.

    • Thanks for that, I'll take a look

      • Roof restoration is just cosmetic unless tiles are broken/leaking. Only worthwhile part is making sure the ridges and caps bedding is in good condition but there wont be any panels there anyway

        I got my roof restored/painted before solar but only because the cement tiles were looking really old and dated

  • The solar installers will quite possibly break some tiles when walking over them. Impossible to guestimate how many as it will depend on the condition of the tiles.
    But, be prepared and get in say 20-30 spares from a second hand building supplies store. It could work out to be cheap insurance, viz. save running around at the last minute.

    • We got a cracked tile when we got solar, and ours are brittle and over 100 years old.
      If your installer is breaking 20-30 something has gone dreadfully wrong!

      • Depends on type & age of tile as to vulnerability to breakage. Also there may well be some existing cracked tiles!

    • Not breaking because of walking over but more so because they grind it down to fit the bracket

  • My home is a lot older than yours and I had no issues getting panels installed.

    Small chips on roof tiles, unless your roof is leaking, can be ignored.

    You must know the installers well if you will be asking them to do maintenance on your roof.

  • I've had solar installed on 3 occasions already, and consistently, I found installers don't give a rats about your tiles.

    From my personal experience, if they break it, they won't report it to you and just silicone it. Most of the time, that's adequate, but if they don't do it properly, a slow leak will develop over time, and subsequent water damage will not be apparent until winter.

    I suggest going to a salvage yard (bring a sample roof tile) and getting at least 30 tiles. On the day of the installation, tell them to just replace any tiles they crack.

    The last time I did this, I was hoping to have some tiles left over as spares, but they used it all up, which made me wonder how many more did they break after they used up all the spares.

  • I just went through this. My view is that you need to do any major work you think will be needed for the next decade before you put solar on. The way I did it was to let the roofer and the solar guy know what I was doing. The roofer came before and fixed it up, the solar guy broke quite a few tiles but replaced most with the spares I had, and the roofer came back and did the few remaining - essentially where they were concreted/pointed. You wouldn’t think the solar guy would go near the pointing but he did. I think there is a great opportunity for partnerships between roofers and solar guys if anyone took it up.