Essential Action Steps to Take When Preparing to Remove Solar Panels for Roof Repair

Solar panels generally have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. This means that your solar panels will most likely outlast your roof unless you get both installed at the same time. Because of this, you will probably find the need to remove your solar panels at least once in order to get your roof repaired or replaced.

While it may seem tempting to DIY your solar panel removal and reinstallation, the task is one that requires specialized tools and experience, and therefore, is better left to professional New York solar companies. To make the removal of solar panels a breeze, here are 7 essential pre-removal steps you should take.

Solar Panel Removal for Roof Repair – 7 Essential Steps to Take Before You Begin

Removing and reinstalling solar panels can be a long and time-consuming process, especially with all the roofing work that will be completed in between. Depending on how major the required roofing work is, the entire process could easily stretch over from a few weeks to even months. However, to make the process more efficient and productive, here are 5 things you can do before the removal of solar panels begins.

Have a Chat with Your Solar Installer

Unless you opted for a DIY solar installation, which we highly recommend that you avoid, you will have previously worked with a solar installation company in New York to get your solar system up and running.

It is best to rehire your previous solar company for the removal of solar panels since they have already worked on your property before and therefore, would be aware of all the technicalities and special requirements, if any, involved with your system. This can help ensure a smooth and timely process.

In the case that your previous solar installer has gone out of business or you weren’t satisfied with their services, find a good replacement company such as Solar Medix to help you out. In any case, do not attempt a DIY removal of solar panels as you risk not only damaging the solar panels but also risk injuring yourself.

Having said that, reach out to your previous installer and go over all the steps involved in the solar panel removal process and ask them for any prerequisite measures you should take to prevent any delays in the process.

By discussing with professional New York solar companies, you can also determine whether or not your entire system has to be removed or will removing only a few certain panels will do. In addition, you can also get a rough estimate for the timeline and cost of the process.

Brace Yourself for an Inflated Utility Bill

With your solar panels disconnected and therefore, inactive, you will be entirely dependent on your utility to accommodate your energy requirements. This means that all the energy consumed on your property during the time in which your panels are disconnected will be coming from the grid.

Because of this, you’ll be consuming more units of grid-supplied electricity, naturally, leading to an inflated utility bill. There are two ways you can go about this situation. First, you could temporarily refrain from using energy-draining appliances. One way to do this would be to schedule your solar removal far from the chilly winters of New York. Perhaps during the summer or spring when the weather is great and you need heaters or air conditioning to keep your home livable.

The second approach would be to adjust the high utility into your budget for the solar panel removal and consider it to be just another miscellaneous expense of the process. While this won’t do anything, it’s better to be mentally prepared nonetheless.

Solar Panels Can Be Quite Heavy

Perhaps the thin and compact size of some solar panels has inclined you towards believing that solar panels are lightweight and nimble, well then this may be news to you that solar panels can actually be quite heavy. This is why it can take a great deal of effort to haul solar panels onto your roof during reinstallation as well as to lower them onto the ground during removal.

Professional New York solar installers compensate for the weight with specialized tools and equipment as well as skills and expertise acquired through years of field experience. An average homeowner, on the other end, will find it very difficult to handle the panels while maintaining the safety of the panels and of themselves. This is one of the main reasons why we recommend hiring a professional for the job.

Once the panels are safely on the ground, you’ll also need to carry and move them to a sheltered room for safekeeping until your roof is under repair. Knowing this, you should be prepared to handle bulky devices if you’re going for a DIY removal of solar panels.

Think about Recycling

Some solar owners might find it advisable to have some of their poorly-performing or damaged solar panels replaced since they are already having them dismantled for making roof repairs or for some other reason.

One of the biggest plus points of solar technology over other power-generating sources is that the majority of components in a solar panel can be recycled once a panel has reached the end of its life. As such, if you’re contemplating having one or more of your solar panels replaced with new ones, consider having your old ones recycled.

Doing so will help protect the environment, conserve valuable resources such as water and minerals, and might even fetch you a fair price for your old panels.


Regardless of why you’re having your solar panels removed, be it to make roof repairs, repair the solar panels themselves, or relocate them to a new home, you’ll most likely have to store them for a day or two at the least.

However, you can’t just store your panels anywhere. These are delicate and sensitive devices and even the slightest mishandling or damage sustained in storage can detract their performance substantially. That is why it is important for you to arrange a proper and safe storage area for your solar panels until they are ready to be reinstalled. A weather-proofed garage, for instance, would be a good choice.

Just be sure to choose a place where rodents such as squirrels or rats can’t access your panels since these pesky creatures tend to chew up the wiring and may damage other parts of the panels as well.

Get Your Roofing and Solar Companies to Collaborate

Clearly communicating the schedule for the solar and roofing work between both companies involved in the process is an excellent way to prevent overlaps and delays in the project. Your roofer should be well aware of when the removal of solar panels will be completed so that they can begin the roofing work accordingly without delay.

Similarly, your solar installer should also know when the roofing will end so that they can proceed with the reinstallation without delay. A possible and easier alternative would be to hire anyone of the New York solar companies that have roofing partners. This allows you to get your entire project completed from just one company.

Get Your Roof Inspected by a Certified Roofing Company

Getting your roof inspected by a reputable and certified roofing company is an excellent way to estimate the duration of your project and map out a timeline for the entire process, from the removal of solar panels all the way to their reinstallation.

An expert evaluation of your roof will be able to offer you much more accurate and detailed insight regarding what repairs your roof requires and how long each of them might take. This would be much more reliable and precise than what a DIY guide on the internet will be able to tell you.

An inspection by a professional will also provide you with a much more accurate value for the net expense of repairing your roof. With this information, you can plan your budget accordingly and make any adjustments to the project such as holding off on some unnecessary repairs, etc.

Having your roof inspected before the removal of solar panels is generally a smarter route to take since it reduces the downtime of your New York solar system and hence the duration for which you have to rely on your utility to satisfy your energy needs. All in all, this can help you save some money as well as remain mentally and financially prepared for the project.

Removal of Solar Panels – How Long Does It Take?

The removal of solar panels in and of itself is not a very time-consuming task. As a matter of fact, for a typical residential solar system in New York, the removal of solar panels can be completed in less than two days, usually in a day, in fact. The reinstallation part of the process will also take about the same amount of time to complete, that is one to two days.

Of course, the overall time required for the process relies largely on the time it takes to repair your roof in between the removal and reinstallation of solar panels. The more extensive the roofing work, the longer your project will take.

As a result, estimating how long it will take to remove and reinstall solar panels without first assessing the condition of your roof would be no less than a guessing game. That being said, visiting New York solar companies can get you a pretty close estimate of how long the process might take as well as how much it may cost.

Solar Panel Removal for Roof Repair – 3 Things You Should Keep in Mind

1.      Securing Permission

If your solar panels are leased or were installed on your property as a part of a power purchase agreement (PPA), you’ll likely have to secure permission from the lender before you can remove the solar panels.

Why you ask? Well, the simple answer is that you do not own the system in both the cases mentioned above. As such, your New York solar provider can take legal action against you for violating the terms of your lease or power purchase agreement. In addition, any damages sustained by the solar panels during the removal will likely have to be covered by you.

Furthermore, if your solar panel system is connected to the grid, since net metering is available in New York, you might also have to secure permission from your utility first since the removal of solar panels can affect the grid network.

2.      Your Roofing Work Might Have a Bigger Impact on Your Solar System Than You Might Think

If you’re having some very major repairs and reworking done to your roof, or if you’re remodeling your entire home which involves you getting a new roof, you may face some added complexities in the reinstallation of your solar panels.

Let us explain! Among the many factors that have to be considered when installing a solar panel system, one of the most important ones is the orientation of the roof and the solar panels. To ensure optimal performance, experts recommend positioning your solar panels in a southward-facing direction since this configuration provides maximum sun exposure.

However, with a new roof or structural changes to your previous one, your old mounting setup may not be able to facilitate a southward facing direction requiring you to make adjustments to it by adding or replacing certain components.

3.      Choose an Onsite Location for Storing Removed Solar Panels

Storing your solar panels after they have been removed in an onsite or a nearby location offers two main benefits. First, it reduces the transportation costs that you would have to bear had you stored the panels at a faraway location such as in dedicated storage units.

Secondly, it saves you from the risk of damaging your solar panels during transportation and loading, and unloading.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Easy Is It to Remove Solar Panels?

Removal of solar panels as well as reinstallation is quite easy thanks to their simple design.

Can I Remove Solar Panels Myself?

Removal of solar panels is nearly not as easy as often portrayed in DIY guides. Without the right tools and expertise, you could damage the solar panels as well as injure yourself. That is why it is recommended to enlist the help of one of the best New York solar companies such as Solar Medix.

Can You Uninstall and Reinstall Solar Panels?

Yes. Provided that you have secured all the required permissions, if any, you can uninstall and reinstall solar panels.

What Happens to Roof When You Remove Solar Panels?

If the removal of solar panels is not performed by a certified professional, it can lead to roof damages which can also void your roof warranty. This is another reason why experts recommend hiring a New York solar company for the job.


All the essential tips and steps outlined above should help make the removal of solar panels a breeze. However, it is important that you leave this skillful task to certified and licensed New York solar companies seeing as these professionals have the necessary tools and expertise to remove your solar panels without jeopardizing the safety of the panels or of anyone else at the site.

Our team at Solar Medix is ready to answer your questions and give you a no-obligation price quote. Feel free to call us at 732-785-4814 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

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