How to Remove Solar Panels From a Roof?

You might also need to remove and reinstall solar panels because of home repairs in and around the rooftop. Examples include when you’re working on trees, satellite dishes, electrical wires, the attic, and your HVAC system.

As more homeowners invest in solar panels, the way roofs are done is changing over time. If you install solar panels on your roof, you’ll need to have them removed to replace the roofing material, decking, and other components whenever the time comes.

The process of removing solar panels involves unhooking the solar power generation system, uninstalling the hardware that holds the panels in place, and then detaching and storing the panels safely until it is time to reattach them.

The size and type of solar panels installed affects the cost and labor of the project. Solar panel removal services should be employed to complete the project as the average roofer is unfamiliar with the intricate inner workings of the modern solar panel system.

Reasons to Remove Solar Panels

You might also need to remove and reinstall solar panels because of home repairs in and around the rooftop. Examples include when you’re working on trees, satellite dishes, electrical wires, the attic, and your HVAC system.

While uncommon, there are instances where you may need to remove your solar panels from your home. It is recommended that a new canopy be installed or repairs made prior to installing the panels to eliminate these problems. However, problems can arise that may require you to remove the panels.

This may include repairing roof damage after the panels were installed or replacing a roof that had problems after the panels were installed. Because solar panels can last for years, some roofs deteriorate.

If your solar panel system is old, outdated, or no longer working, you may want to remove it. You can remove it if it no longer works or you want to replace it with a newer system. While in some cases it is cheaper to move existing panels to a new home than to purchase new panels, some people are able to move their panels to a new home.

Can I remove and reinstall my solar panels myself?

You may feel confident enough to remove and reinstall solar panels yourself, but doing so without the right tools or expertise can be very risky. This task requires the use of specialized equipment that can be expensive for the average homeowner to acquire. Also attempting DIY solar panel projects can void your contracts and warranties.

A solar panel system is an intricate and complex power plant with electrical connections that only solar experts should handle. Considering that a solar panel system is a large investment, it makes sense to only let experienced solar installers handle your solar panels and perform this solar panel removal service.

Additionally, removing and reinstalling solar panels involves a complicated permitting process that is best performed by a qualified solar installer. The permits are mandatory as your solar panel system is connected to the grid and a licensed installer has the experience to expedite these permits. Therefore, hiring a professional solar contractor can help ensure your solar panel removal and reinstallation is successful.

Despite claiming that they can handle the entire roofing project, including solar panel removal and reinstallation, many roofing companies lack the expertise necessary to correctly remove and reinstall solar panels every time.

Cost to Remove Solar Panels

The cost of removing the panels is actually a bit more complicated than it first appears. Your method of purchasing the panels will largely determine the actual cost. For example, if you have panels installed in your home as part of a solar lease or other agreement, you could be charged for removing the panels before your contract ends. For example, a homeowner in Portsmouth, UK, faced a nearly $16,000 fee for removing its panels a year after the end of the contract.

Even if you completely own your panels, just removing them from your roof will cost you around $300-$500. If the panels or glass need to be repaired, expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1000 depending on the extent of the damage.

However, a complete removal, which disconnects the system from the utility main, adds about $100 to the cost. Dismantling the assembly parts also increases the price significantly. You should also budget around $200 to ship the panels to a new location. And if your roof needs repair to plug holes at the installation site, a roof repair can cost you over $600 — or anywhere from $1,500 to $9,000 for a new roof.

Removal of solar panels to replace the roof: 15 panels.

ItemCost per PanelTotal Cost
Uninstall and disconnect panels$27-$40$405-$600
Uninstall mounting hardware$40$600
Reinstall: mounting hardware, panels, and system reconnection$27-$50$405-$750
Total Cost$94-$130$1,410-$1,950

FAQs.

How do you remove solar panels to replace a roof?

Removing solar panels from your home is a relatively easy process, but it is imperative that it is done by a professional. Most insurance companies won’t cover work that’s not expertly done, and amateur work may void the warranty.

How much does it cost to remove and reinstall solar panels?

On average, removing 14 to 16 solar panels and reinstalling them ranges from $2,800 to $4,800. This does not include the cost required to replace or repair the roof.

Will a solar company replace my roof?

Possibly. Some companies provide both roofing and solar panel installation services. This could make your roof replacement much easier and possibly save money. ​ However, many solar companies only handle the solar system, and you need a roofer to handle the rest of the project.

Can I remove my own solar panels?

While it may be technically possible, it is not recommended because the system involves your home’s electrical supply, and the panels and brackets are easily damaged. Your roof may also be damaged in the process, leading to repair costs. It is best to have your solar panels removed by top-rated solar professionals because insurance will likely cover the removal.

Do solar panels void the roof warranty?

Properly installed and fixed solar panels should not void your roof warranty. Also, the work done for the installment of your solar panels is covered under the warranty offered by the installer. ​

Does removing solar panels damage the roof?

If a certified technician removes the solar panels, expect minimum damage. However, if the mounting hardware that holds the panels upright is removed, the exposed openings in the roof must be patched to keep the roof from leaking.

Can solar panels be removed from a roof?

Yes, solar panels can be removed from the roof. This may be done to replace the roof beneath them or move them to a new location.