How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels to Replace Roof?

Average range: $2,000 - $3,000
Low
$1,000
Average Cost
$2,500
High
$20,000
(Solar panel removal, offsite shipment, and removal of mounting hardware)

Get free estimates from solar energy contractors near you
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How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels to Replace Roof?

Average range: $2,000 - $3,000
Low
$1,000
Average Cost
$2,500
High
$20,000
(Solar panel removal, offsite shipment, and removal of mounting hardware)

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by Fixr.com.

Solar panels provide affordable electricity for many homes. This energy source is popular today and provides an efficient source of reliable, renewable, and clean energy because these systems generate their own power. Solar panels allow you to save money by paying less to the electric company to use less of the electric grid. They also may allow you to get a tax credit from the federal government. Unfortunately, adding solar panels to your home’s roof means higher maintenance costs because the panels must first be removed before replacing your roof.

The national average cost for removing 14 to 16 solar panels for a 1,500 sq.ft. roof is between $2,000 and $3,000. Most people pay around $2,500 for removal, offsite shipment, and removal of mounting hardware. At the low end of the spectrum, however, you can opt only to have the solar panels disconnected and removed for $1,000. At the high end, you can pay up to $20,000 to have solar panels removed and the roof completely replaced.

Cost to Remove Solar Panels

Solar Panel Removal Cost
National average cost$2,500
Average range$2,000-$3,000
Minimum cost$1,000
Maximum cost$20,000


Removing Solar Panels to Replace Roof Cost by Project Range

Low
$1,000
Disconnection and removal of equipment
Average Cost
$2,500
Solar panel removal, offsite shipment, and removal of mounting hardware
High
$20,000
Removal and complete replacement of roof

Cost to Remove Solar Panels to Replace Roof

On average, the cost of removing and reinstalling 14 to 16 solar panels from a 1,500 sq.ft. roof is $2,000 to $3,000, not including roof replacement. Labor makes most of the cost. It generally takes three to five days to remove the panels and eight to ten days to replace them once the new roof is installed. Removing a roof is best undertaken by a licensed and certified roofing professional. In most cases, the company that replaces your roof won’t be the company that removes your panels. However, some companies offer roofing and solar panel services.

Removing the panels is easy to do, but a skilled contractor should do it. The most important thing for a contractor to do is to disconnect the solar system from the power supply, including the grid, the breakers, and the metering appliance. After this, the individual panels need to be detached from one another. Once all the parts are disconnected, the panels are removed from the rooftop mounting hardware and carefully lowered to the ground. Mounting hardware, electrical cables, and wires are then removed from the roof.

Several factors affect the removal costs. The location of the panels may increase removal costs because contractors may require additional hours or extra laborers for more difficult locations. If your roof pitch is steep, this requires more time and labor to remove the panels and increases costs. Finally, a larger array of solar panel systems takes more time for removal, increasing labor and driving up costs.


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Cost to Remove and Reinstall Solar Panels

Occasionally, solar panels need to be removed for reasons other than roof replacement, such as relocating to a new home or repairing them. The cost to remove solar energy panels costs $2,000 to $3,000 but increases to $4,000 to $8,000 or more if you plan to reinstall them to a new home. If repairs need to be made, these are not included in the price of removal and reinstallation. When considering whether to transfer panels to your new home, it may be a good idea to leave the panels behind and transfer them to the new homeowner. The costs to transfer a solar system to your new home will cost about the same as installing a new system in your new home.


Technician Replacing Solar Panels After Roof Replacement


How to Tell if Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

Even though most roofs only need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years or longer, it is a good idea to have regular inspections, especially if you want to avoid a cold, uncomfortable, and leaky home. Roof inspections help with the early detection of roofing issues. A roof inspector can help you save money by proactively addressing issues before they get out of hand.

If your roof is older than 20 years, particularly if it is an asphalt shingle roof, it may be time to replace it whether you see visible damage or not. If you notice your asphalt shingles cupping or curling, this could indicate that there is water leakage or moisture issues present. Missing or cracked shingles may not indicate that the entire roof needs to be replaced, but they should be replaced as soon as possible. Shingles protect the roof decking. If shingles are missing, this can cause rotting, which exposes your home to leaks.

Sometimes roof issues are not apparent. In these instances, a roofing contractor needs to inspect your roof. For instance, you may have missing granules that make the roof more susceptible to fire. There also may be significant moss or algae growth on your roof. This can be removed with pressure washing. However, if the moss and algae are thick, they may cause roof damage. Excessive growth may indicate that there is a moisture problem.

Visible sunlight in the attic is a very serious issue that needs to be fixed immediately. It exposes your home to serious leaks and roof rot. Openings in the roof make your home less energy-efficient and increase your energy bills. Sometimes these openings come from general wear from an aging roof, but they could also indicate a pest problem. Another major roof issue that needs immediate attention is a sagging roof. This indicates major structural damage that only an experienced roofer can resolve.


Contractor Removing Solar Panels from a Tiled Roof


Replacing Roof Shingles With Solar Panels

The average price to install new roof solar shingles ranges from $21 to $25, including labor, totaling $31,500 for a 1,500 sq.ft. roof. Compared to installing a shingles roof for $6,960 and adding new solar panels for $18,000, this seems to be more cost-effective than installing solar shingles. It can be tempting to get solar shingles because combining roof replacement and solar energy eliminates the need to spend money on both. However, since so few contractors offer solar shingles, the price is very steep. Also, since solar shingles need more coverage area to produce the same amount of electricity as panels, they aren’t as effective.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Solar Panel Cleaning Prices

The average cost of cleaning solar panels is $15 to $35 per panel. Many people opt to clean their solar panels before reinstalling them. The glass panels get very dirty over time. This interferes with the system’s ability to receive and convert solar energy. Mold or mildew can grow on the panels and block reception. Even bird poop can build up on the panels over time and prevent them from functioning at an optimal rate.

Solar Panel Storage

The average cost of solar panel shipment and off-site storage is around $250. Removing solar panels is a relatively easy process, but a professional needs to do it. The panels contain electrical parts that can easily be damaged if not handled correctly. Panels removed from the roof require a safe storage place to avoid any damage. After all the panels are removed and racked, they are safely bundled and stored onsite. Suppose there is no appropriate storage location at the property. Contractors offer an option to transport and store the panels, racking, and all related hardware offsite at their warehouse for an additional cost.

Solar Panel Repair Cost

The cost to repair solar panel issues can go from $20 to $3,000, depending on the problem. Some of the cheapest repairs are broken glass or loose wiring. Conversely, a broken inverter and damaged tiling are among the most expensive. If a solar panel company sees these types of problems or more with your panels, they need to fix them before reinstalling the panels. When repair issues are extensive, they may encourage you to upgrade the system entirely. This is especially possible if you have a system that is 25 to 30 years old. If possible, it is best to work with the company that installed your panels when making repairs. They will be most knowledgeable about the equipment and the repairs needed.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Roofing. Many solar installation companies do not provide roofing services, although exceptions exist. A few companies, such as Tesla and Certainteed, offer solar roof shingles, but the costs are much higher than replacing a roof and installing solar panels.
  • Roof and solar installation. When the solar installation is paired with roof replacement, the solar panels increase the life of the portion of the roof that they cover. When going for solar installation and roof replacement together, you have the added benefit of a new roof. It is highly unlikely that you will need a roof replacement during the lifetime of the installed solar system.
  • Warranties. Many companies offer warranty coverage for your roof where the panels are located. The warranty has a minimum duration of 10 years but varies from company to company. At the time of installation and before a contract is signed, confirm with the installation company whether they offer a warranty for the roof and the duration of that warranty.
  • Solar shingles. Solar roofing shingles are increasing in popularity for aesthetic reasons. The thin solar shingles lie flat on the roof. They appear more like a standard rooftop and save time and money because they require only one installation crew and a single product for solar energy production and roofing.
  • Certified professionals. Solar systems and related electrical equipment are complicated and require proper handling to prevent damage and costly future repairs. Only certified solar professionals can remove or reinstall your solar system. Not using certified professionals is unsafe and may void your warranties and your insurance coverage.
  • DIY. DIY solar panel removal is a daunting and risky task requiring expertise, skills, and potential certifications to do the job properly. You are responsible for anything that goes wrong. We do not recommend performing this task yourself.
  • Solar panel removal companies. If you have solar panels on your roof and you need to have your roof repaired, you will need to contact a solar panel company to remove your panels. It is ideal to contact companies like GoSunPro or Solar Gutters Roofing who specialize in roofing and panels for a much more seamless experience.
  • Insurance. Most insurance policies cover the costs to remove and reinstall solar panels, but it pays to do your research and seek out a high-quality contractor for the installation.

FAQs

  • Can you reinstall solar panels?

Yes. It is good to have a top-notch solar panel company do it to prevent injuries and keep from voiding the warranties on the panels and the roof.

  • Can a roofer remove solar panels?

Generally, a roofer will not be able to remove your solar panels. However, if the roofing company specializes in installing solar panels, they can remove solar panels.

  • Do you have to remove solar panels to replace the roof?

Yes. Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof and must be removed and stored throughout the roof repair. Once repairs are completed, the panels can be replaced.

  • How do you remove a solar panel from the 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.

  • Can you get a new roof with solar panels?

Yes, but before having the new roof installed, the solar panels need to be removed.

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

On average, removing 14 to 16 solar panels ranges from $2,000 to $3,000. This does not include the cost required to replace or repair the roof.

  • Will a solar company replace my roof?

Yes. Some companies provide both roofing and solar panel installation services. This could make your roof replacement much easier and possibly save money.​

  • Can I remove my solar panels?

Yes, you can remove the solar panels by following certain precautionary measures like turning off the circuit breakers, which absorb electricity from your solar panels and locking them into the “Off” position. It’s 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.

Cost to remove solar panels to replace roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
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Cost to remove solar panels to replace roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources