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Should I Have My Roof Surveyed Before Fitting Solar Panels?

When considering solar panel installation, many homeowners focus primarily on the benefits of renewable energy and potential savings. However, one crucial aspect often overlooked is the condition of the roof. Before you proceed with installing solar panels, it's essential to have a thorough roof survey to assess whether your roof can support the additional weight and whether it might need repairs or reinforcement.

Sales Tactics and Assurances

Solar panel companies are primarily driven by sales. Their representatives might assure you that your roof is in perfect condition for solar panels, even without a thorough roof survey. Unfortunately, many homeowners later find out that their roofs are not as sturdy as they were led to believe.

Why Roof Condition Matters

The roof's ability to support solar panels depends on several factors:

Structural Integrity:

A roof with significant deflection or bounce indicates potential weaknesses. Walking on such roofs might not feel unstable, but they may not be able to handle the additional weight of solar panels.

Weight Distribution:

Adding a warm roof, which includes insulation and new boards, can distribute weight more evenly. However, the overall weight still increases, and the roof must be capable of supporting this.

The Importance of a Professional Roof Survey

It's crucial to involve a professional roof surveyor to evaluate whether your roof can handle the weight of the solar panels. Roof surveys provide a detailed analysis, but surveyors often take a conservative approach to ensure safety. This means they might recommend against loading the roof excessively, especially if the initial inspection reveals potential issues.

Potential Solutions

If your roof isn't immediately suitable for solar panel installation, there are several ways to address this:

Reinforcing the Roof

Adding more structural timber or installing steel beams can enhance your roof's strength. While this solution can be effective, it also increases costs.

Spreading the Load:

Using methods such as craning in steel beams to distribute the weight from external to internal walls ensures that the load is well-supported. This approach can be complex and costly but offers a robust solution.

Balancing Costs and Benefits

The decision to reinforce your roof or proceed with solar panel installation as-is involves weighing the benefits against the potential costs. Consider the following:

Long-term Savings:

Solar panels can significantly reduce your energy bills, providing long-term financial benefits.

- **Upfront Costs:** Roof reinforcement or repairs can be expensive. However, ensuring your roof's integrity is crucial for the safe and effective installation of solar panels.


Before installing solar panels, it’s essential to have a professional roof survey. Ensure that any necessary repairs or reinforcements are completed to avoid future issues. By taking these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of solar energy without compromising the safety and stability of your home.

If you need further advice or a professional roof survey, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your home and your energy needs.


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