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Solar panels removal and repair - The process overview and pricing details

There is a belief that a one-time investment is enough to leverage solar power for years to come. However, it is only partially true. An average solar panel system is expected to last more than thirty years with a warranty covering its usable lifespan. Nevertheless, there are some upkeep-associated costs you should be aware of. The most considerable spending is dedicated to solar panel removal and repair. Plus, you never know when your roof may start deteriorating, so the chances are you will need to dismantle the solar panels to patch it. This blog aims to help you determine the cost of removing solar modules from your roof. Plus, it reveals the issues that may affect your system performance and gives ballpark estimates to eliminate them.

Solar panels removal and repair - The process overview and pricing details

Table of contents

  1. Removing solar panels is not a whim but a necessity
  2. How to calculate the cost of removing solar panels?
  3. Don't bother with how to remove solar panels - Call professionals

The solar industry has been exploding in the US since the late 90s. More and more Americans switch to renewable energy sources to save on electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today solar panels can be seen on residential buildings, business centers, farms, and government institutions, to name a few. 

The solar industry is gaining traction, garnering billions of dollars in revenue. Judge for yourself, the national average cost of a solar panel system is $16.000 before federal tax rebates. Add the costs of roof preparation ($350 - $9.000) and installation services ($2.900 - $4.100), and you will get a tidy sum. One more spending that is rarely considered is solar panel removal ($700-$2.000). You will need to replace the existing system by the end of its useful life (25-30 years) or early if the beyond repair issue occurs. 

Keep reading to find out when to replace old solar panels and whom to hire to do that right.

Removing solar panels is not a whim but a necessity

Though solar panels boast an impressive lifespan and are built to withstand an external force, they still can get out of order. Damages like faulty wiring, inverter breakage, or micro-cracks can affect energy output and should be timely addressed. 

Here are the top factors affecting a solar panel system performance: 

  • Roofing integrity issues. Make sure your roof is solar-ready before installing or reinstalling a system. A poorly performed or leak-prone roofing cannot be used as a ground for solar equipment. 
  • Internal corrosion. According to the manufacturing standards, solar panels are laminated under vacuum pressure to prevent corrosion and other water damage. However, if the equipment is 15-20 years old, it may lose the lamination layer and let the water through. 
  • Electrical faults. If you notice your panels start producing less power than before, the electrical fault might be a culprit. Everything from loose connections to inverter and isolator issues may interfere with power generation. As a rule, the warranty covers the entire cost of electrical repairs.
  • Hot spots. This problem is common with PV panels that overheat. Hot spots occur due to excessive dust and dirt accumulation on the panels or poorly soldered connections. If left unaddressed, this issue can lead to system failure. 
  • Cracked glass. Solar panels are covered with tough glass that can easily withstand the elements and airborne debris. Nevertheless, the surface can get smashed by large hail, rocks, or falling trees. 

Please note that extensively damaged panels would be pricey to fix than replace. If your solar equipment lifespan is close to the end and repairs are not covered by the warranty, consider booking a removal service.

How to calculate the cost of removing solar panels?

There are a few common reasons that make homeowners dismantle the existing solar panel system from their roof:

  • Moving into a new house 
  • The emergency roof repair or replacement 
  • The low performance of the existing system
  • Upgrade to a newer solar panel system
  • The end of the system's useful life

The complete panels' removal is an intricate task that requires special equipment and expertise and should not be performed by non-professionals. It covers multiple services, from equipment disassembly and mounting hardware displacement to disconnecting the system from the local grid. 

The complete panels' removal is an intricate task that requires special equipment and expertise and should not be performed by non-professionals. It covers multiple services, from equipment disassembly and mounting hardware displacement to disconnecting the system from the local grid. 

Here are the average costs of panels removal for your consideration:

  • Dismantle equipment - $400 - $650
  • Disconnect the system from the grid - $150 - $200
  • Remove old panels off-site - $180 - $250
  • Deinstall mounting hardware - $500 - $680
  • Repair the roof - $600 - $900
  • Replace the roof - $2.300 - $12.500
  • One-day system removal and reinstallation - $1.850

Here are the costs of solar panels repair for your consideration:

  • The average solar panels repair - $400 - $2.250
  • The average labor cost per hour - $120 - $210
  • Electric damages repair - $350 - $760
  • Solar panels glass repair - $300 - $1.000
  • Inner module repair - $450 - $600
  • Loose or faulty wiring repair - $280 - $380
  • Solar inverter repair - $350 - $750

Please note that more complicated repairs require removing panels and taking them off-site. If you have an outdated solar panel system, the chances are it will produce an insufficient amount of power with missing modules. 

Make sure to call out your solar panel vendor in case of unexpected damages. Most systems are covered with a 25-30 years warranty so that you don't ​need to pay for repairs. Please note that repairs made by a third-party company might void the manufacturer's warranty.

Don't bother with how to remove solar panels - Call professionals

A solar panel system is complex electric equipment requiring a professional approach to repair or replace. If you think solar panel demounting is easy to do yourself, then don't. Working at heights is unsafe, especially with heavy-weight modules covered with glass. 

As a rule, solar panel removal is performed by a crew of installers equipped with the right tools and safety gear. That is why any DIY attempts are unreasonable and may result in additional spending. 

If you want to get the competitive costs for panel removal, consider comparing multiple quotes. The best way to do that is by leaving your request on the HomeQuote platform. We boast an extensive solar contractors network that covers the whole country. So, whatever your location or solar repair & replacement needs, make sure to give our service a try. You'll be provided with multiple estimates tailored to fit your project requirements. 

Leverage our free estimation services to invest in solar wisely! 

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