Who Can Remove Solar Panels From a Roof & When To Call

July 30, 2023

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If you have a solar array on your property, it’s good to know who can remove solar panels from a roof. This job isn’t for just anyone, as solar panels include wiring, a racking system, and other such parts. Also, while panels aren’t necessarily heavy, they’re also not exactly lightweight! In turn, you’ll want a qualified professional to remove them when needed.

Who can remove solar panels from a roof:

  • Solar installation contractors
  • Solar maintenance companies
  • Certain qualified roofers
  • General contractors familiar with solar arrays

In addition to knowing the right person to remove solar panels, it’s good to know when it’s needed. For instance, some solar owners are surprised to learn that roofers can’t always work around them. On the other hand, solar panels don’t typically need removal for cleaning and maintenance.

With this in mind, keep reading to find out who can remove solar panels from a roof and when. In turn, you’ll know when to call a contractor and when those panels can stay put. Also, remember that your solar installation contractor can probably assist with questions long after your project is completed!

who can remove solar panels from a roof

Who Can Remove Solar Panels From a Roof?

Solar panels can be removed from a roof by qualified and experienced professionals. The process involves careful handling to avoid damage to the panels and the roof itself. There are a few options for who can remove solar panels from a roof:

  • Solar Panel Installation Companies: The company that initially installed the solar panels on the roof will likely have the expertise and equipment to safely remove them if needed.
  • Roofing Contractors: Many roofing companies have experience working with solar panels and can safely remove them while also ensuring the integrity of the roof is maintained.
  • Solar Panel Maintenance Companies: Some companies specialize in solar panel maintenance and may offer removal services as well.
  • Electricians: Qualified electricians with experience in solar panel systems may also be able to handle the removal process.
  • Some Contractors: Certain contractors might have experience in installing and removing solar panels. However, it’s vital to ensure that the contractor has the expertise needed for safe removal. This includes removing the wires, racking system, and other components.

Can Solar Panels Be Removed From a Roof?

The quick answer is yes, an experienced technician can remove solar panels from a roof. Note the typical steps involved in removing solar panels from a roof:

  • Disconnecting the System: Before any physical removal, the solar panel system must be safely disconnected from the electrical grid. This ensures there are no live wires during the process.
  • Removing Mounting Hardware: Solar panels are usually attached to the roof with mounting brackets or racks. The removal process involves carefully unbolting and detaching the solar panels from these mounts.
  • Careful Handling: During removal, the solar panels must be handled with care to avoid damage. They can be quite heavy and fragile, so experienced professionals should carry out the process.
  • Electrical Disconnect: After the physical removal of the solar panels, the electrical connections need to be fully disconnected to ensure safety.
  • Repairing Roof Penetrations: Solar panels are typically installed by drilling holes in the roof to secure the mounting hardware. When removing the panels, these holes should be properly sealed to prevent any potential water leaks.
  • Reinstalling (if needed): If the solar panels were removed for roof repairs or other reasons, they can be reinstalled once the roof is in good condition again.

Why Would Someone Remove Solar Panels?

Most solar panel owners should plan to replace their system after 20 or 30 years. In turn, you don’t typically need to remove those panels from the roof on a regular basis. However, solar panels might need removing for the following reasons:

Roof Repairs or Replacement

If your roof needs repairs or replacement, it may be necessary to remove the solar panels temporarily. This allows a roofer to access and fix the underlying roof structure. Note that they can rarely work around those panels, unless areas needing repairs are elsewhere on the roof.

Also, removing the solar panels allows for safer roof access. A roofer doesn’t need to worry about damaging the panels, wiring, and other components as they work! Then, once the roof is repaired or replaced, the solar panels can be reinstalled.

End of Life or Obsolescence

Solar panels have a typical lifespan of 25 to 30 years or more. At that time, solar panels often become obsolete due to advancements in solar technology. In turn, you might choose to remove them and replace them with newer, more efficient panels.

Also, note that some solar panel damage is irreparable. For example, heavy hail, golf balls, or falling tree branches might crack the glass panel front. If this happens, the panel usually needs replacing. However, a technician can typically replace just that panel and not the entire system.

removing solar panels from a roof


Are you moving to a new home and want to take your solar panels with you? If so, they obviously need to be removed from the current roof and reinstalled at the new location. Note that this should be done by a licensed contractor only. Relocating panels is not simply a matter of packing them up and then bolting them to your new home’s roof!

Upgrading the System

Eventually you might want to upgrade your solar panel system with newer and more advanced components. To do so, you may need to remove the existing panels before installing the new ones. In some cases, this might include removing the racking system on which they sit. Your new system might also need upgraded wiring as well.

Maintenance or Inspection

Solar panels typically need little to no maintenance over the years. In fact, panels have no moving parts that need oiling or other machinery! Most simply need regular brushing across their front, to remove dust and debris.

However, inspecting solar panels periodically ensures they’re working as expected. A technician might prefer to remove one or more panels to access the entire system. This also allows for thorough cleaning and for them to check on any issues with the system.

Change in Energy Needs

Over time your energy needs might fluctuate so that your current panels are not sufficient. For example, you might upgrade to larger appliances or install an addition to your home. On the other hand, you might downgrade certain electronics or invest in energy-efficient appliances.

Consequently, once your energy needs change, you might choose to remove the solar array from your roof. You can then replace them with more efficient panels or downgrade the system to something that works for your current needs.

What Happens If I Remove My Solar Panels?

Solar panels need little maintenance and upkeep, as said. In turn, property owners should carefully consider any plans for removing them! Note some added disadvantages to removing solar panels from your property:

  • The most immediate consequence of removing solar panels is the loss of renewable energy production. Once the panels are taken down, they won't generate electricity for your home or feed excess energy back into the grid.
  • Without solar panels, you may have to rely more on electricity from the grid. This means higher electricity bills, especially if you were previously generating a significant portion of your electricity from solar power.
  • If you purchased a solar panel system, removing it might impact the overall return on that investment. Depending on how long the solar panels were installed and the savings they provided, removing them could affect the payback period of that investment.
  • If the solar panels are in good condition, you may have the option to sell them to someone else or to a solar panel reseller. However, the resale value will depend on the age, condition, and technology of the panels. Don’t expect to earn back their full purchase price if you decide to sell them!
  • Removing solar panels could reveal the condition of the roof beneath them. Note that solar panels often protect a roof from weather elements. Consequently, your property’s roof might suffer premature wear or damage after solar panel removal.

Before removing solar panels, carefully evaluate your reasons and consider the implications. If you're unsure about what’s best for your property, consult with a qualified solar panel installation company. They can assess your situation and explore the available options.

solar panel installer on the roof top

Can Solar Panels Be Removed Without Damage to Roof?

Yes, solar panels can be removed from a roof without damage if you rely on experienced professionals. Proper planning and execution are essential to protect both the solar panels and the roof. Consider some vital factors that ensure safe, damage-free solar panel removal:

  • Hiring qualified solar panel installers or contractors with experience in solar systems is crucial. They understand the installation process and can safely remove panels without causing damage to the roof.
  • The removal process requires using the right tools and techniques. This ensures a technician can carefully detach the solar panels from the mounting hardware without applying excessive force. In turn, there is less risk of roof damage.
  • Before starting the removal process, the solar panels must be safely disconnected from the electrical system. This prevents electrical hazards including shock.
  • Solar panels are delicate and can be heavy. In turn, they must be handled with care during removal to avoid any physical damage.
  • Before removing the solar panels, a roofer should inspect the roof properly. They can then identify any potential weak spots, leaks, or damage. Addressing any pre-existing roof issues is essential before removing the solar panels.
  • Solar panels are mounted on the roof using bolts that penetrate the roofing material. During removal, it's important to properly manage these penetrations and seal them to prevent water leaks.

While it is possible to remove solar panels without damaging the roof, it's important to remember that the process requires expertise and experience. Attempting to remove solar panels without these can risk roof damage. It can also mean damaged panels. Therefore, it is best to hire qualified professionals to handle the removal process for you.

A Word From Our Solar Crew

Go Solar MA is happy to explain how can remove solar panels from a roof. Hopefully we’ve offered some useful information! Also, call our Massachusetts solar installation contractors when you’re ready for expert services. We offer FREE estimates and quality installations for residential and commercial properties.


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