There are several things to consider, including:
- Do you have strong, durable roofing material, such as composite or asphalt shingle, concrete tile or standing seam metal? These are the ideal roof surfaces that most installers are comfortable working with.
- How many more years of life does your roof have? Since solar panels are expected to last 30 or 40 years, you want to install them on a roof that is relatively new and in good condition.
- Does your roof receive enough sunlight at the right time of day? Use Google’s Project Sunroof to find out what your roof looks like from above and how much usable space you are likely to have. You will still need an on-site consultation with a solar professional to determine whether your roof is solar-friendly. The things that will be evaluated include the direction the flat surfaces of the roof face - south is best, but west is good for producing electricity in the afternoon - and whether you have shade blocking your roof.
- Also, some roofs have many pipe, chimney or skylight penetrations, getting in the way of panel installation. If your roof is particularly steep or has many gables or dormers, it is more difficult (and expensive) to install solar.