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Due to the ever-increasing popularity of solar panel systems in Hawaii, more homeowners are looking for information on installing rooftop solar panels on their residences. In fact, as of the end of September 2021, over 91,000 customers in Hawaii had solar panel (photovoltaic) systems installed, making Hawaii one of the nation’s leaders in solar energy.


Solar panel systems are an excellent option for residential and commercial property owners who want to reduce their carbon footprint while saving money on power bills. But before you decide to turn to solar energy, there are multiple factors to consider to determine whether your home or business is suitable for a solar panel system.


We put a lot of time, effort, and care into ensuring that all of our potential customers are confident about their decision to go solar. That is why we have compiled this list of seven things you need to be aware of before installing a solar panel system on your rooftop.

Seven Things to Consider About Rooftop Solar Panels

Not all homes have a rooftop that's ideal for solar panel systems. The question of compatibility depends on several factors, which we detail below based on our experience in the roofing industry and with these kinds of installations!

#1. What Type of Roofing Do You Currently Have?

Metal roofs are strong and can withstand the weight of an entire solar panel system. In addition, the racking used for metal roofing attaches securely to the metal seams. Other materials require drilling into them for support; this means that it won't damage or bend any portion of your roof when attached!


However, Hawaii’s most frequently used roofing material is asphalt shingles because they can be cost-effective. However, shingles have a shorter lifespan than solar panel systems, so if your house needs to have its roof replaced once a system is installed, you will need to take down the entire system first and then have it reinstalled afterward.

#2.  Do You Have Shady Areas on Your Property?

Are you concerned about the amount of sunlight that reaches your home? Is there a lot of shade tree coverage, tall buildings, or any other obstruction around your property that would impact the system? Some of these issues are relatively easy to rectify, like trimming back trees if necessary. Moving the entire building next door is an entirely different story, though, so a good design and shading report will point out to you any concerns they have about shade issues.

#3. Which Way Does Your Roof Face and How is it Angled?

Most solar panel systems are installed on roofs that face south or west to maximize the amount of sunlight they get. Also, most solar panel systems are installed on flat or sloped roofs. However, even if you have a flat or sloped roof, it doesn't automatically mean your roof is ideal for a system to be installed on. There are still other factors that need to be considered, as outlined in this article.

#4.  What is the Condition of Your Roof?

If your roof needs repairs before a solar panel system can be installed, not fixing the damage first can often do more harm than good. In addition, not addressing the damage beforehand can lead to additional damage to your home and wallet. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a company familiar with the roofing needs of a solar panel system.


We recommend speaking with a well-respected company about your roofing concerns and expectations to ensure you get the most accurate information so that you don’t end up with a problem later on.

#5. Can You Keep Up With the Cost of Roof Maintenance?

Roof maintenance is a vital part of any home's functionality, but it becomes even more critical for those with solar panels. Excess dust or improper water drainage can cause serious issues for your roof, which will affect how well the system functions as well! 


#6. Will Your Energy Consumption Change Over Time?

When you’re getting an estimate on a solar panel system, how much energy you’ll need is the most important thing to know. Think about what you will be powering on your property. If your home has more people than just yourself living in it, you’ll want to share that info with the professional putting your estimate together.


Also, if you’re going to be charging an EV (electric vehicle), using air conditioners, hot tubs, etc., they will need to know that, as well, to provide you with the most accurate estimate for current and future usage.

#7.  Do You Want a Solar Water Heater Also?

In addition to the solar panel system, one of the options you can add is a solar water heater. It’s a much cheaper way to provide your home with hot water since sunlight is free to harness.

There are different types of solar water heater systems to choose from. A professional can go over with you to determine which type is best for your needs.

What Can I Do if My Rooftop Isn’t Suitable for a Solar Panel System?

If one of our roof inspectors deems your rooftop not suitable for a solar panel system, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a system installed on your property. Instead, a solar panel system expert can determine if other locations may be more suitable that you haven’t considered yet.


Working with a company that provides roofing and solar panel system services is beneficial if your roof needs repairs or an entirely new roof installed. You won’t need to shop around for multiple companies to work with, which can mean a job gets done faster because there are fewer scheduling conflicts to deal with.

We Can Help With Your Roofing and Solar Panel Needs

Our talented and knowledgeable staff at Kapili Roofing & Painting has over 30 years of experience in the Construction industry. We are GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractors and Malarkey Emerald Pro installers. This means we offer our customers the best warranties in the industry because our manufacturers stand behind us 100% because of the quality of the workmanship we provide to our residential and commercial customers.


We provide roof repairs, maintenance, inspections, and solar panel system installation. We are familiar with different types of roofing materials. If you work with us, you can rest assured you’re working with a company that can do it all.


To ensure our customers receive top-notch service, we perform all roofing work ourselves, so we have complete control over the workmanship and installation services provided. This is important because we stand behind the quality of work and products we provide. We also offer fair and competitive pricing to all customers.


Don’t hesitate to contact us today to set up a free consultation. No strings attached. We look forward to speaking with you!