As the popularity of solar energy continues to grow, more homeowners are opting for solar panels or solar shingles on their roofs. There is no denying that going solar is an excellent long-term investment that can help save the environment and your wallet. However, dirty, neglected solar panels and shingles are not going to be as productive as ones that are carefully maintained. So, if you have recently installed a GAF Timberline Solar shingle roof, it is very important that you understand how to keep your shingles working properly. That is why this article is going to focus on the best practices for maintaining your new GAF Solar shingle roof.
The Benefits of a GAF Timberline Solar Shingle Roof
A GAF Timberline Solar Shingle roof offers numerous benefits beyond traditional roofing materials. It not only protects your home from the elements but also harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity. This innovative roofing system integrates seamlessly with the solar panels, providing a sleek and aesthetically pleasing solution. The GAF Energy solar system is designed to require minimal maintenance, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the hassle.
That said, if you do not maintain your roofing system, there is a high chance that these benefits are going to be negated. As such, some of the signs that it is time to maintain your GAF Timberline Solar shingles is that energy production begins to dip or the shingles don’t look as beautiful as they did right after installation. Of course, if you notice other common signs that your roof needs maintenance, such as mold, overflowing gutters, or missing granules, do not overlook them!
Why is it Important to Maintain Your GAF Solar Shingle Roof
Regular maintenance is crucial for maximizing the lifespan and efficiency of your GAF Timberline Solar Shingle roof. While the system is designed to be low-maintenance, a proactive approach to care will help prevent potential issues and ensure the system operates at its peak performance. By following a few simple maintenance tasks, you can keep your solar panels clean and your roof in excellent condition.
So let’s take a look at those steps:
Use the IOU Method of Roof Inspection
Your GAF Timberline Solar shingle roof may be able to generate clean energy, but it also has components of a regular asphalt shingle roof. As such, you can follow much of the same maintenance steps that you would when dealing with a traditional roof. One of the best ways to go about routine maintenance is to use the “IOU” method, which provides you with an accessible framework for inspecting the condition of your roof:
Begin your inspection of the roof inside your home, as this allows you to find any immediate issues that are usually invisible from the outside. Look for sunlight shining through the ceiling. Sunlight is a sign that there are openings or gaps somewhere on the roof, which is sometimes caused by punctures, missing shingles, or water damage. Next, seek out any signs of moisture on the walls or ceiling, including dark stains or mold growth.
Also check for any place that is saggy or uneven. Sagging can be a sign of compromised structural integrity, such as weakened rafters or decking. If you find any signs of structural damage, take prompt action to prevent further damage or potential collapses.
Once you have finished inside, it’s time to move outside. Walk the perimeter of your home, visually inspecting the roof, including the gutters and soffits. Look for missing shingles (even on the ground), which can expose the underlying parts of the roof to the elements, leading to deterioration and leaks. You may notice granules from the asphalt portion of your solar shingles in the downspout and around the yard after a severe storm. If so, pay special attention to your roof. Also look for debris. Debris can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for algae, moss, or mold, which can compromise the integrity of the roof surface. Next, examine the flashing around skylights, chimneys, vents, and any other penetrations.
If it is safe and you feel comfortable doing so, use a ladder to inspect the roof “up” close. This close-up assessment allows for a detailed examination of the roof’s condition and specific components. Loose, damaged, or spongy shingles are an immediate red flag that you have damage. Cracking, curling, and other issues may also be visible. Since these issues will compromise your roof, you will need to call a reputable roofing contractor to repair them as soon as possible.
With the ladder, also check for clogging along the gutters or signs of water damage that may not have been noticeable from the ground. Be sure to clear any obstructions from the gutter to keep them working properly.
How to Clean GAF Solar Shingles
Solar panels—GAF Solar singles included—need to be clean in order to work at their maximum power generation capabilities. Unfortunately, debris, dust, and dirt can accumulate on the solar panels built into the shingles, reducing their ability to take in sunlight and transform it into electricity. While seasonal rains can help wash away some of the dirt, additional cleaning may be required.
If you’re comfortable doing it yourself and can safely access your roof, you can gently rinse the solar panels with a hose. Ensure that you only do this when the panels are cool, such as early in the morning or in the evening, to avoid damaging them with cold water on a hot day. Use a gentle spray to remove any dirt or grime from the surface of the panels.
Snow removal is an important aspect of maintaining your GAF Timberline Solar Shingle roof, especially if you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall during the winter months. While the sun’s warmth typically melts the snow off the panels once it emerges, there may be occasions when the snow doesn’t slide off naturally, posing a risk to the performance of your solar panels. In such cases, it becomes necessary to take steps to safely remove the snow and ensure your panels continue to generate clean energy effectively.
When it comes to snow removal from your solar panels, it’s crucial to exercise caution and prioritize safety. Working on a roof during winter conditions can be hazardous, so it’s best to proceed with care or seek assistance from a professional if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process.
Here are some steps to follow for safe and effective snow removal from your GAF Timberline Solar Shingle roof:
Assess The Situation
Before attempting to remove snow from your solar panels, evaluate the amount of snow accumulation and the condition of your roof. If the snowfall is minimal, and there are no signs of excessive weight or stress on the roof, it may be sufficient to allow the snow to melt naturally. However, if there is a substantial buildup of snow or if you notice any sagging or structural concerns, it’s crucial to address the situation promptly.
Use a Soft-Bristled Brush
Select a soft-bristled brush with a long handle, such as one that you may use to sweep snow from the top of your vehicle. When working with solar panels or shingles, you should never use sharp or abrasive tools. The solar shingles could be scratched if the bristles are too hard.
Gently Remove The Snow
With the brush in hand, stand at a safe distance from the solar shingles and gently sweep the snow off the surface. Start from the top of the panel and work your way down, using slow and controlled movements. Be careful not to apply excessive force. Even though your GAF Solar shingles are durable, they can still be damaged by too much pressure or a tremendous impact.
Prioritize Your Safety
Working with snow can be dangerous, especially if you need to climb on your roof during a storm. If possible, avoid climbing onto the roof when it is covered in snow or ice. You may slip. Instead, put a ladder up against your home, ensuring that the ground below is level and stable. That said, it is best to call in local NJ roofing contractors to help with snow removal, especially when there are electrical components involved.
Consider Installing Preventative Measures
To minimize the need for frequent snow removal, you can explore preventive measures such as installing snow guards or heating systems specifically designed for solar panels. Snow guards help prevent snow from sliding down in large chunks, reducing the risk of damage to the panels. Heating systems, such as heating cables, can melt snow and ice buildup on the panels, ensuring they remain clear and functional during winter conditions.
Monitoring Energy Production
Monitoring your solar shingle roof’s energy production is made easy with the GAF Energy Production Monitoring app. This app provides simplified charts that allow you to track your system’s performance over time. By monitoring your energy production, you can identify any irregular decreases or increases in output, which could indicate abnormal operations that may require professional evaluation.
Work With Certified Contractors
Working with certified contractors is crucial when it comes to maintaining and repairing your GAF Timberline Solar Shingle roof. Certified professionals, like those at RGB Construction, have undergone specialized training and are well-versed in the installation, maintenance, and repair of GAF roofing systems. Here’s why it’s important to rely on their expertise:
Certified NJ solar installers, especially those with a GAF Master Elite certificate, have in-depth knowledge and understanding of GAF products, including GAF Solar shingles. NJ roofing contractors with GAF credentials are also familiar with the specific requirements and best practices for installation, maintenance, and repair of these roofing systems. Their expertise ensures that any work done on your roof is performed correctly and in accordance with GAF’s guidelines, helping to maintain the integrity and performance of your solar shingles.
GAF offers warranties on their roofing products, including the Timberline Solar Shingle roof. However, to ensure the validity of the warranty, it’s often a requirement to work with a certified contractor. These contractors are authorized by GAF and have the expertise to perform work that meets the warranty requirements. By working with a certified contractor, you can have peace of mind knowing that your warranty will remain intact, providing protection and coverage for your GAF Timberline Solar Shingle roof.
Proper Equipment and Tools
Sometimes, you may not have the item on hand to deal with an issue. In this case, call in professional help. Certified contractors are equipped with specialized tools designed specifically for the installation and maintenance of these roofing systems. By using the correct equipment, certified contractors can ensure that the work is done efficiently and accurately, minimizing the risk of damage to your roof.
Troubleshooting and Problem Resolution
There may come a time when you find an issue with your solar shingles or the electrical components included that doesn’t not make sense to you. When in doubt, a GAF-certified roofing contractor will be your best tool at diagnosing and resolving the problem. For instance, the roofing contractors of RGB Construction have outstanding expertise that enables them to provide accurate assessments and recommend appropriate solutions, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your solar shingles.
Looking for NJ Solar Installers?
Investing in GAF Timberline Solar shingles is a wonderful choice, especially when you consider how easy it is to keep them in working order. Proper maintenance does not require much, just a quick wash or brushing when it snows. Additionally, inspect your roof for any damage or issues using the “IOU” method and work with certified roofing professionals for any necessary repairs or evaluations. When you need assistance with roofing maintenance, you can count on the professionals at RGB Construction. Our experienced team can install, maintain, and repair your new GAF Solar shingles. Give us a call today at 856-264-9093 to schedule your appointment or to chat with our team.