New Roof and Going Green with Solar

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Lots of things happening around here lately and I’ll try to get caught up on the projects for you. The latest BIG thing right now is our gorgeous new roof and solar panels!

Before

Roof before with yucky T-Lock Roofing

We knew when we moved in last year that the yucky T-Lock roofing had to go.  Not only was it uglier than sin, it’s a product that was so bad, it’s not even manufactured anymore.  Plus, since we now in live in sunny Colorado (330 days of sunshine per year!) it only made sense to look into solar to reduce our electric bill and reduce our carbon footprint. We talked to Triton Roofing and Solar , who is a member of my Business Network International (BNI) chapter BNI Strategic Alliances, about a new roof and adding solar.  The first step was to first determine if our house’s roof and orientation would make it a good candidate for solar.  It was, since we have a simple up-and-over roof that faces almost directly south.  After compiling all the technical data related to our particular situation, they came out and talked to use about the benefits and savings  of going solar. This is not an off-grid system which requires you to have a separate room for battery backup, but is an on-grid system that banks our generated energy with our electric company and we get credit for the power generated against our usage. So, after talking to Triton, we decided to go with a Class 4 shingle that is hail and wind resistant – cuz we get both of those! The nice thing is, the difference in cost between a standard shingle and the Class 4 is recouped the first year on our homeowners insurance since it gave us a 27% reduction in homeowners insurance cost! Aside: Triton Roofing and Solar is AWESOME.  If you live in the Colorado Springs/Pueblo area and need a new roof or are interested in learning about the benefits of solar, give Justin Baker a call at 719-322-3673.    Prior to starting the roofing project, GAF shipped us the solar panels and all the underlayment materials for the roof.  We had to wait for a week when the temps would be high enough, the winds low enough (we get LOTS of wind!) and a minimal change of precipitation.  It’s wasn’t a long wait since, as I said before, we get lots of sunshine.  🙂

Underlayment

Putting down the underlayment. This stuff was TOUGH! you couldn’t tear it – it was some sort of rubberized material. In this picture you can see how they had to fight the wind the whole time with the underlayment flapping.

roof-2014-03-17-3 Just getting all the old roofing off, putting down the new underlayment, sealing and flashing and putting on the new shingles took about week. truck Don’t ask me why, but I loved this truck that brought the shingles and had this conveyor that took the bundles of shingles right up to the roof.  That has got to save on lots of chiropractor visits not having to carry those bundles up the ladder!

Mountings

Roof finished and solar panel mountings in place.

With the roof finished and the mountings for the solar panels in place, we then had to wait for the county inspector to come out and inspect the roof prior to the installation of the solar panels. After, the inspector came out (and raved about what a great job Triton had done!) we were ready for the solar panels to go up. Before I talk about the solar panels going up, let me tell you how much respect I have for these guys working on the roof.  The top of our roof is a good 30 feet off the ground.  Add to that the fact that the wind never really stops blowing – it just settles at times and then rebuilds! And these guys were like little roof monkeys moving around up there.   They did have on their safety harnesses, but I would’t have gotten up there even with one of those. Take that all in for minute…30 feet high, windy, sloping roof.  You get the idea.

roof-2014-03-25

Carrying the panels up on the ladder, on their backs, in the wind!

Now, imagine carrying a 4 foot by 6 foot panel, on your back, up a ladder to that top section.  I was waiting for a big gust of wind to get under a panel and the guy would have been parasailing without a lifeline! Thankfully, that did not happen. roof-2014-03-26-2 After all the solar panels were in place and hooked up to the inverters, all the electrical run to the electric panel and outside meter, it was time to hook up the little modem and test the panels.  Test went fine first time and was then disconnected in order for Black Hills Energy to come and inspect everything and put in the new meters.  Black Hills showed up a couple of (sunny) weeks later.  I wonder how much that little delay cost? I love to see that we are using negative zero (is there such a thing??) electricity. roof-2014-04-10 Everything is now hooked up and we are producing energy! Right now and for most of the summer we will be overproducing and banking credit to apply to those huge winter electric bills. 🙂 Plus, the new roof completely changed the look of the house.  I love it!   roof-2014-04-17

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