Semper Solaris Blog

Drip, drip, drip… Your roof is trying to tell you something, and it’s not that you should consider installing a serene water feature inside your house. Normally, your roof is the strong and silent type, but as it faces the harsh elements each day, even the sturdiest roofs can start wearing down. It might be time to call a San Diego roof repair expert, but how do you find a reliable and trustworthy contractor? What will the roof repair entail, and, most importantly, what hit can you expect to your budget? Roofs last a long time, so many homeowners have rarely, if ever, needed a roof repair. If your roof is begging for help, you might not know what to expect during a repair or how to prepare for it. Not to fear! Here at Semper Solaris, we’ll walk you through the roof repair process step by step to determine if contacting a San Diego roof repair expert is necessary. Step One: Admit Your Roof Has a Problem   If you’ve literally got raindrops falling on your head while indoors, it’s pretty clear that your roof is crying out for help. However, roof issues aren’t always so clear, especially from the ground. How do you actually know whether your roof has a problem that needs expert intervention? You don’t need to be a “roof whisperer” to figure out if you’ve got damage. Keep your eyes peeled for these telltale signs: Cracked or missing tiles or shingles Curling shingles Decay of shingles Blistering paint on the outside or inside of your house Blistering ceiling Stains or mold on the ceiling or walls Leaking from the ceiling, especially around fixtures, like vents, skylights, or chimneys Why Repair a Roof Roof repairs can be costly, and it’s not like anyone wants to spend their savings on home maintenance instead of taking the family to Legoland or SeaWorld. However, spending a little money to take care of a roof problem as soon as it presents can save you from a much bigger repair bill in the future. Roof damage doesn’t magically go away, it just gets worse. A small stain on the ceiling today could start growing mold tomorrow and dripping water onto your floors and furniture next week. Additionally, if you’d like to install solar panels in the next few years or so, you’ll definitely want to fix your roof before adding anything else up there. If you notice roof damage, start looking for roof repair companies right away! Step Two: Find the Right San Diego Roof Repair Company   It’s always a little nerve-wracking to entrust your home to a new contractor, especially with something as important as your roof. If you’ve never hired a company to perform a roof repair, how do you find a trustworthy contractor that will do a great job? First, check out this article we published on how to find the best solar panel installers. Yes, this article is focused on solar installation companies, but the principles are the same. It’s a smart idea to visit the top crowdsourced review sites, including: Angie’s List The Better Business Bureau Yelp The best way to predict how a contractor will perform is to learn about how they’ve worked with other homeowners in the past. A terrible contractor with lousy reviews likely won’t magically change their stripes and do an excellent job for you! Step Three: Schedule a Roof Inspection   Every roofing contractor worth their shingles should offer you a complimentary roofing inspection so that they can diagnose the problem and offer you a repair recommendation and a quote. We encourage you to seek multiple quotes to give yourself options. On the day of the inspection, the roofing company will send a trained technician to your home. The technician will ask you questions about what you’ve seen and experienced and will then assess the entire condition of the roof. The technician may walk on the roof, inspect your attic, and even assess the exterior walls and foundation of your house. Step Four: Understand Common Roof Damage After the assessment is complete, the technician will sit down with you and explain the issues that they noted and provide you with a diagnosis of the problem. Roofs tend to break down in similar ways, and the most common problems tend to be: Leaking Leaks are the most common roof problem that most roofing companies deal with, most likely because it’s also one of the most noticeable issues to homeowners! There are a variety of reasons that roofs can leak. In many cases, the culprit is an installation, like a chimney, skylight, or vent. It is common for the flashing around these installations to wear away, resulting in water eventually trickling through minute openings around the seal. Flashing can also corrode or crack with age, letting water make its way into the house, especially during heavy winter rains. One other common cause of leaking is improperly installed shingles or tiles. If a “handyman” tried to replace damaged tiles or shingles on your roof, they may have damaged the underlayer or the flashing of the roof. Damaged Shingles or Tiles Shingles or tiles can wear down over time, causing them to crack or fall off entirely. This exposes the inner parts of the roof to the elements, which can quickly result in leaks. Though San Diego doesn’t have much extreme weather (which is one of the reasons we love living here), we do get some pretty hefty winds during the Santa Anas, which can tear away loose shingles or tiles. There’s also always the risk of “blunt force roof trauma” from a falling tree branch! Age The age of a roof is often a contributing factor to damage. The older the roof, the more likely that its flashing, underlayers, and tiles or shingles will simply break down. A roof’s lifespan will depend on a number of factors, including: The quality of its original design and construction How well it’s been maintained Weather conditions Materials used Shingles, which are the most common type of roofing around the country, can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years. Many San Diego roofs use Spanish tiles, which boast a lifespan of 50 years or more. If your roof is nearing the end of its life, it may make more sense to replace the entire roof than to spend thousands of dollars repairing it. Step Five: Receive a Recommendation and Repair Proposal A good technician will sit down with you after their roof assessment is complete and lay out all of your repair options, including what will happen if you decide to ignore the problem. Depending on the nature of the damage, you may be presented with several possible fixes followed by the technician’s personal recommendation on what they consider to be the best option. For example, a roof technician may be able to repair the damage to your roof, but they may recommend replacing it if the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan or if the cost to repair the damage is only a little less than what it would cost to repair the roof. The technician should also be able to write up a proposal, which will – at long last – include a price quote for the recommended repair. The Cost of a Roof Repair So, how much will your roof repair cost? We might sound like a broken record by now, but the answer is that it depends! The amount of damage, the nature of the repair, and the unique characteristics of your roof will all affect the final repair price quote. For example, Spanish tiles are more expensive than asphalt shingles, so replacing a lot of Spanish tiles will be more expensive than replacing shingles even if the problem is the same. A small roof repair job may only require a contractor to replace and seal worn-out or missing shingles which can be very affordable. A medium repair job could include replacing shingles as well as sealing fixtures, like a leaking skylight. Oftentimes, the flashing around these fixtures also needs to be replaced. A moderate job can be a little bit more in price, sometimes more significant than smaller jobs. Large roof repairs usually include fixing the underlayers of the roof, which requires the contractor to remove a good number of tiles or shingles (possibly all of them) in order to get to the underlayment, water barrier, and insulation. The contractor may even have to address damaged wood. At this point, your repair bill will set you back a larger amount and it may be worth considering a full roof replacement, which will be more expensive. A roof replacement is a costly project, but it is also an excellent investment in your home, especially if you would like to install rooftop solar panels in the future. If you do decide to move forward with a full roof replacement, we strongly encourage you to work with a company that is willing to offer you a warranty on their finished product. At Semper Solaris, we work with some of the very best roofing materials, including GAF and Owens Corning, which offers an outstanding 50-year platinum protection limited warranty. Step Six: Prepare for the Roof Repair A small or moderate roof repair may only take a day for a contractor to complete. A larger roof repair or a full roof replacement can last several days or even longer for larger homes. If you stay in the house during the repair, be prepared for disruptive noise. Not only will you hear feet walking on the roof over your head, but you’ll also get an earful of hammering and other noises as the workers replace roofing layers and put the shingles and tiles back on. It’s usually best if you can be out of the house during the repair, especially if you have young children who don’t appreciate loud noises. You may also want to consider taking skittish pets out of the home so as to not overly stress them.   Step Seven: Enjoy Your Roof! After the repair, your roof should be as good as new. Or maybe it is all new! Either way, you’ll rest easier at night knowing the roof over your head is strong and complete. If you enjoyed working with your contractor, we encourage you to write them a positive review on the review site of your choice. Many local San Diego roof repair companies depend on word of mouth and positive reviews to generate new customers, so your positive words will be appreciated. Ready to get a diagnosis for your San Diego roof? Contact Semper Solaris to get a free roofing quote. Take a look at our current online roofing discounts. If you are considering installing solar panels, we do that too and offer big savings for combing roofing and solar services. Contact us to get your roof quote today!  

There are an incredible 6.4 million people working in the energy industry in the United States, and a huge percentage of them are employed in clean energy. If you’ve ever purchased solar panels for your home or opted for a hybrid car, you’re doing more than saving money on utilities and gas. Clean energy is environmentally friendly and moves the country toward energy independence. And when you install solar, you’re also helping propel the creation of thousands of new clean energy jobs in America. What does a career in clean energy look like? Some of the fastest-growing careers in this exciting industry include sustainable builders, wind turbine technicians, and solar panel installers. The clean energy industry is booming from coast to coast, and it’s changing the way the country looks at heating its homes and keeping the lights on. It’s also giving talented workers from all walks of life a new career path. Here are just some of the inspiring facts about the sustainable energy employment trends -- and how solar panels are helping. 1. Clean Energy Jobs are Outpacing the U.S. Economy According to a 2017 report from the Environmental Defense Fund, both solar and wind industries create jobs at a rate 12 times faster than the overall U.S. economy. In 2016, solar jobs expanded an impressive 17 times faster than the total national economy. That year, 1 in 50 jobs added in the U.S. were created within the solar industry. As many workers in the country mourn the loss of coal jobs and other fossil fuel industry careers, clean energy is stepping in with a solution. Despite recent setbacks, including federal tariffs, solar panels are ever more popular. Between solar panels for your house and more efficient appliances -- you can support this job boom all while cutting your own energy costs. 2. Almost 1 Million People Now Work in Renewable Energy The number of people working in clean energy overall is about 4 million, and one of the fastest growing sectors is renewable energy. Renewable energy is any type of power without a finite limit, often tapping into natural resources like sun and wind. In early 2017, 777,000 people were working within the renewable energy sector. Solar energy is one of the leaders in renewable energy, and jobs grew almost 25% in just one year between 2015 and 2016. What are these renewable energy employees up to? Building wind turbines for large communities, installing solar panels for your home, and working with geothermal systems are some of the most common things people in renewable energy do every day. More than half of all solar jobs relate to the installation of solar panel systems on homes and commercial properties and the building of utility-scale projects. What’s more, the wages in renewable energy tend to exceed those in other non-farm private sector jobs. That means that as the U.S. gains independence from foreign fossil fuels, it is also creating livable wages right here at home. 3. Solar Panels for Your Home Support Solar Storage Jobs Clean energy jobs are moving beyond installations. In fact, energy storage and clean energy grids provided about 90,000 jobs as of 2016. Energy storage ensures that users always have access to their solar and wind energy on demand; if you’ve ever wondered how solar still works on a cloudy day, storage is a big part of the answer. Companies like Tesla are creating advanced solar batteries that can be installed along with your solar panels for solar-plus-storage systems. Most solar systems send their energy through an inverter that directs excess energy back to the grid (and offers an energy credit on utility bills). Solar storage allows you to keep excess energy at home instead of sending it to the grid. The types of jobs you’ll often see related to solar storage include storage engineers, product developers, and electricians. Of course, home solar storage also needs installation, creating even more evergreen jobs. Many cities around the world are operating on mostly renewable grids at large, so the need for reliable energy storage will only increase as this trend grows in the U.S. 4. Efficient Cars are Helping Revitalize the Auto Industry The U.S. auto industry was once looking quite bleak, but clean energy is helping breathe new life into manufacturing plants and giving drivers new energy-friendly options. In early 2018, Ford announced it was going “all in” on clean energy and hybrid cars and investing $11 billion into hybrid and electric models. This translates to more than a fleet of innovative cars on the road. The 2017 Energy and Jobs Report found that jobs related to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles made up the vast majority of jobs related to alternative fuels and transportation. In fact, 198,000 employees are supported by this sector of the clean energy market. As more car manufacturers invest in clean energy, new blue-collar and sales jobs may begin to boom as well. If you’re in the market for a new ride, consider an electric or hybrid model to show your support for clean energy jobs in the auto industry. 5. The Number of Women in Solar is Rising Quickly Back in 2013, women held only 19% of solar jobs in the United States. By 2017, that figure had grown to 27%. Women make up more than half of the entire U.S. workforce, so there is still room to grow. Still, this exponential increase indicates a priority on inclusivity in the world of solar that is likely to continue. The Women in Solar Energy (WISE) non-profit strives to not only add more women and ethnic minorities to the world of solar, but also create an industry that leads the nation in policies that support families. With their help, the solar industry is poised to make huge strides in policies like fair maternity and paternity leave and generous sick leave. The bottom line is that the face of the industry is becoming more inclusive and it’s happening fast. Whether you’re ordering new solar panels for your home, or inviting an auditor to come out and evaluate your system,  it’s becoming more likely that you will be greeted by a diverse team of professionals. 6. Job Gains Aren’t Just Happening in Warm Coastal States Solar is often associated with warm climates that are showered with more sunny days than they know what to do with. And it’s true that many warm climates remain at the top of the list when it comes to the adoption of solar. For instance, California remains the leader when it comes to solar installations and solar power usage. But did you know that many states throughout the country are giving coastal communities a run for their money? States typically not associated with alternative practices are making huge strides in clean energy and generating thousands of jobs as they go. In Minnesota, for instance, there are 160 solar companies and more than 116,000 homes are powered by solar. The Star of the North state has more than 4,200 jobs in the solar industry, including manufacturing and installation. Colorado boasts an impressive 6,700 jobs in solar and Tennessee has 4,400 solar energy jobs. Other states with a growing investment in solar include Utah, Nevada, and Nebraska.The nation’s leader, California, has an incredible 86,000 solar-related jobs. 7. Veterans Make Up Over 11% of Solar Workers A 2019 report shows that veterans constitute about 11.1% of the solar workforce in the United States. This figure is slightly higher than veterans’ overall employment in the country across all industries. What does that mean? Solar is a very welcoming industry for veterans and the solar community is making a concerted effort to transition service men and women into civilian employment back at home. Programs like Solar Ready Vets®, an effort by the U.S. Department of Energy, specifically aim to train outgoing members of the military for solar employment. In 2017 alone, 500 veterans were placed in solar jobs throughout the country via the Solar Ready Vets program. Veterans are doing everything from designing new solar grids to installing panels on homes and conducting maintenance on existing systems. Supporting solar jobs also means supporting your local veterans, including the the Southern California veterans that we hire at Semper Solaris! No matter how you cut it, the clean energy economy is a huge source for jobs in the United States. The industry is racking up new employees as it improves the environment and the quality of life for future generations. There are plenty of ways for you to support this industry as it cuts down on harmful emissions and promotes the future of energy. One of them is to buy new solar panels for your home! Contact Semper Solaris today to find out more about how you can support the veteran community while you update your home’s energy grid.

Imagine this scenario: A few decades in the future, your granddaughter (or great-granddaughter) wakes up in a home completely powered by solar power in San Diego. By that time, solar panel efficiency has far surpassed the 20% efficiency panels we have today. Even though the day is overcast, the panels on her roof still generate more than enough energy to keep all the electronics functioning in her home. During breakfast, your granddaughter glances at the news headlines and sees that, for the third year in a row, seasonal temperatures have dropped. This is good news after years of record-breaking heatwaves and big storms. It seems as if the significant worldwide drop in CO2 production is having a positive effect on the environment. Your granddaughter is driven to school in an electric car that was charged at home. It emits no CO2 into the atmosphere. During the trip, your granddaughter gazes out the window and doesn’t see anything strange in the fact that solar panels dot almost every roof. In fact, the roofs without solar panels seem out of place. At school, your granddaughter is asked to present a report on her family. She proudly explains that her father works in the solar industry as a warehouse manager. This job is what allows her to live in a beautiful home and enjoy the pleasures of life, like gymnastic lessons and a trip to Disneyland in the summer. Several of the other children in her classroom also have parents who work with solar in some way. That night, as the sun goes down, she flicks on the lights. Your granddaughter doesn’t think twice about firing up the computer to do her homework or turning on the television. Solar batteries like Tesla Powerwall are so good these days that they can power most homes using energy generated by the solar panels during the day. This is the solar future we are working for in San Diego. It may seem idealistic, but solar has come an incredibly long way in just the past decade. Most indicators point to the fact that the sector will continue to grow, advance, and mature. How far can solar in San Diego go? To answer that question, we need to understand what’s happening in the solar world today and what these trends portend for the future. San Diego’s Solar Push Transitioning from old to new technology doesn’t happen in a void. Whether or not a country, a state, or even a local city is willing to step up and support the transition can make a huge difference in its successful adoption. Fortunately, San Diegans live in the leading solar state and in a city that has put itself on an aggressive path toward adopting renewable energy. But before we can understand where we’re going with solar energy in San Diego, we must first appreciate how state and local legislation affects these efforts. The Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act In 2015, California put the rest of the country on notice when Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 350. The Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act requires the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This is a highly aggressive goal, and yet California is currently on track to meet it 10 years early according to an annual report submitted by California regulators! It’s worth mentioning that in 2017, a bill that would require California to produce all of its energy from “100 percent greenhouse-gas-free” sources by 2045 was only narrowly blocked. Many of the bill’s supporters vowed to present it to legislators again in the near future.  Solar Panels on All New Homes Just because California isn’t quite ready to go 100% into renewable energy doesn’t mean the state has lost its appetite for bold initiatives. The Golden State proved this earlier this year when the California Energy Commission unanimously voted to require that all new housing built in the state after January 1, 2020 include solar panels. Not only will California residents start seeing a whole bunch of additional solar panels on roofs in new housing complexes, but a CEC press release explained that the new standard will also “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.” San Diego Vows to Go 100% Clean Energy California prides itself on being a renewable energy leader, but the Golden State may need to take a backseat to its second-largest city. That’s because San Diego is going all-in on its renewable energy bet. In 2015, America’s Finest City became the first municipality in the United States to commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy as part of a larger Climate Action Plan. And so far, the city is walking the walk. In 2016, the city’s public utility, San Diego Gas & Electric, reported that renewable sources accounted for an impressive 43.2% of its electricity production. Where Solar Power in San Diego Is at Right Now San Diego has set itself a challenging goal of generating all of its energy from renewable resources in the future. Solar energy will certainly play a central role in helping the city hit that goal. If you’ve lived in San Diego for the past decade, there’s no doubt that you’ve noticed solar panels popping up on more and more houses. What is the current state of solar in our city, and what can these trends tell us about the future of solar energy in San Diego? Solar Continues to Grow Across the Country but Dips in California It looks like the rest of the country is beginning to catch up to San Diego and California in adopting solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in 2016, solar energy capacity grew more than any other energy source for the first time. SEIA estimates that in the next five years, the U.S. solar market will triple in size. A big portion of this growth will happen outside of California as other states dramatically increase their solar capacity. While San Diego may not see the red-hot growth in the solar market that it did in previous years, at least some of the national growth can be attributed to California’s example. Our state and our city has been a willing role model in how to embrace and incorporate solar energy into our current energy infrastructure. Solar Prices Keep Dropping One major driver in the growth of solar panels has been the speedy drop in price. As solar panels have increased in popularity, more solar companies have jumped into the fray to meet consumer needs. This has encouraged economies of scale as manufacturers become better at making solar panels, as solar technology improves, and as competition rises among solar installation companies. As the price of solar panels comes down, more homeowners and utilities will be enticed to invest, which will drive even greater competition, technological improvement, and economies of scale. In other words, solar will just keep getting better and cheaper! Solar Puts San Diegans to Work It takes a lot of talented people to run a successful solar company. Trust us, we know! Solar energy doesn’t just benefit a community by cutting down on pollution. It also puts local people to work. According to the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employed over 250,000 people in 2017, an astounding 168% increase from 2010. The Solar Foundation also notes that, “Solar makes up just under 2% of overall U.S. energy generation, yet it employs twice as many workers as the coal industry, almost five times as many as nuclear power, and nearly as many workers as the natural gas industry.” Here in San Diego, 7,934 of our friends, neighbors, and family members made their living in the solar industry in 2017. Solar jobs are uniquely valuable because they offer a living wage and most don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Solar companies are also a great option for veterans. Roughly one-in-ten solar worker is also a veteran, according to the Solar Foundation. Here at Semper Solaris, we are a veteran-owned company that makes a special effort to hire veterans in the San Diego community. As solar installation continues to grow across the country, solar jobs will grow with it. The solar industry will continue to offer new generations of Americans a fair wage and a middle-class lifestyle no matter their background! What’s on the Line Whenever we discuss the future of solar power in San Diego, we must take a step back and appreciate why our city and our state has gone through so much trouble and pushed so hard to free itself of fossil fuels. According to the EPA, the electric power sector accounted for 32% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions in 2012. Those numbers have increased by over 10% in the last ten years. The scientific consensus tells us that fossil fuels contribute to climate change, which in results searing heat waves, choking smog, more intense storms, degradation of wildlife habitats, and the increase of insect-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Here in San Diego, we are already feeling the effects of climate change as our state suffers from more severe droughts and increasingly catastrophic fires. Solar energy is one potent option to fight climate change. In a massive 2015 study called, “The Future of Solar Energy,” the MIT Energy Initiative explained that, “Massive expansion of solar generation worldwide by mid-century is likely a necessary component of any serious strategy to mitigate climate change.”  Every solar panel that goes up on a rooftop creates energy that doesn’t have to be produced by burning natural gas or by coal. If we want to preserve our beautiful planet for future generations, solar energy in San Diego can be a part of that solution. The Future of Solar in San Diego Remember at the beginning of this article when we described your future granddaughter’s solar-powered day? When you read that scenario, it may have seemed far-fetched or naively optimistic. However, the political decisions that California and San Diego are making today will help pave the path to that future. So will the manufacturing and technological trends that are quickly upping the efficiency of solar panels while dramatically cutting their costs. Finally, renewable energies offer one of the most effective ways to combat climate change. The decisions each of us makes can bring your grandchild’s future to fruition. If you want to combat climate change and protect the environment for future generations, it’s time to consider investing in your own solar-powered future today.  At Semper Solaris, we want to help you decide if solar is the right choice for your home and budget. Contact us today to schedule a solar consultation.  

Having a solar panel system installed can be an environmentally and economically savvy move. In fact, the Solar Energy Industries Association reported that the market doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year. Solar power is not a fading trend – it is here to make the world a greener place. With the wave of solar power comes additional renewable energy options for homeowners, including options like solar batteries for storing solar power not used right away. What Exactly Do Solar Batteries Do? When a homeowner has a solar energy system installed, it includes solar panels, mounting equipment, a monitoring system, and an inverter to make the power from the sun usable electricity in a home. Most homes are tied to an electricity grid, which means any additional or unused power created by your panels will flow into the grid. In return, homeowners are able to draw excess power needed when their solar panels aren’t producing enough (such as at night). Typically, a credit will be given to homeowners for any extra electricity their solar panels produce and send to the grid. That means these credits will usually cover any excess electricity needed to be drawn back from the grid when the panels aren’t generating enough power– also referred to as net metering. So what does this have to do with solar batteries? In theory, the batteries would take that excess solar power, convert it, and then store it for later use. The solar battery would then be the secondary power source your home draws from depending on how much power your solar panels produce. Any excess electricity produced by panels once the battery is charged is then sent back to the grid. It essentially gives your home an extra storage of usable electricity. If your solar battery is depleted when your panels aren’t producing power, only then will your home draw from the grid. Additionally, solar batteries can act as a quick backup power supply in power outage situations. Do I Need a Solar Battery for My Home? Having a solar battery may seem like a natural step to take when you have a solar panel system up and running for your home, but it isn’t always necessary. In large part, whether or not a battery is practical depends on how your utility processes the power produced by your solar panels. If you get compensated through a credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced (net metering), a battery may not make as much sense. If a battery is storing that power, you won’t get any extra savings on your electricity bill. On the other hand, if you are under time-of-use rates or demand charges, you may benefit greatly from having the flexibility of a solar battery to provide previously produced power during those times. Also, if you like the idea of being able to store additional solar power and reducing dependence on the local electricity grid, a solar battery can be a great option. Still have questions? You can get answers when you trust your solar panel system installation to Semper Solaris. Contact us now to get more insight on how to go solar the smart way.

So you’ve noticed the signs that a roof replacement is needed. Now what? Figuring out how long a roof replacement is going to take can be important, especially if you want to get your home back and out of a construction zone as soon as possible. What to Expect During a Roof Replacement Project One of the most important things to remember – expect the unexpected. While your contractor will likely do their best to give you an accurate timeline, exposure to the elements means roofing projects can be impacted by all sorts of unexpected factors. Also, some projects may appear straightforward initially until a roofing contractor inspects the property and realize they have a much more complicated project on their hands. That means giving a concrete timeline for any roof replacement can initially be difficult. Of course, once your contractor has good bearings on your project, they should be able to break down an expected timeline for you so that you can plan accordingly. Factors Impacting Time for Roof Replacements On average, re-roofing a house can be as quick as a few hours to as long as a few weeks. What makes this timeline fluctuate so much? The following factors can greatly impact the time of a roof replacement project:   Weather, including high winds Structure of a roof (steep areas vs. mostly shallow) Custom features such as chimneys or design elements Extent of damage Type of work being done (partial vs. total re-roofing) Local building codes and inspection requirements Materials being used (clay tile or slate vs. asphalt shingles)   Generally speaking, a typical home re-roofing without any major days, homeowners should expect the project to last a few days. The best bet for an accurate timeline? Talk to several contractors about the specific details of your re-roofing project. Compare the different timelines and always allow several days for unexpected issues, like high winds, rain etc. Request a Quote for Roof Replacement Today Semper Solaris is proud to offer top quality roofing services to customers throughout Southern California and beyond. We understand that getting your home back in tip-top shape is your number one priority – which becomes our number one priority when you get our team on the job. We work efficiently and honestly for our clients, never delaying projects unnecessarily or keeping timelines vague. We want you to feel confident when you enlist the services of our roofers! If you are ready to get a quote for re-roofing your home, contact Semper Solaris today.

According to studies, San Francisco boasts a 62.6% higher cost of living than the average across the U.S. If you live in San Francisco or anywhere in the Bay Area, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you. Every day, you navigate the steeper prices for everything from groceries and gas to utility bills. You’ve also likely thought through options for cutting back on these expenses. Solar energy is paving the way for homeowners all over the country to save on their monthly energy spending – and nowhere is this more attractive an option than the Bay Area. With California’s booming solar market, the cost of going solar has become more affordable. Homeowners in the Bay Area have been getting system sizes averaging around 5 kW. This number may vary based on the size of your roof, overall household energy demands, and your desired budget. Taking into account the savings with rebates and net metering benefits, switching to solar may be more attainable than you realized. How Much Can Solar Really Save Me? As solar energy continues to grow, prices for solar panel systems will continue to become more affordable. However, waiting for prices to dramatically drop before making the switching isn’t necessarily the best way to save. The long-term savings you can take advantage of can be big – with an average homeowner in San Francisco on track to save an average of $59,416 over a 20-year period. These savings can range based on system size, however, the numbers are still too good to pass up. If you are trying to determine if going solar can help you save, let Semper Solaris help. Our trusted Bay Area solar company can review your options and help you understand which system is right for your needs.

If you are getting ready for a roofing project, whether a complete overhaul of an old roof or a new construction project, knowing the best materials for the job is crucial. That’s why Semper Solaris has provided you with a guide to understanding the pros and cons of some of the top roofing materials out there, from your classic shingle tiles to modern metal roofing options. Concrete & Clay Tiles A California classic, clay and concrete tiles are known to add elegance, texture, and style. While classic clay tiles are very heavy (and durable as well) and more expensive, concrete tiles can be used as a more affordable alternative. Either option provides homeowners with a stylized look and long-lasting roofing materials, averaging 40 to 50 years. Concrete tiles are actually energy efficient, providing more incentives for homeowners. These perks do come with the added cost of specially trained labor (due to the heavier weight and complicated installation). Asphalt Shingles Known to be one of the most used for homes, asphalt shingles are a classic choice. Why? These shingles are very affordable and rather straightforward to install. They also are available in a range of colors to suit a homeowner’s specific style preferences. The average lifespan of asphalt shingles is anywhere from 20 to 25 years, making it one of the shorter lifespans, and also doesn’t offer as much insulation as other, more durable roofing materials typically do. Slate A more unique option, slate roofing is known for being durable, sustainable, and beautiful. Color options can range from green, red, black, and more, giving homeowners flexibility to create their ideal Colonial or European style chateau home. While being very sturdy, slate is also very heavy and can require additional framing. The cost for slate is also typically higher than other more basic roofing materials. However, slate roofs are known to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, boasting great durability. Metal Roofing Both a modern and classic appeal, metal roofing can be stylized in a variety of ways, from contemporary to rustic. This material holds up very well in harsh weather conditions, whether in the form of panels or shingles. Homeowners can choose from copper, zinc, aluminum, and stainless steel for their metal roof. While metal roofing can be more expensive, it does offer great solar reflectance and tends to last longer than asphalt options. Synthetic Options Growing in popularity are synthetic roofing materials, which can offer the beauty and style of classics like slate and wood shingles, without the same level of maintenance or price tag. Synthetic materials are also typically designed to be fire-resistant, providing greater protection for homes. Due to the relative newness of these materials, they aren’t as tried and true as older options; however, most come with warranties for up to 50 years or so, depending on the manufacturer. Weighing Your Options Before deciding on the material you want to use for your next roofing project, make sure you think through some key details. Some of the things you should consider include the weight of the material you select, and if your current structure can properly support that weight. If not, additional construction may be necessary. Another detail often overlooked is building and fire codes for local areas – talk with your roofing contractor ahead of time to ensure you are completely complying with all codes. Other details to think through include style options available in the material you like, average lifespan, warranties, proven performance based on region, and special maintenance requirements. Once you’ve worked through all of these details, you can have confidence knowing you have selected the best material for your project. Still not sure what materials to go with? Talk with your local roofer, Semper Solaris, to get professional insight today.

The kids are out of school, and the major holidays are still in the distance. No wonder summer is the prime moving season. You might not be ready to pack up and go quite yet, but seeing as the average American moves roughly 11 times in their life, chances are good you won’t be staying put forever. In the spirit of “moving season,” now is a great time to consider home upgrades, like solar installation, a kitchen remodel, and finally doing something to the patch of grass out front. The beauty of taking on a few big summer projects is that they can add value to your home and your life. You’re investing in your biggest asset and improving your domestic bliss! That’s a win-win. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable home improvement projects to consider this summer (or any time of the year). Solar Installation We’re a solar installation company, so of course we think adding solar to your home is a great financial move. Don’t just take our word for it, though. According to a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, “home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for a property with PV [photovoltaic solar panels] across a variety of states, housing and PV markets, and home types.” The researchers compared data on over 3,000 homes with solar panels with 18,871 homes without across eight states, including California. They found that solar panels conferred a value of approximately $4 per watt to the home’s worth. That means that a 5 kilowatt system (a system that produces an average of 5,000 watts a month) could add roughly $20,000 of value to the sales price of a home! That means your solar system will more than pay for itself when you sell your home, while also saving you money each month on your energy bills while you live in the home. We might be just a touch bias, but we think that’s a pretty good deal! We should note that the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study only looked at homeowner-owned solar systems and did not provide data on leased solar systems. Remodel Your Kitchen Consumer Reports says it all when they proclaim, “kitchen is still king!” Professional millennial couples as well as baby boomers eyeing their retirement years want a beautiful, open kitchen with state-of-the art appliances and plenty of counter space to let them entertain and whip up dinners for the whole family. Before you start sweating the price tag, Consumer Reports has good news for you. “A smaller investment can have serious impact. For as little as $5,000, you should be able to add a new suite of appliances, as well as a new countertop and flooring, resulting in a fresh, coordinated look.” The well-regarded Cost vs. Value report released every year backs up this notion. According to the report, a minor kitchen remodel in Los Angeles has a whopping 113% return on investment in 2018! Knock Down Walls If you own a home from the ‘60s or ‘70s, you’ll probably notice something: walls. Lots of walls. These days, many families, and especially millennials, desire open-concept home layouts. They want life to flow naturally throughout the house and be able to easily entertain. According to This Old House, “Anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house is generating a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy. For the price of a few hundred dollars, you'll transform the feel of the house.” If your kitchen is blocked away from the family room or dining room, call a licensed contractor and start knocking down some walls!   Replace Your Roof If you’ve read some of our previous blog posts, you know that roofs don’t last forever. Depending upon the type of roof you have, it may have a lifespan of anywhere between 10 and 30 years. If your roof is getting close to the end of its life, replacing it just makes sense. A leaky roof can result in significant property damage. Replacing your roof also makes another kind of cents. According to the Cost vs. Value report, replacing a midrange roof can give you an 82.5% return on investment when it comes time to sell. A well-designed roof can also lower your energy costs, allow you to install solar panels, and increase your home’s curb appeal! Bathroom Addition / Bathroom Remodel While older homes may have more walls than you need, they also tend to be lacking in adequate bathroom space. It isn’t unusual to find a three-bedroom home from the ‘70s with a single, tiny bathroom for the whole family. That won’t fly for today’s modern couples who expect a big master bathroom for themselves as well as a separate bath for their kids. A half bath in the main living space for visiting guests wouldn’t hurt either! While adding a bathroom to a midrange house will only net you a 78.2% return on investment, it could dramatically increase the number of potential interested buyers who would never consider a one-bathroom home. Doubling your bathrooms will also make life easier for your entire family. If you have all the baths your house needs, another consideration is a bathroom remodel. Buyers love double-sink vanities in the master bath, walk-in tiled showers, and big soaker tubs. Your investment will not only give you a bathroom you and your family will love, but it can also nab you a 90.8% return on investment for a mid-range bathroom remodel! Desertscaping Millennial power couples love the thought of a beautiful yard, but they don’t have the time to care for it. Older baby boomers may not have the physical capacity to prune bushes or keep up expansive gardens. In both cases, switching a thirsty grass lawn into a desertscape yard that utilizes drought-tolerant, easy-to-maintain plants can be a great addition to your home. A desertscape embraces California’s native plants to create a serene yard that requires very little upkeep and water. Today’s eco-conscious homebuyers will especially appreciate that these yards don’t gulp huge quantities of water, a precious (and expensive) commodity in drought-prone California. A desertscape will also give your home excellent curb appeal. Don’t forget that the outside of your home is what buyers will see first! One Project at a Time You don’t have to be planning a move in the next year or two in order to justify updating and remodeling your home. All the projects you do today will add to your enjoyment of the home while also adding to its value for a future sale. It’s like putting money into the piggy bank, except in this scenario, you also get lower energy bills, a gorgeous kitchen, and a lawn that requires almost no yard work. Don’t let this project list overwhelm you. If you’ve lived in a home for any amount of time, you know that it’s always a work in progress. Look at your budget and pick one or two home projects to tackle each year. We might be biased, but we suggest starting with solar installation or a roof replacement if your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy. As you discovered in this article, solar panels can more than pay for themselves when you sell your home, but they’ll also help you save money immediately each month on your energy bill. Here’s one last nudge: the federal government’s generous 26% tax deduction for solar panel installation may not last much longer! Schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation energy analysis from Semper Solaris today to get the process started. We also provide roof repair and replacement services throughout California and can offer you big savings when you combine a roof replacement with a solar installation. We hope to hear from you soon!

Investing in solar panels is a big step. While the promise of having control over your utility bills is tantalizing, the last thing you want is a massive maintenance job on your hands. So what’s the hard-hitting truth? Will solar panels require a lot of maintenance once you get a system installed? Generally speaking, you can expect very minimal maintenance requirements for a home solar panel system. With the average lifespan of a system ranging between 25 and 30 years, panels are designed to be very durable and resilient against the elements. To enhance the performance of your solar panels, you can expect to simply wash and clean off any dirt / dust several times a year. By taking small steps, you can ensure that your panels are able to capitalize on the power of the sun as much as possible to power your energy needs. Tips for Keeping Your Panels Clean Clear any large debris, such as leaves or branches, as soon as possible to avoid damage Remove dust and dirt from panel faces with a garden hose Aim to clean panels in early morning or late afternoon, when panels are least hot – spraying cool water onto the panels when at high temperatures could result in damage Consider installing a cleaning system to ensure regular cleaning (similar to yard sprinklers) Schedule a solar panel cleaning with your solar panel provider or a local expert if areas are too high / dangerous to reach Why Solar Panels Offer Peace of Mind As a Semper Solaris customer, you can be confident we use the best quality solar panels from the top manufacturers around. Their 25-year warranty is unmatched by any other solar panel manufacturer on the market. Every system is completely designed, engineered, and manufactured by Panasonic, SolarWorld, and Silfab, making them the most efficient and reliable panels available. You can expect greater power and greater savings. More than that, you can expect durability for limited repairs and solar power maintenance. In fact, the whole Equinox system (not just the panels) is covered by their 25-year warranty – that includes performance, labor, and parts. Repair or replacement of defective panels is provided to customers are absolutely no extra cost, without the burdensome requirement of a written claim or proof of purchase. Maintenance of your solar panels never looked so easy! Semper Solaris wants to make going solar simple. Maintenance isn’t something that should hold you back – if you want to learn more about finding a professional who can install and maintain your solar panels for optimal performance, reach out to our team today!

It seems like common sense that installing solar panels for your house can boost its overall market value and make your home more appealing to potential homebuyers. Solar panels reduce energy bills, create more sustainable energy and last for years—what’s not to like? However, until recently, there wasn’t definitive proof that solar panels resulted in added home value. Learn how the investment you make today in solar panel installation can make your home up to $17,000 more valuable when compared to homes without solar panels. The Financial Impact of Installing Solar Panels for Your House In 2015, the Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a study asking an important question: are homes with solar panels really more valuable than homes without them? And, as you might imagine, the answer was yes! The study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and also had help from the National Association of Homebuilders and the California Energy Commission. It spanned eight states and was conducted over ten years, 2002-2013, meaning that it included data from the housing boom, bust, and recovery. It studied over 20,000 homes, with nearly 4,000 homes that included solar panels. Even the New York Times acknowledged the study’s significance for home appraisers and buyers. This research looked at all sorts of homes, valued from $165,000 to $899,500, with an average value of $473,373. The average home included in the study was also 2,334 square feet, on roughly half an acre of land, and was built near 1993. The average solar panel system on these homes was about 2.7 years old. The average home in the set of data without solar panels was similar in size and age—but was valued at about $456,378. That’s nearly $17,000 less than homes with solar panels! Interestingly, solar panel premiums stayed consistent throughout the housing market upheaval of the 2000s, suggesting that solar panels are a constant, reliable value even when everything else is up in the air. Not only were homes roughly $17,000 more valuable with solar panels, but the study showed definitively that buyers were willing to pay a $15,000 premium for homes with solar panels installed. These buyers were likely considering the long-term positive effects of their purchase: dramatically reduced electric bills for the foreseeable future, and an added value to their home that would unlikely to depreciate if housing markets were in trouble. In the end, solar panels for your house are a wise addition to any home, and especially with government incentives and future savings, their worth is often far above their cost. Get started on solar installation for your home with Semper Solaris.