Let’s be honest, roof-top solar is a complex project. The roof’s integrity is on the line so it’s up to the right contractor to earn your trust when installing your new solar system.  Unfortunately, majority of solar companies don’t really get into the details of the installation, which can be a sensitive aspect to a customer.  A customer seeking for solar power should have clear exceptions during a solar installation. And one of the most important exceptions is to be assured that no leaks will occur from the installation of a roof-top system. That’s why understanding solar roof penetrations is an important aspect of going solar.

If not done right, a roof-top solar installation can lead to property damage with first signs being water leaks during or after a rainy day. Now although a water leak from your ceiling doesn’t necessarily mean it was caused by a solar install, depending on how the contractor installed the system, chances are that it was. The roof penetrations of a solar array secure the system in place throughout the system’s life. The right solar contractor will use the latest technology to protect your roof and property by preventing such problems occurring from the solar installation.

 

Asphalt Shingle Flashing

Flashings are the components that protect your roof from leaks during a roof top solar installation. When installers mount the solar racks, they have to apply protection to the roof from the penetrations to hold the racks in place.

 

Flashing are required for asphalt shingle and tile roofing systems.

 

 

 

Standard flashing with rubber seal is bolted into the roof’s rafters.

 

Installers penetrate through the rafter beams and bolt the flashing onto the rafter.  There are various components involved with the flashing to maintain its durability and effectiveness. Standard flashing systems have a rubber sealing washer to protect from water intrusion. But over time, the washer will crack and break, resulting in water to seep through the roof.  It’s the installer’s responsibility to prevent any leaks throughout the lifetime of the solar installation. LA Solar Group installs with QuickmountPV, our partner in solar flashing solutions.  QuickmountPV has patented a proprietary flashing design that prevents the rubber seal to degrade from water exposure. The design has an elevated water seal that’s .7 inches above the roof surface above rain water. QuickmountPV’s technology is 100% water proof for the whole life of the roof with over 10,000,000 flashing mounts installed and 0 leaks.

 

The QuickmountPV flashing has an aluminum flute that protrudes upright and prevents deterioration of the rubber sealing washer.

 

Patented QuickmountPV protection.

 

Tile Flashing

For tile roofs, tile hooks are required to maintain the stability of the solar racking system. What solar installers generally do is mount the metal hooks directly to the roof tile. Overtime, the effects of wind and weather will stress the stability of the racking system resulting in potential water leaks.

L-Shape hooks for tile roof racking system can result in tile breakage due to the impact of wind and weather.

 

A roof solar array will be moving up and down in moderate wind causing the panels to flex continuously. This effect of the hook slapping the tile may eventually fracture the roof tile.

Hooks that don’t have deflection clearance will continue to impact the tile.

 

QuickmountPV’s deflection clearance technology prevents potential roof damage from tile hook impact.

 

Rest assured that with every solar installation, the right contractor will be proud to offer full roof leak protection after the solar has been installed.  Today’s latest technology in roof top solar has brought improvements on how systems are installed. Understanding solar roof penetrations will bring clarity and peace mind in protecting your home so sure to ask a LA Solar Group consultant to introduce and educate you when going solar.

 

Robert Sarai

Robert Sarai is a leading expert in energy efficiency and sustainability with L.A. Solar Group. He oversees development and marketing efforts to guide property owners toward smart energy solutions. He can be contacted directly at 818-946-2320 or robert@lasolargroup.com. LinkedIn Profile