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genxer67 03-01-2014 02:39 PM

solar panels on metal roof
I was all set for a company to put solar PV panels on my roof. I had told the sales guy it was a metal roof, and he indicated that should not be a problem. But it was determined that they cannot install to my roof at all, even though their company has installed panels to other metal roofs in the past.

The problem is that those metal roofs are the more common ones with a smooth surface and solid color. Mine has metal shingles designed to closely resemble traditional tar shingles. So their surface is not as smooth.

The installers say they don't have a (I think the word they used was 'bolt' or something) that would properly attach the panel leg to the beam on the inside of the roof. Something about it would slip due to the nonsmooth shingle surface and that rainwater would leak through.

So do you know what kind of bolt they should look for? They claim they've asked around and don't know anyone who has this. The roofing company is Erie Construction of Toledo, OH. The solar company is Missouri Sun Solar. I'm sorry I donít know the brand name of the roof.

oldognewtrick 03-01-2014 04:25 PM

Post a picture of your roof please.

genxer67 03-01-2014 06:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
here is the pic of the house

nealtw 03-02-2014 10:20 PM

not helpfull

oldognewtrick 03-02-2014 11:12 PM

There's several MFG's of stone clad metal shingles. is one around here thats has some presence in the market place. The problem for solar installers is making a penetration into the metal shingle and making a waterproof seal at the attachment point. Any time you try and go back and retrofit a fastener, you create a weak point. If you are still wanting to install solar, contact a roofing professional in your area familiar with this product, that will work with the solar installer to create a anchor point and proper flashing. Drilling a hole in the roof and applying liberal amounts of silicone caulk is NOT the proper method of making a watertight seal.

bud16415 03-03-2014 06:26 AM

I understand the allure of solar on the roof being green and all that but I personally would never want something hovering above my roof poking a bunch of holes thru it made by two different company’s and installed by two different installers. I have always said from the beginning of this solar stuff the solar should be a total roofing system and when it comes time to replace your roof one company provides that type of system and someone trained comes and installs it. From what I have seen none of this is yet cost effective so we get these add on systems. I’m far from an expert but I would think adding this would void everything you had from the roofing system and also those that installed that.

Just curious where you live as to what is projected as solar payback.

Sorry I was of no help with the OP question of how to mount and type of bolts. I really don’t have an answer to that.

oldognewtrick 03-03-2014 06:56 AM

Working for a roofing company, we have inquired on several occasions about providing and installing solar roof systems and found there is little if any solar MFG's willing to talk or provide info to a small, local installer. At this point in time, my personal opinion is, a bigger return on GREEN dollars would be weatherization of the house structure. Seal air gaps, adding insulation and higher efficiency heat/cooling systems, provide for a better investment than the introduction of solar panels on a roof.

Just my :2cents:

genxer67 03-03-2014 07:43 AM

Thanks for the replies.

On another board someone mentioned that one option would be to have the roofing replaced with regulard shingles on the area where the panels will go. Does that sound feasible? Won't they be a different color and stick out like a sore thumb? I know the panels will cover them, but I would think at least a little bit would be noticeable. I got the current roof in '08 and it is warranteed for 50 years. They said the warranty is invalid if any other company does anything to it, like put panels on or replace some/all of the metal shingles.

oldognewtrick 03-03-2014 07:52 AM

I would suggest to NOT try and blend different type of roofing materials. It will look worse than awefull. please re-read my previous post, and good luck with what ever choice you make.

Wuzzat? 03-10-2014 11:38 AM


Originally Posted by oldognewtrick (Post 101260)
Drilling a hole in the roof and applying liberal amounts of silicone caulk is NOT the proper method of making a watertight seal.

Why doesn't this work?

What are a few proper ways of penetrating roof coverings for solar panels or the higher efficiency panels that circulate water?

Since vent pipes penetrate using flashing, maybe somebody makes little standoffs with little cone shaped flashing.

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