The short answer is yes, it is possible for solar to cause your roof to leak. However, the solar industry has evolved over many years to develop best practices concerning waterproofing and sealing roof penetrations.
Your best protection against roof leaks when going solar is to choose a reputable contractor with a track record of happy customers going back years. Most solar contractors, including us at Goldin Solar, offer contractor’s warranties which will ensure we are liable for any leaks that occur due to poor craftsmanship. That means we will pay, not you, if your roof should start to leak due to poor craftsmanship.
The Risk of Solar to Your Roof
All solar installations, except for those on standing seam metal roofs, require many roof penetrations. These roof penetrations are typically done with lag bolts, which fasten the brackets of the structural stands to the existing structural system of the home (i.e. the home’s rafters). A normal solar array can have 50 or more such structural attachments and roof penetrations. Water finding its way through these penetrations is what could cause your roof to leak. To mitigate this risk, we use high-quality sealants and hardware to protect the penetrations.
The Benefit of Solar to Your Roof
On the flip side, installing solar on your roof can actually improve your roof’s structural integrity. This is because the mounting hardware, metal rails, are mounted perpendicular to your home’s existing rafters (generally made of wood), in effect serving as an exoskeleton for your roof. This can protect your roof from high winds and degradation. In hurricane-prone areas such as Florida, damage to your roof from flying debris is also minimized, since the solar panels stand in the way. It is much easier to repair a few damaged panels after a storm than to repair the entire roof plus any additional water damage that would have occurred in the storm.
What the Workmanship Warranty Covers
Goldin Solar is proud to stand behind our work and will seek to resolve any issues that may arise. As with anything else, we put our customers’ needs above everything else and treat our warranties with utmost seriousness. Our comprehensive contractor’s warranty for workmanship covers defects that can arise in your system as a result of the installation. Among other things, this warrants that if there is water intrusion after a system is installed, we will return to locate and treat the water intrusion.