These Solar Nightmare photos below are of homes that have suffered major damage to their roofs as a result of poor solar workmanship. The names of those contractors involved shall remain nameless, but I know who you are! The first 4 photos here involve a roof that my company originally installed in the late 1980's. Luckily the current owner was able to find us through the home's original builder when he suspected something wasn't right during the installation of his solar. Loud cracking of tiles under careless worker footsteps and buckets of roof patch sitting atop his roof were just a few of the warning signs that ultimately led him to us. The contractor had just begun to install SunPower solar panels over the poorly installed mounting system that had been drilled directly through the concrete tiles, a big no-no. I got there just in time to fire of some solar nightmare pics. Firstly, drilling through the tiles can break the tile or result in hairline cracks that aren't initially visible, but may split the tile a few years down the road. Anytime you need to apply a sealant around around a roof component that penetrates your roof, your're asking for trouble. You would need to goop it up again and again every 5 or 10 years to prevent the threat of leaks. How easy is that going to be once all of the solar panels are on the roof?This contractor didn't have the skill-set to perform the roofing related work or was just content to pocket a few more grand by saving labor hours and eliminating useful solar roof flashings. A properly installed system utilizes a flashings like the ones I recommend by QuickMountPV. In this case below, the owner fired the contractor that day and subsequently hired me to fix everything before going solar with us.
Below are few photos of properly installed solar roof flashings. For tile roofs, the contractor should first remove the existing tiles, then install a hook/ j bracket or a stanchion pole with flashing. A little extra work is involved, but a 100% watertight roof is the end result.
Here's another solar nightmare. In this case, the owner had called the original solar company a year after his system had been installed. After a recent storm, he noticed multiple leaks in his living room ceiling which was directly under the rooftop solar array. The solar company returned to the home and attempted to fix the leaks. The contractor added more sealant, glue and mastic to areas of the solar that he could easily reach on the roof, that being the four sides of the solar array. To avoid the hassle of removing the solar panels in the middle of the array to investigate further and fix the roof properly from the outside, this contractor got up in the attic to patch the leaky roof...from the inside of the attic! To add insult to injury, they left the roof patch trash in the attic. After the next storm, the leaks returned and the owner found our company through a family friend to fix this hot mess. The pictures below tell the whole story...$3,000 worth of repairs to the roof. and my client said about $1,000 of interior damage to his ceiling.