Don’t Worry, Solar Panels Won’t Make Your Roof Leak

We are a solar company that has helped hundreds of homeowners transition to solar power. We are here to address any concerns you may have about making the switch to solar, with honesty and transparency. Today we’re going to address the question of whether or not solar panels will make your roof leak.

In fact, this is one of the most common questions we get from homeowners who are considering going solar. After all, when you install anything onto your roof involving penetrations through the roof surface, there’s always a risk that it could cause problems. As a homeowner who values the roof over their head, you have all of the right to be concerned.

In a perfect world, roof leaks wouldn’t exist and I would tell you that it is impossible for it to happen, but we both know this is not the case. It is many homeowners’ worst nightmare to hire a contractor only to have the project go wrong, damaging their home in the process. Of course, the determining factor here is how the solar panel racking is installed, the installer’s attention to detail and the use of proper methods during the installation process. Is a roof leak possible? Yes, but it is highly unlikely.

Solar panel racking is designed and engineered in a way that helps eliminate the possibility of your roof leaking. The attachments that hold the panels in place are fully flashed, sealed and designed to encourage water run off away from the roof penetration. Even the panels themselves have a waterproof coating.

The reason for the attachment system’s high level of reliability is due to what’s called a flashing system. The flashing system creates a water-tight seal around the entry point of the attachment lag, which prevents water from seeping in and causing leaks. One of the most common types of solar attachments is called a “flash foot”. So, what is the proper way in which it needs to be installed in order to prevent roof leaks?

A thick U shaped bead of roofing sealant, such as Geocel’s 2300 tripolymer sealant, is applied underneath the 9″ x 12″ aluminum flashing. It is also applied into the pilot hole, drilled for the attachment lag’s entry into the rafter. This strong, elastic sealant surrounds the penetration on all sides, except for the bottom. The sealant bonds to the shingle surface, creating an extremely tough, water-tight seal. The bottom portion of the flashing is left unsealed, so water may exit if it ever becomes trapped underneath the flashing. A thick rubber seal sits directly beneath the lag head, where it contacts the attachment foot, providing an additional layer of protection. Most flashings come with a 25 year warranty and will not rust or oxidize, even under severe weather conditions.

Typical solar “flash foot” roof attachment pictured below with sealant applied:

Working with high quality solar racking is important and many are designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. In most cases it is good to use a racking system that is engineered to provide high wind strength (around 145 MPH), as well as snow load strength. So if you’re considering making the switch to solar, you can rest assured knowing your system will help keep your roof in good condition for years to come.

In short, there’s no need to worry about your roof leaking if you decide to go solar.

Making the switch to solar power is a great way to save money and help the environment. And contrary to what some people believe, solar panels won’t make your roof leak. So if you’ve been thinking about going solar, there’s no need to worry about damaging your roof. Just be sure to hire a reputable installer and you’ll be good to go!

Pamlico Solar is a trusted provider of residential solar solutions in Wilmington, NC. We offer a free solar consultation to help you determine if solar power is right for your home. Our site survey will assess your property and we’ll recommend the best system based on your needs. Pamlico Solar is committed to transparency and honest pricing, so you can be confident that you’re getting the best value for your investment. Contact Pamlico Solar today to learn more about our residential solar solutions.