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Old 05-01-2014, 04:55 AM
 
281 posts, read 286,180 times
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So as not to hijack the other pool thread I will ask here. Could anyone explain what causes the roof damage on the solar heaters. It was mentioned in the other thread that a home inspector said "he would not install one as he hardly ever inspected a home that had a collector that did not have roof rot due to leaking" . Why do they leak and if they do why would the roof rot ?

Solar heating seemed like the best and greenest choice before I read about roof damage. Now I am concerned.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL - Pasadena, People's Republic of Maryland
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A few weeks ago I went up on my roof to replace the air exhaust valve (I don't know the correct name) on the pool's solar panel system. While up there I noticed that the PVC joints had worn through the asphalt tiles, in one place all the way to where the bare wood of the woof sheathing was visible! I would guess that from the pump running and water flowing through the system that it vibrates ever-so-slowly and eventually wears through the shingles. Needless to say I made roof repairs and nothing leaked in the rain we've had since then. Is it an installation defect?? Regardless, I'm going to get some small pieces of old fire hose (tough stuff!) and slip them under all the areas where I can see wearing down of the roof shingles.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Lemon Bay, Englewood, FL
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I got the same negative reaction when we debated on solar for our new pool in 2011. It was a lot of "someone I know" or "this friend of a friend" or "this guy that used to do roofing said..." Very little first-hand experience.

Well, we went with solar and during install I was on the roof watching. Three years later, no issues yet. I just had a repair done on another section of the roof and two additional attic vents installed, and the roofers doing the work spoke negatively about solar panels, but when they looked at mine said they looked really good (in regards to the amount of tar used to cover the screw heads). Like anything on your roof that is sealed using tar (vent stacks, flashing, etc..) you may have to re-tar after 5-10 years. With no maintenance, yes, you may eventually have leaks. Is there anything you can let go for 30 years with zero attention and not have any problems? Not that I can think of.... No different with solar panels.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,649 posts, read 6,931,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikMal View Post
A few weeks ago I went up on my roof to replace the air exhaust valve (I don't know the correct name) on the pool's solar panel system. While up there I noticed that the PVC joints had worn through the asphalt tiles, in one place all the way to where the bare wood of the woof sheathing was visible! I would guess that from the pump running and water flowing through the system that it vibrates ever-so-slowly and eventually wears through the shingles. Needless to say I made roof repairs and nothing leaked in the rain we've had since then. Is it an installation defect?? Regardless, I'm going to get some small pieces of old fire hose (tough stuff!) and slip them under all the areas where I can see wearing down of the roof shingles.
I don't know anything about roof solar systems, but I'm thinking of that hot hot Florida sun beating down on the roof over time, would melt about anything, or at least make nearly anything directly exposed to it hot enough to act like a soldering iron, LOL. I'm guessing that the PVC joints getting hot enough so that in the event they touch the shingles to damage them could happen over time. Protecting the shingles in some way seems like a good idea.

There are shingles available that they claim have a 40 year life-span ( architectural shingles). Even with those ( we had them on our house in Miami, thinking they'd be more hurricane resistant, LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!), shingles take a beating in this sun. Our 40 year shingles broke like crackers after less than 20 years in this sun.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
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I had a new pool with solar built at my last house with no issues for 6 years before I moved. I had a Spanish tile roof so maybe there wasn't a wear issue like asphalt.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Jupiter
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We had a Solar System installed on our roof, also tile, and the Solar Company extended the roof warrantee from 10 years to 20 years...Allegedly, the Solar Panels can with stand 140MPH winds---which I hope I never have to test---

The system was only installed in January of this year, but on a recent inspection there was no signs of leaks in the roof.

BTW, the system keeps the pool, 15 x 30, 3 to 6 feet deep, + 7 x 7 spa, roughly 18,000 gallons at 85+ degrees during the alleged winter months. The community pool was in the 65 to 70 degree range during the same time period. We have 9 panels on the roof.

The Solar Panel manufacturer is statewide and if you are interested, send me a message and I will give you the manufacturer's contact info.

Something else to consider, there is also a system that they install in your attic that is protected from the outside elements and allegedly 95% efficient. My problem with this system is that I can use my solar panels at night during the hot summer to cool my pool, where with the attic install this option is not available.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, Florida
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In my profession I inspect many of these systems that have been installed on roofs. The number 1 issue that I find is the mounts for the system loosen up and the bolts that penetrate the roof become a leak point. Further, Ive seen no flashing installed, damage from vibration as mentioned above, leaking that has damaged shingles and in general almost all systems have had a detrimental effect on the roof in some way. Thats not always the case but more often than not it is. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:40 AM
 
281 posts, read 286,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCHI View Post
In my profession I inspect many of these systems that have been installed on roofs. The number 1 issue that I find is the mounts for the system loosen up and the bolts that penetrate the roof become a leak point. Further, Ive seen no flashing installed, damage from vibration as mentioned above, leaking that has damaged shingles and in general almost all systems have had a detrimental effect on the roof in some way. Thats not always the case but more often than not it is. Just my 2 cents.
So it is from a lack of maintenance on the roof penetrations. Anytime someone puts a hole in the roof through the shingles it becomes a leak point. I have also seen it on TV and sat dish mounts.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:41 AM
 
281 posts, read 286,180 times
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Thanx for all the replies.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, Florida
165 posts, read 195,206 times
Reputation: 76
I guess its like anything else. Some are installed better than others. The ones I have seen with no problems have been the ones where mounts were flashed or sealed to the roof. Its not really a maintenance area a homeowner should be concerning themselves with. It should be installed in such a manner that the footer stay sealed until removed. That in my case has been the exception and not the rule.
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