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Roof leak after solar panel installation

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  • Roof leak after solar panel installation

    Hi all,

    I just got my solar panels installed from Solar City a couple of weeks ago. Last week we had a lot of rain and while i was in the attic putting away Christmas decorations I noticed a small leak near to where my solar panels were mounted.

    Solar City originally cleared the installation after the final inspection, since they saw the roof and shingles were fit for the new installation but it seems like during the installation there was a crack in the sheathing with either people walking on the roof or some hole that was drilled for the mounting pucks.

    I called customer service and I have an appointment for tomorrow morning for someone to inspect the leak.

    Does anyone have any experience with Solar City and how the deal with these kind of issues? I saw a post from someone else having similar issues and SC ended up subsidizing part of the roof.
    Last edited by billotos; 01-14-2018, 07:38 PM.

  • #2
    Wait until they inspect before drawing conclusions. SC is a bottom feeding outfit, but mistakes can happen to any install.

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    • #3
      Be aware that they no doubt carry insurance that will generously cover any damage and losses you incur, as the insurance people are very quick to fault solar as being the cause of leaks. However, the insurance people are not going to solve the cause of the leak - that is SolarCity's responsibility and they will have a hard time doing this. If you just let the insurance folks fix the damage and you sign their waiver - now you own the leak and next time it rains, you may be back at square one.
      Get an independent roofer to evaluate the leak and fix it if at all possible - then have SolarCity pay for it. They will no doubt want a crack at fixing it themselves but I would not trust them. It is usually a tossup as to whether the installers made a mistake or whether there was some flaw in your original roof job that has started leaking after the installers did a lot of tromping around on it.

      I one time did an old roof that had plank underlayment and one of the boards had a big knothole about 10 inches above the upper mounting rails - right where we did a lot of walking. The knothole became dislodged, the tar paper wasn't supported and it gushed water into the house. Everyone blamed the solar install because they could run a hose above the solar mount and see it leak, but it wasn't until the roof and the ceiling was replaced (which I paid for) that the knot was discovered.

      Find the cause (which can be tricky to do with roofing) and fix it.
      BSEE, R11, NABCEP, >1200kW installed

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      • #4
        Solar installers are energy professionals, not roofers. And while the vast majority of them know their stuff, there
        Last edited by AmitBajpayee; 01-25-2018, 01:45 AM.

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