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Tile roof over shingle - Can't do install?

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  • Tile roof over shingle - Can't do install?

    So, I finally pulled the trigger and hired a local installer for my solar only to find out after roof inspection the install can't be done. They said our tile roof was installed over the old shingle and that would not pass electrical inspection (fire hazard). Underlining shingle must be removed then reinstall the tiles. That's equivalent to a new roof job which kills the whole purpose of going solar to SAVE MONEY. My roof (inherited) has no issues at all so the extra cost can't be justified. I'm in CA so I assume that's fire code here. Is this true? Anyone encounter this? Workarounds w/o redoing the roof?

    This is pretty sad as I had it all planned out on going solar. I guess the option is Tesla Tiles but that's insanely expensive.
    Last edited by sklim1; 05-09-2019, 09:01 PM.

  • #2
    I expect a Tesla roof system will cost more than doing your tile roof correctly. Lot to be said for pole mount or ground mount.

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    • #3
      What kind of shingles, wood or asphalt? How old are they? What is the Authority Having Jurisdiction (city or county)?
      Last edited by Ampster; 05-10-2019, 09:13 AM.

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      • #4
        Before I abandoned the PV idea, I'd get that opinion confirmed by the AHJ for the jurisdiction. But if it was me I'd also be careful about revealing the situation's location to anyone, Just in case.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
          Before I abandoned the PV idea, I'd get that opinion confirmed by the AHJ for the jurisdiction. But if it was me I'd also be careful about revealing the situation's location to anyone, Just in case.
          I think the solar installer mentioned it was "shake shingle" or to that effect. I believe it's wood since it's was pretty thin flat. This is in Los Angeles County. I got a roofer coming this week to give a quote on the removal.

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          • #6
            Generally shake shingles are split, irregular thickness shingles. Sounds more like conventional wood shingles, which have a much flatter, smoother surface.
            2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sklim1 View Post

              I think the solar installer mentioned it was "shake shingle" or to that effect. I believe it's wood since it's was pretty thin flat. This is in Los Angeles County. I got a roofer coming this week to give a quote on the removal.
              I didn't see where the OP mentioned shakes, but before I had anyone remove/replace anything, I'd make sure just what is under the tiles and also whether or not removal is actually required by code. Putting tiles over shakes doesn't sound all that practical or sound which makes me wonder just what may be under the tile.

              Also, if the whole roof was done, it may have required the pulling of a permit, which would probably have a record of some sort. I know it would in San Diego co.

              In the end, I'd be up on the roof when the tile pulling occurred to see for myself just what's under the tile and also see just what code requires/allows for myself before I got B.S.'d/ripped off any more than I already have been, but that's just my opinion.

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              • #8
                One of the roofer that came by indicated that it may not related to electrical issues but rather it won't pass inspection due to the roof weight. The house roof framing is designed to support certain amount of roof weight. Since I have a multiple roofs and on top of that the solar, the framing may not support that weight. However, he said, of the 40 years in his biz he's never had roofs collapse from this situation. The weight of the panels will be distributed among many frame studs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sklim1 View Post
                  One of the roofer that came by indicated that it may not related to electrical issues but rather it won't pass inspection due to the roof weight. The house roof framing is designed to support certain amount of roof weight. Since I have a multiple roofs and on top of that the solar, the framing may not support that weight. However, he said, of the 40 years in his biz he's never had roofs collapse from this situation. The weight of the panels will be distributed among many frame studs.
                  Unless the combined mass/ft^2 of all the additional roofing layers etc amounts to something approaching 40 lbm/ft^2, that argument won't hold much water. Really heavy composite shingles might weigh maybe 3 or 4 lbm/ft^2 tops, probably less.

                  The concrete tiles on my roof weigh ~ 6.4 lbm/ft^2.

                  Solar PV arrays weigh something like maybe 6 lbm/ft^2 w/racking.

                  When I lived nearby in another assoc. that had cedar shake roofs, due to fire hazard we replaced the shakes w/ concrete tile. I checked the structures for the added load before we had a civil P.E. do a check. There was no problem. Not even close.

                  The idea of how many layers of shingles/tiles can be placed on top of one another may have some merit however. Back in western NY in the '80's, the limit was 3 layers for comp. shingles. Any more overlaying required removal of all layers.

                  To reiterate, I'd respectfully suggest you call/visit the building dept. or whoever AHJ is and get straight answers from the source rather than all these peddlers dancing with your leg and doing little that's informative or productive.

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