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Seeking contractor to remove/reinstall panels to fix roof Santa Cruz/San Jose, CA

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  • Seeking contractor to remove/reinstall panels to fix roof Santa Cruz/San Jose, CA

    Here is my situation. I have a 15-year-old PV installation that unfortunately used the incorrect mounts so what began as an intermittent leaking problem turned into a cascade this winter. There are 34 mounts for the racks for 27 solar panels and many of them are leaking. The original contractor, REC Solar of SLO, used TileTrac mounts on my asphalt shingle roof and that's why we're in this mess. So I need the whole shebang pulled off so I can get a roofing company to patch the roof and then reinstall the panels and racks using correct mounts that won't leak. Here's a picture of what I currently have and you can understand why I need to do this. As I said, there are 34 of these TileTrac mounts.


    Anyway, as expected, most companies want to sell me a new system but the existing system is fine and probably has 10-15 more years life. And the roof is also in good condition except for the leaking mounts.

    Does anyone know of a contractor in the Santa Cruz / San Jose area that would take on a remove and reinstall job? The house is in Santa Cruz.

    Thanks, Joe

  • #2
    Check with this forum's sponsor: for a reputable contractor in your area...
    TileTrac is made for tile roofs not shingle. File a complaint with your state's Contractors State License Board(CSLB)
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >3000kW installed


    • #3
      I am not a roofing contractor. I also don't know building codes, contractor requirements or licensing requirements in San Jose. With that disclaimer...

      If a worker can remove one panel at a time, repair the asphalt shingles, replace the mounts for that panel, then reinstall the panel and move to the next, it might be a smaller job than completely removing everything and replacing everything. It might even be a one-person job.

      A competent handyman should be able to do that job. I don't think that roofing expertise, solar expertise, or electrical skills are involved. Just following manufacturer's installation instructions for roofing and panel mounts. Of course, any incompetent worker can get you in trouble, no matter what their license or training.

      I've had good luck with Ironridge "Flashfoot2" mounts on many solar installations. They are easy to install, strong, and I've never had a leak. There are other solar mounts for asphalt roofs that may also be good.

      There are a number of products like Grace Ice & Water Shield. This is a peel&stick waterproof membrane that goes under asphalt shingles. Everywhere you pull off asphalt, you may want to put a large square of Grace (or similar) on the roof, then shingles. Huge pieces of Grace are awkward to install, but small patches are almost child's play.

      Before you start this repair, get an estimate of the life left in the asphalt roofing. If it is going to need replacing in the next few years, you want to do everything at once instead of doing it twice.
      7kW Roof PV, APsystems QS1 micros, Nissan Leaf EV


      • #4
        By the time we figured out what had happened, REC Solar had been absorbed into Sunrun or some other company. It’s been 15 years now…

        As for, it is also really oriented to new installs which is the crux of my problem. Trying to avoid wading thru sales pitches for new systems when we just want repairs.

        Local roofing company evaluated the roof and felt that we’ve got 10+ years left.

        Panel by panel repair is difficult since the panels are mounted to racks and the new mounts have to align with the roof beams which means the rack has to shift up or down a few inches which it can’t do while attached to 13 or 14 panels. Also roof is just steep enough that an untethered panel would fly off it!


        • #5
          with 10 years left, pull the panels and redo the whole roof.. Have the roofer install and flash the rack mounts and let the other crew bolt onto them.
          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A



          • #6
            Let's talk eco for a moment - does it make sense to throw away that much good roofing 10-15 years before it is due for replacement? The roofing company would love the work but they did not think it was time to replace the roof. Also don't have unlimited budget.

            I'm now going back to my original idea of just doing it myself (with the help of handymen or friends) if I can't find someone to do it and just go old school - it's ProSolar RoofTrac racking so I might just go with ProSolar Fast Jacks and use the Oatey flashing. Ugly but durable and I know it's compatible with the RoofTrac racking. I was looking at the other flashed mounts and trying to figure out how to interface to the RoofTrac is challenging. The problem with DIY is that I'm just not sure I want to deal with 34 mounts. As for hiring a reliable handyman who will follow instructions so that my roof doesn't leak again, that sounds like a sitcom I once saw 20 or 30 years ago. That was a joke, wasn't it?

            Just costed out 34 FastJacks and 34 Oatey flashings at $515 all-in. Throw in a box of shingles and some roof sealant and looks a lot better than replacing the roof.
            Last edited by hmbay; 07-23-2021, 03:50 AM.


            • #7
              I like your DIY suggestion, but have no experience with those mounts or flashing. You've probably already researched them, so you know what you're doing. Roof sealant may work but I was advised to never rely on it. Flashing and products like Grace are dependable over the long term.

              One thing strikes me as odd. In most situations, the rails run perpendicular to the rafters. If that's the case, the feet can move without moving the rails. But if your rails are parallel to the rafters, you're right that the whole row has to come off to move the rail to the right position.
              7kW Roof PV, APsystems QS1 micros, Nissan Leaf EV